OPENING MINDS TO SCIENCE by wulinqing

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									OPENING MINDS TO SCIENCE
   The Saint Louis Science Center’s Report to the Community




                                                2008-2009
OPENING MINDS TO SCIENCE
 The Saint Louis Science Center’s Report to the Community
                        2008-2009




                      Editor: Jennifer Heim
                 Publication Design: Jason Cook
               ACKNOWLEDGMENTS                                                                                     From the Senior Vice President and
                                                                                                                   Associate Director of the Museum,
                                                                                                                   Carol Valenta
The Saint Louis Science Center would like to acknowledge the contributions
of the following individuals and groups in the creation and review of this report:                                 Dear Partners in Science Education,

Saint Louis Science Center’s Division of Education, Exhibits & Programs*                                           I am pleased to present the Science Center’s third annual report on the experiences
Center for Science                                                                                                 of participants in our programs, Opening Minds to Science: The Saint Louis Science
                                                                                                                   Center’s Report to the Community, 2008-2009.
Collections
                                                                                                                                                                                                           Carol Valenta
Community Science                                                                                                  In this issue, we debut our new program evaluation system, the System for Assessing     Senior Vice President
                                                                                                                                                                                                           and Associate Director
Design & Creative Services                                                                                         Mission Impact, which we have dubbed “SAMI.” We are excited about the potential         of the Museum
Exhibit Electronics & Production                                                                                   for SAMI to give us a more accurate picture of the impact our programs are having
                                                                                                                   on participants, and to help us make decisions that will improve our audiences'
Public Programs
                                                                                                                   experience. Our third report also includes the premiere of a new Science Center
Research & Evaluation                                                                                              program department, the Center for Science. With more programs aimed
School Programs                                                                                                    specifically at adults, this department helps further our long-term goal of being the
                                                                                                                   place to which the community looks to learn about cutting-edge science topics that
Science & Galleries
                                                                                                                   affect all our lives.
Special Exhibits
                                                                                                                   To analyze the experiences of participants in our programs, we use both quantitative
Challenger Learning Center~St. Louis                                                                               and qualitative methods. In addition to numerical measures, you will hear the voices
                                                                                                                   of our audiences; their words speak compellingly to the ways in which Science
Consultants                                                                                                        Center programs shape their experiences with science.
Program Evaluation and Research Group at Lesley University
                                                                                                                   We hope this report will be useful to your work and that you will give us feedback
Research & Evaluation, Contributing Writers                                                                        as to how it can be even more pertinent. Please join us in a conversation about how
                                                                                                                   we can work together to open minds to science.
Jennifer Heim
Elisa Israel                                                                                                       Sincerely,
Gretchen Haupt
Katy Lofton
                                                                                                                   Carol J. Valenta
*For a complete list of Education, Exhibits & Programs Staff, see the Appendix.
                                                                                                                   Senior Vice President and Associate Director of the Museum
                                                                                                                   Saint Louis Science Center



Cover photos (clockwise from top left):
Summer Science Blast; Youth Exploring Science (YES) New Teen Learning Lab; Discovery Room (Photo: Jim Kersting);
Science of National Parks-Denali, Alaska; YES Summer Offsite Program. Unless otherwise noted, all photos by the
Saint Louis Science Center.
                                     CONTENTS                                                          OPEN EVERY MIND TO SCIENCE
                                                                                                       The Saint Louis Science Center’s Educational Philosophy and Practice

                                                                                                       The Saint Louis Science Center is a free-choice, informal learning environment where
Open Every Mind to Science                                                                        1
                                                                                                       people of all ages engage with science – directly and on their own terms. We seek
    The Saint Louis Science Center’s educational philosophy and practice.
                                                                                                       to engage the broadest audience possible through programs designed for: families,
                                                                                                       school groups, educators, teens, community organizations, adults and the general
Methodology                                                                                       3    public visiting the Science Center.
    How the Science Center collects and analyzes data describing our programs.                         Our mission is to ignite and sustain lifelong science and technology learning.

