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Science in Museums: The Circle of Life

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on February 19, 2014 in Science in Museums |

by columnist Jenna Conversano Hi all – I’m Jenna, a new Science in Museums columnist, with a particular interest in biology, zoos, and aquariums. The “hot item” in the news last week was the euthanasia of Marius, a two year-old giraffe at the Copenhagen Zoo, followed by a massive uproar across the web. If you […]

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Science in Museums: Planning and Development of a Digital Gallery Guide

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on February 8, 2014 in Science in Museums |

by columnist Cira Brown I am in currently in the midst of a project at the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments at Harvard University as part of my fellowship, but I thought it would be useful to write about some of my experiences. My primary responsibility has been the planning and development of digital gallery […]

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Rethinking the “Remaking” of Museums

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on December 4, 2013 in Science in Museums |

by columnist Cira Brown A couple of weeks ago I attended the 41st Annual Museum Computer Network Conference in Montreal, Quebec. A strange name, perhaps, but the organization has been in existence way before personal computers… even before the moonlanding! I was very excited to attend, especially since everything was museum related! It was 5 days of […]

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Feedback Wanted! Rapid Contextual Redesign of Mammal Skull Mystery Exhibit at the Museum of Science

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on November 20, 2013 in Science in Museums |

by columnist Catherine Sigmond Lately I’ve been working on a project to evaluate and rapidly redesign the Mammal Skull Mystery exhibit at the Museum of Science. After weeks of evaluating how people use the exhibit (read: stalking visitors and then awkwardly trying to talk to them about it) and reflecting on those observations, we’re now […]

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Science in Museums: Carl Akeley, Museum Innovator

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on October 23, 2013 in Science in Museums |

by columnist Kacie Rice “Why museums?” It’s a question that haunts the museum world – whether it’s, “Why do you work in a museum?”, “Why should we bring our students on a museum field trip?”, “Why do we need museums?”, or the big one, “Why should my organization give money to your museum?”, we answer […]

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Exploring Science Museums Through Google Street View

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on October 16, 2013 in Science in Museums |

by columnist Catherine Sigmond Finally, Google has brought its widely acclaimed Art Project to science museums… sort of. Lately, I’ve been indulging my penchant for travel by exploring the world through Google Street View (did you know you can tour the Galapagos?!). So when I read about how Google Street View had recently released a […]

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Exhibit Spaces and Exhibit Catalogs

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on October 9, 2013 in Science in Museums |

by Cira Louise Brown Over the past few months, I have been working to develop an exhibition catalog from an exhibit currently on display. The exhibition explores the topic of time from various cultural, scientific and mechanical standpoints, and uses artifacts from a variety of institutions and collections. I find the show to be very […]

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Museum Review: The Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on October 2, 2013 in Science in Museums, Uncategorized |

by columnist Kacie Rice One of my favorite things to do is when I travel is to see new museums, and I and a friend recently had a chance to visit Toronto’s Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), one of North America’s major natural history and anthropology museums. Founded in 1912, the museum serves over one million visitors a […]

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5 Places to Check Out Science in Museums this Fall

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on September 25, 2013 in Science in Museums |

by columnist Catherine Sigmond If you’re like me, sometimes the demands of work, school, and life get in the way of actually visiting new museums.  This week, I had the sinking realization that despite my best efforts, I couldn’t remember the last time I visited a new science museum or exhibition. What’s a busy museum […]

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Science in Museums: Exhibition Review – Hidden Heroes: The Genius of Everyday Things

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on September 18, 2013 in Science in Museums |

by Cira Brown “Look closer”, “dig deeper”… if you’re doing that, you’re the type of museum visitor that we love. But how do we foster that level of engagement? “Hidden Heroes: The Genius of Every Day Things”, currently on view at the MIT Museum, aspires to do exactly that. The exhibition showcases seemingly-mundane everyday objects, such […]

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Science in Museums: Museums in Nature

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on September 11, 2013 in Science in Museums |

by columnist Kacie Rice This weekend, after a busy and stressful few weeks of moving apartments and starting classes, I decided to go old-school and explore the original science museum: the nature reservation! I put on my boots and went to unwind in nature with a hike in our very own forest, the Middlesex Fells […]

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Science in Museums: Fukushima’s Fallout for Science Museums

