Science Discovery Center Ideas

David W. Kramer kramer.8 at OSU.EDU
Thu Dec 10 13:48:28 EST 1998

I am serving on a community task force designing a new science discovery
center for children (and their teachers, parents, etc).  Yes, we do not
call it a "museum" because it will be a hands-on place, not a place with
specimens and dioramas.

I would appreciate input from Plant-Ed correspondents re

1) Concepts (philosophies, approaches, etc.)  For example, we are reserving
a large amount of space for traveling exhibits so people will come back
2) Similar science discovery centers, especially in smaller communities
(the area we will serve is approximately 200,000), that we might contact or
visit for ideas.
3) Specific suggestions for plant biology activities that would work in a
science center.  It has been determined that the emphasis will be on
physical sciences including earth science because that's where the
elementary school curriculum seems to be in our area and the place where
the schools need the most help but there will also be some life science
themes.  We will emphasize self-directed activities but will also have
"stages" where "experts" ("wizards"?) will give demos.  We need suggestions
for both kinds of activities.
4) Suggestions about the human elements:  training volunteers, involving
teachers, cross-generational activities, etc.
5) Names of persons who might be consultants for this kind of project.
6) Everything else! .......INCLUDING FUNDING!

Members of the task force have visited several museums/science centers in
Ohio and other states and we have a paid consultant who has experience with
exhibit design at the Center of Science and Industry (COSI) in Columbus,
OH.  It's not as though we're struggling to figure this out but we are
casting a very wide net to be sure we have many good ideas.

Thanks in advance for your responses.

David W. Kramer, Ph.D.
Asst. Prof. of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology
Ohio State University at Mansfield
1680 University Drive
Mansfield, OH  44906-1547
Phone:  (419) 755-4344      FAX:  (419) 755-4367
e-mail:  kramer.8 at

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