                                                                                                       Opening Minds to Science
Overview of Programs at the Science Center by Department                                          6
     Analysis of programs as a whole, as well as by individual department.
                                                                                                       Our exhibitions and programs take into account the complete visitor environment
                                                                                                       – physical, social and personal. We believe that learning is best fostered through
   Center for Science                                                                             9    programs and exhibitions that encourage visitors to:
                                                                                                           • Make personal connections to their knowledge and experiences.
   Challenger Learning Center~St. Louis                                                           10
                                                                                                           • Embrace a spirit of play and discovery.
   Community Science Department                                                                   11       • Act on their own curiosity.
   Public Programs Department                                                                     12       • Form and ask questions.
   School Programs Department                                                                     13       • Engage in hands-on exploration and experimentation.
                                                                                                           • Cultivate science process skills.
   Science & Galleries Department                                                                 14
                                                                                                           • Pursue science throughout their lives.

Program Spotlight                                                                                 15   Positive experiences with Science Center exhibitions and programs will encourage
     More in-depth analysis of the experience of participants in three Science Center programs.
                                                                                                       repeat visits and prompt visitors to interact with science beyond their visit.
                                                                                                       Ultimately, we hope to motivate our visitors to think differently about science and
   Science Café                                                                                   15   to empower them to make informed choices in their everyday lives.

   Science Firsthand~Partners in Discovery                                                        18   Learning in an Informal Environment
   SciFest International Science Festival                                                              Free-choice learning “tends to be non-linear and personally motivated.” (Falk and
                                                                                                  20
                                                                                                       Dierking, 2000, p.13) In designing our programs and exhibitions, we strive to provide
                                                                                                       multiple levels of interaction and engagement for diverse audiences. This translates
Looking to the Future                                                                             23   into experiences that are accessible, multi-sensory and meaningful to people with
                                                                                                       a variety of abilities, cultural backgrounds, experiences with science, learning
                                                                                                       styles and interests. We also seek to support social learning, experimentation
Appendix                                                                                          24   and investigation. We believe visitors should have fun, engaging, relevant and
                                                                                                       successful experiences with science, whatever their level of knowledge. Science
                                                                                                       Center staff play a key role in fostering a successful experience.
Sources                                                                                           26




                                                                                                                                                                                               Saint Louis Science Center   1
                               How We Develop Exhibitions and Programs                                                METHODOLOGY
                               In order to develop exemplary exhibitions and programs, we ground our processes
                               in best practices in the field, current science content, current learning theory and   Since 1997, the Saint Louis Science Center has collected information about
                               audience research. Clearly articulated educational goals and objectives drive the      the experience of participants in our programs. The Science Center defines
                               exhibition and program development process. As appropriate, we correlate our           programs as, “staff-led interactions scheduled for a specific audience with
                               offerings to national and state curriculum standards. Through front-end, formative     written educational goals and objectives.” From 1997 through 2008, the Science
                               and summative evaluation, we include our audiences and other stakeholders in           Center used its Better Education and Revenue Through Tracking (BERTT)
                               the program and exhibition development and revision process.                           system to assess the experiences of program participants. Beginning in 2008,
                                                                                                                      the Research & Evaluation Department engaged in a systematic evaluation of
                               In developing these experiences, we seek to communicate clearly how we envision        BERTT, with the goal of developing a new system that would more accurately
                               visitors engaging with them, employing devices such as advance organizers and          assess the impact of Science Center programs on participants.
                               tools to personalize the experience. We take risks with cutting-edge content,
                               ways to deliver that content and ways of including new audiences. The Science          In January 2009, after extensive development and testing, the Science Center
                               Center supports these processes with adequate time, funding and staff.                 debuted the System for Assessing Mission Impact (SAMI). SAMI collects
                                                                                                                      and summarizes key performance indicators for Science Center educational
                               Exhibitions at the Saint Louis Science Center capitalize on the power of               programs. While some of these indicators are similar to those reported
                               three-dimensional environments to engage our community with science. Our               through BERTT, the approach to assessing and calculating the Impact Score
                               exhibitions must engage a broad spectrum of visitors. We recognize that every          has been refined in order to be more accurate. While previous reports have
                               exhibit component cannot meet all the needs of all our audiences, but we seek          presented Impact data as calculated through BERTT, SAMI Impact data and
                               to create a balance of experiences within the exhibition as a whole.                   BERTT Impact data are not comparable. Therefore, in regard to program
                                                                                                                      ratings and Impact Scores, this report will present only SAMI data. While this
                                   We commit to developing exhibitions that:                                          report covers September 2008 to August 2009, ratings and Impact Scores
                                       • Provide multiple conceptual entry points and multiple outcomes.              reflect the portion of the program year for which SAMI data was collected,
                                       • Are current and can be adapted to stay current.                              January to August 2009.