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on September 4, 2013 in Science in Museums |

by Catherine Sigmond If you haven’t been paying attention to what’s been happening in Fukushima, Japan, recently, let me summarize the current situation: after the devastating earthquake and tsunami in 2011, the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant suffered a triple meltdown- the only incident other than the Chernobyl disaster to earn the highest rating of […]

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Science in Museums: Art and Science Collide at the National Building Museum

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on August 21, 2013 in Science in Museums |

by columnist Kacie Rice My summer internship in Washington, D.C., has given me a great opportunity to explore a lot of new (to me) museums. This weekend, I checked out the National Building Museum, established by Act of Congress in 1980 and located in the historic 1887 Pension Bureau building in downtown Washington. The building […]

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Science in Museums: 8 Reasons You Need to Visit the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on August 14, 2013 in Science in Museums |

by Catherine Sigmond When people go to Paris, they always want to visit the Louvre. But did you know that Paris also has the world’s most popular science museum? Here are 8 reasons you should visit the Cité des Science et de l’Industrie next time you’re in the City of Love.

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Science in Museums: What makes a successful hands-on demonstration in the gallery?

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on August 7, 2013 in Science in Museums |

by columnist Cira Brown I’ve been doing the “Perceptual Form of the City” hands-on demo at the MIT Museum for almost a year now, and it’s my first experience in engaging with visitors in the museum directly.  The premise for the demo is as follows: I ask the visitors to draw a map of Boston […]

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Science in Museums: Science Museums and History of Science Museums

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on July 17, 2013 in Science in Museums |

by columnist Cira Brown I’ve recently been doing a bit of work for the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments, part of the Harvard Museums of Science & Culture. I love the CHSI and have used it and its exhibitions as a basis for some of my papers here at Tufts. Over the past year I’ve […]

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Science in Museums: Rethinking Accessibility: Don’t Leave English Language Learners Behind

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on July 10, 2013 in Science in Museums |

By columnist Catherine Sigmond Let’s face it. English has become the global language, the lingua franca that links us all together. It’s also increasingly being recognized as the international language of science. For non-native English speakers, the necessity of being able to read, speak, and publish research in English is an ever-growing hurdle. Of course, […]

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Science in Museums: Sensory Science, Visualizing Climate Change

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on June 26, 2013 in Science in Museums |

by columnist Kacie Rice Those who have worked in scientific research know that it’s often a world ruled by numbers and formulas. Even studies based on a mineral’s color or an animal’s morphology (that is, its basic shape and look) have to be backed up by numerical data and rigorous statistical calculations. It’s not enough […]

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Science in Museums: Why Tweet?: Effective Web Marketing for Museums

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on June 5, 2013 in Science in Museums, Uncategorized |

by columnist Kacie Rice Having finally started a professional Twitter account in the last few weeks (shameless plug: follow me @kacie_rice!), I’ve become more conscious of the informal advertising that museums do through new media.  While museums still use traditional media such as newspapers and billboards to advertise, they, like most other companies and institutions, […]

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Science in Museums: It’s Not So Bad To Not Get The Big Idea

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on May 22, 2013 in Science in Museums |

by columnist Cira Brown, This past Sunday, I visited the Museum of Science to see the new exhibit entitled “Dead Sea Scrolls: Life in Ancient Times”. Admittedly, it’s a topic I don’t know much about, which makes it difficult to evaluate how the exhibition presented the material. However, the experience made for a good opportunity to […]

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Science in Museums: Science for All Ages

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on May 1, 2013 in Science in Museums |

by columnist Kacie Rice, Museum educators, as proprietors of informal learning for all ages, often run into a unique dilemma: how do we create educational science experiences that cater to both kids and adults? I was recently having a discussion about this topic with fellow Science in Museums blogger Cira Brown and our classmate Rachel […]

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Science in Museums: Museums in the Virtual World

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on April 24, 2013 in Science in Museums |

by columnist Catherine Sigmond Last week the Exploratorium officially re-opened in its 330,000 ft. new building at Pier 15 in San Francisco after a $300 million, multi-year construction project. The new museum at Pier 15, which is three times bigger than the previous location at the Palace of Fine Arts, boasts an array of exciting […]

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Science in Museums: Museums at the Movies, Pop Cultural Partnerships

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on April 10, 2013 in Science in Museums |

by columnist Kacie Rice We’ve all seen our fair share of movies that happen at museums (museum professionals around the country are surely tired of being asked if their jobs are like Night at the Museum or The DaVinci Code) – but what about bringing the movies to life in museum exhibits themselves? Beginning May […]

