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Talking about Mobile Games, Space Shows and Raising Digital Teens at ASTC This Weekend

ASTC graphicFor the next four days, I will be in lovely Albuquerque, New Mexico for the annual Association of Science and Technology Centers conference (ASTC), along with 2,000 or so of my colleagues from other science centers, natural history museums, and other science institutions.  It’s a really neat event, showcasing some of the best research, most innovative exhibits and programs, and most vital issues and concerns in our field.  

Last year, I was a participant, just absorbing all of this strange new world of informal science education.  This year, I’m able to present some of the great work that our team at the California Academy of Sciences has been doing in digital learning, youth programs and informal science education in general. 

I’m speaking or facilitating in three sessions at this ASTC:

  • How to Build a Digital Learning and Innovation Practice
  • ARIS: Mobile Design as a Path to Civic Participation

  • Hitchhiking to Pluto: Youth- Designed Planetarium Shows

Read on for more complete descriptions of each of these sessions.

Digital learning youth playing earthquake game

Sunday October 20, 9:45-11am

How to Build a Digital Learning and Innovation Practice

Convention Center, Cimarron

This workshop will show how the American Museum of Natural History and the California Academy of Sciences have successfully launched youth-based digital learning programs. After hearing from workshop presenters, participants will split into small groups, each of which will focus on one practice question for their digital learning work.

Session Leaders:

  • Barry Joseph, Associate Director for Digital Learning, American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY;
  • Elizabeth Babcock, Chief Public Engagement Officer and Roberts Dean of Education, California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco

  • Rik Panganiban, Senior Manager of Digital Learning, California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco;
  • Katie Levedahl, Assistant Director of Youth Programs, California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco

PYS teen using inat

Sunday October 20, 1:00-2:15pm

ARIS: Mobile Design as a Path to Civic Participation


 Convention Center, Cimarron

This workshop focuses on ARIS, a mobile development platform used by youth and educators to study community issues, organize collective action, and design geo-locative participatory media experiences. In the workshop, participants will learn basic functionalities of ARIS and have an opportunity to create interactive experiences of their own. Preregistration required. Limited to 20 participants. Participants should bring their own smartphone and a laptop.

 

Session Leader: Jim Mathews, Researcher/ Designer, Local Games Lab, ARIS/University of Wisconsin, Madison


Presenters:

  • Rik Panganiban, California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco;
  • Chris Holden, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque 

 

Monday October 21, 9:45-11am

Hitchhiking to Pluto: Youth- Designed Planetarium Shows

Convention Center, Aztec

Forget a driver’s license: how about giving teens their own spaceships? In this roundtable session, three science centers discuss the rewards and challenges of programs that teach youth to use planetarium software to design and present original space shows.

Session Leader: Nathan Bellomy, Youth Initiatives Coordinator, YouthCaN NYC, and Coordinator, Youth Programs Alumni, American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY 

Presenters:

  • Rik Panganiban, California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco;
  • Lisa Hoover, Chabot Space & Science Center, Oakland, CA

 

For more information about ASTC, see http://conference.astc.org .

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