                                       • Facilitate conversations and encourage multiple groups to engage             SAMI tracks the following elements related to program performance:
                                         with each other.
                                                                                                                          • Average length of a program
                               Programs at the Saint Louis Science Center engage our community with science               • Number of times offered
                               via skilled, well-trained program developers and presenters. Often developed
                                                                                                                          • Number of interactions (an individual’s participation in a program)
                               based on the needs of specific audiences, programs both expand on conversations
                               begun in our galleries and incorporate topics and experiences beyond the scope             • Total hours of interaction
                               of our galleries. Consequently, programs increase our audiences’ engagement with           • Average Knowledge, Enjoyment, Interest and Attitude ratings by
                               science and broaden the Science Center’s impact. Programs also increase the size             participants (each on a 4-point scale with 4 as the highest rating)
                               and diversity of our audience and generate revenue crucial to our ongoing work.            • Participants’ descriptions of what they got out of the program
                                  We commit to developing programs that are:                                              • Participants’ suggestions for improvement
                                       • Learner-centered.                                                                • Measure of Impact on participants (16-point scale with 16 as the
                                                                                                                            highest score)
                                       • Delivered by knowledgeable and well-trained presenters.
                                       • Facilitated in a manner that actively matches content and delivery
                                        to the needs of the current audience.

                               Thoughtful planning supports our exhibition and program development process.
                               A focused and fiscally sound plan, based on this learning philosophy, addresses
                               each of our audiences and content areas. A review process allows us to monitor
                               our impact and track our success toward opening minds to science.
2 Saint Louis Science Center                                                                                                                                                                           Saint Louis Science Center   3
                               Defining and Measuring Impact                                                        The responses to these open-ended questions are coded for analysis.
                               On an individual level, impact results from a Science Center offering that enables   A version of the response cards with child-friendly language is distributed to
                               a participant to make personal connections between the content and experience        participants under the age of 14.
                               of the offering and their own knowledge and experiences.
                                                                                                                    Program staff enter the responses into a shared database. This database
                               In the short-term, this is illustrated by a change in knowledge, understanding,      allows the Research & Evaluation Department to calculate average program
                               attitude, interest or enjoyment. Over the long term (months to years), this is       length, number of interactions and participant ratings for specific programs,
                               illustrated by an incorporation of these changes into participants’ lives. The       departments and Science Center program offerings as a whole. This information
                               larger effects of these long-term individual impacts are felt within the Science     is analyzed and presented in monthly, quarterly and end-of-year reports, as well
                               Center and throughout the broader communities of which the Science Center            as in this annual report to our community stakeholders.
                               is a part.
                                                                                                                    In addition to the ongoing program measures collected and reported on a monthly,
                               The Impact Score provides a numerical way to represent the impact that               quarterly and annual basis, the Science Center also conducts more in-depth
                               participation in a program has on an individual. Program participants rate four      evaluation of selected programs. Periodically, the Science Center contracts with
                               questions, which correspond to the four main components of the Science Center’s      external evaluators to conduct front-end, formative and summative evaluations
                               definition of impact: knowledge/understanding, attitude, interest, enjoyment. The    on specific programs. This report contains findings from both internal evaluations
                               Knowledge, Enjoyment, Interest and Attitude ratings are summed to produce the        conducted by the Science Center’s Research & Evaluation Department as well
                               Impact Score. The lowest possible Impact Score is four and the highest is 16.        as evaluation studies conducted by external evaluators. Unless otherwise noted,
                                                                                                                    data and findings originate from the Research & Evaluation Department.
                               Data Collection Process
                               Program staff distribute response cards to a sampling of program participants.
                               Respondents are invited to answer four questions, based on the Impact definition,
                               which are rated on a scale from 1 (“No, not at all”) to 4 (“Yes, definitely”):
                                   • Knowledge Rating: Measures a change in knowledge or understanding.
                                     “Did you, or others in your group, learn content and/or skills from
                                     this program?”
                                   • Enjoyment Rating: Measures the degree to which participants enjoyed the
                                     program. “Did you enjoy this program?”
                                   • Interest Rating: Measures the influence of this experience on future
                                     interest in science or technology. “Did this program make you want to try
                                     another experience with science or technology?”
                                   • Attitude Rating: Measures the reinforcement or increase of positive
                                     attitudes toward science or technology. “Did this program reinforce or
                                     increase any positive attitudes you have towards science or technology?”