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Science in Museums: Metaphorically Transporting Exhibits

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on April 4, 2013 in Science in Museums |

by columnist Cira Brown I am currently enrolled in the Exhibition Planning class at Tufts, and I love it! I feel so lucky to be given the opportunity to curate our own exhibition as a class, which I’ve been told is quite rare for museum studies graduate programs. Together, we cover everything from object management, […]

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Science in Museums: Can Science Museums Crowdsource Exhibit Content

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on March 28, 2013 in Science in Museums |

by columnist Catherine Sigmond. New York’s Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum wants your photos for a new crowd-sourced exhibit on the Space Shuttle Enterprise. The museum is creating a special exhibition entitled Space Shuttle Enterprise: A Pioneer to fill its halls after the real shuttle was badly damaged last fall during Superstorm Sandy. First […]

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Science in Museums: The Intersection of Art and Science

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on March 20, 2013 in Science in Museums |

by columnist Catherine Sigmond Although I work in a science museum, I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to work and debate with colleagues from a range of disciplines at Tufts, particularly those in the art world. Lately it’s got me thinking- why is there such a distinct separation between the arts and the sciences? As […]

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Science in Museums: Scientists – They’re Just Like Us!

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on March 13, 2013 in Science in Museums |

by columnist Kacie Rice, In the past few months I’ve become a bit obsessed with the American Museum of Natural History’s fantastic internet campaign celebrating the recent reopening of the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial. Launched last fall, the museum’s new website includes an interactive timeline, a series of videos about Roosevelt’s life, and, best of all, […]

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Science in Museums: MakerSpaces and Museums

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on March 6, 2013 in Science in Museums |

by columnist Cira Brown Last month, Artisan’s Asylum, a community craft studio in Somerville (and one of the largest in the world), held a weekend conference entitled, How To Build A MakerSpace. The “Make Movement” is borne out of the Do It Yourself philosophy, which empowers individuals to learn fabrication skills, both technical and digital. […]

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Science in Museums: Paths to Exhibit Development

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on February 27, 2013 in Science in Museums |

by columnist Cira Louise Brown When I tell people that I’m going to school for Museum Studies, I often encounter confusion about what the profession actually entails (“you’re going to be a curator? … what is a curator?”). Once I explain that I want to develop the exhibits for science museums, I’m usually met with […]

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Science in Museums: Forget Tyrannosaurus- there’s a new “rex” at London’s Science Museum

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on February 13, 2013 in Science in Museums |

by columnist Catherine Sigmond Maybe I have a weekend of blizzard-induced daydreams of traveling far and wide (anything to get out of the house, really) to thank, but recently I have been craving a more global perspective when contemplating the museum world. According to Museum Planner, seven out of the ten most visited science centers […]

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Science in Museums: Night at the Museum, The Secret Life of Collections

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on February 6, 2013 in Science in Museums |

  by columnist Kacie Rice A shark peeks timidly around the corner in an abandoned basement. You enter a room where wolves stand snarling, lined up like books on metal shelves. The elevator doors open to reveal a lone grizzly bear, reaching out to catch a fish that isn’t there. These may sound like visions […]

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Science in Museums: Cambridge Startup ByteLight Brings LED-based Navigation to the Museum of Science

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on January 23, 2013 in Science in Museums |

by columnist Catherine Sigmond The next big tech innovation for museums could be as simple as changing a light bulb. Or a few thousand of them. But how, you might ask? Enter ByteLight. The Cambridge-based startup has developed an indoor positioning system that uses LED (light-emitting diodes) lighting to help visitors navigate and explore indoor […]

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Science in Museums: “Storytelling and Science”

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on January 16, 2013 in Science in Museums |

by columnist Kacie Rice “This is boring, why do I need to know about it?” “When am I going to use this information in my real life?” “I don’t like science, it’s too hard.” Sound familiar? As you may imagine, science educators face comments and questions like these every day in classrooms and museums. A […]

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Science in Museums – An Introduction!

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on January 9, 2013 in Science in Museums |

Welcome to Science in Museums! In the fast-paced world of scientific discovery, we’re here to bring you the latest on anything and everything related to science, museums, and the complex issues museums face in presenting science to the public in a new weekly column. Check back each Wednesday for posts on all things science and […]

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