                               Participants are also asked to respond to the following open-ended questions:
                                   • “Please describe what you got out of this program.”
                                   • “How could we improve this program?”




4 Saint Louis Science Center                                                                                                                                                                             Saint Louis Science Center   5
                               OVERVIEW OF SAINT LOUIS SCIENCE CENTER PROGRAMS
                               September 2008 to August 2009                                                      Characteristics of Program Respondents (January to August 2009)

                               Broad View of Program Interaction
                               From September 2008 to August 2009, the Saint Louis Science Center offered
                               approximately 100 distinct programs to a wide range of audiences including:                                   ADULTS & CHILDREN                                      MEMBERSHIP STATUS
                               children, families, teachers, school groups and adults. These programs ranged                                                                                       Members     Members
                                                                                                                                                          Adult           Adult                                  25%
                               from one-time events such as NeuroDay and SciFest to recurring programs                                                     33%              33%                       25% Members
                                                                                                                                                                    Adult
                               such as Scout Workshops and Science Theatre. Each time a visitor participated                                               Children 33%                     Non-        Non- 25%
                                                                                                                                           Children                                                      Members
                                                                                                                                                                                                       Members Members
                               in a program offering, this was recorded as an “interaction” for that particular                                              67%Adult Adult                Members Non- 25%
                                                                                                                                             67%      Children 33%      33%                 75% Members 75%       25%
                               program. “Interactions” varied in length from a five-minute Segway 5-4-5                                                 67%
                               offering to multi-day travel programs. During the timeframe covered by this                                       Children Children                                 75% Non-
                                                                                                                                                                                                 Non-
                                                                                                                                                    67%                                        Members Members
                               report, 310,824 program interactions took place for a total of 308,281 hours of                                                67%                                   75%        75%
                               engagement. On average, visitors spent approximately one hour participating
                               in a program offering.

                               During many of the programs, participants were given the opportunity to fill out
                               a comment card to describe their experience. From September to December,                                                                           RESIDENCY
                               2008, these cards were collected and reported through the Better Education                                           Another
                                                                                                                                     Another
                               and Revenue Through Tracking (BERTT) system. Beginning January 1, 2009,                               State          State                                            St. Louis         St. Louis
                                                                                                                                              Another                                                                    City
                               the BERTT system was replaced by the System for Assessing Mission Impact                                       State
                                                                                                                                                                                                       City
                               (SAMI). The questions on the comment cards were changed to more accurately                                        7%
                                                                                                                                           Another Another
                                                                                                                                                                    7%                                 14%Louis City 14%
                                                                                                                                                                                                         St.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 St. Louis
                                                                                                                                                                                        St. Louis
                                                                                                                                           State State 7%                                                County 14%
                               assess how each program impacted participants. The method of calculating                                                                      Missouri   County               St. Louis St. Louis
                                                                                                                                                                                                           38%
                                                                                                                                             Illinois             Missouri
                                                                                                                                                                Illinois                  38% St. Louis City
                                                                                                                                                                                                    CountyOther
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Other
                                                                                                                                                                                                                           City
                               the Impact Score was also improved. Due to these changes, ratings collected                                                                      76%                                           Local
                                                                                                                                               17% 7% 17% Illinois
                                                                                                                                                                    76% Missouri
                                                                                                                                                                     7%                                        14%
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Local
                                                                                                                                                                                                     38%St. Louis Other31%
                                                                                                                                                                                               St. Louis
                                                                                                                                                                                                                           14%
                               under the BERTT system are not comparable to SAMI ratings. For this report,                                                                 76%                  County County31%       Local
                                                                                                                                                            17%
                               only ratings collected under the SAMI system, from January to August 2009,                                            Illinois IllinoisMissouri Missouri           38%
                                                                                                                                                                                                Tourist 38%Tourist Other
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Other31%
                               are reported and described.                                                                                             17%         17%   76%     76%                                Local Local
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   17%
                                                                                                                                                                                                  17% Tourist 31%
                                                                                                                                                                                                                               31%
                                                                                                                                                                                                            17%
                               From January to August, 2009, a total of 6771 comment cards were collected                                               By State                                       Tourist TouristTourist
                                                                                                                                                                                                           Local* vs.
                                                                                                                                                                                                         17%       17%
                               from visitors for an overall return rate of 3%. Respondents gave the following
                               average ratings:                                                                                                                        VISITATION FREQUENCY
                                                                                                                                                          First-time       First-time    First time        First time
                                   • Impact Score: 13.87 (out of 16)          • Interest: 3.40 (out of 4)                                                                    visitor
                                                                                                                                                            visitor First-time                             in 12
                                                                                                                                                                                         in 12 months time months
                                                                                                                                                                                                     First
                                   • Knowledge: 3.44 (out of 4)               • Attitude: 3.39 (out of 4)                                                              visitor                       in 12 months
                                   • Enjoyment: 3.65 (out of 4)                                                                                                  First-time
                                                                                                                                                                        31% First-time 31% First time
                                                                                                                                                                                     18%              18% First time
                                                                                                                                                                   visitor visitor               in 12 months months
                                                                                                                                                                                                            in 12
                                                                                                                                                                                  31%         18%
                                                                                                                                                                              31%       18%
                                                                                                                                                                                      31%         18%
                                                                                                                                                                    17%           17%
                                                                                                                                                                                   23%             23%
                                                                                                                                                                              17%        12% 23%
                                                                                                                                                        5 or more
                                                                                                                                                                            12%
                                                                                                                                                                      5 or more            1 to 2          1 to 2
                                                                                                                                                                           a year 17% times a year times a year
                                                                                                                                                                    times 17%
                                                                                                                                                      times a year or more          12%  23%        23% 2
                                                                                                                                                                 5                                    1 to
                                                                                                                                                                times a year                        times a year
                                                                                                                                                                            to 4              4
                                                                                                                                                                                     12% 3 to 12% 1 to 2 1 to 2
                                                                                                                                                               5 or more3or moretimes a year
                                                                                                                                                                         5a year
                                                                                                                                                             times times
                                                                                                                                                                    a year a year3 to 4
                                                                                                                                                                       times                     times a year a year
                                                                                                                                                                                                          times
                                                                                                                                                                              times a year
                                                                                                                                                                                 3 to 4 3 to 4
                                                                                                                                                                          times a year a year
                                                                                                                                                                                    times
                                                                                                                  *Residing within St. Louis City, St. Louis County and 14 surrounding counties in Missouri and Illinois.
6 Saint Louis Science Center                                                                                                                                                                                                          Saint Louis Science Center   7
                                          Analysis of Ratings by Age, Gender, Residence,                                         PROGRAM OVERVIEW BY DEPARTMENT
                                          Membership and Visitation Frequency                                                                                                                                                 “Excavating in Olympic
                                          Overall, Science Center programs seemed to have the greatest impact on adults,         At the Science Center, programs are divided into six major departments: Center               National Park for lithic
                                          females, tourists and frequent visitors. Unless otherwise noted, all comparisons       for Science, Challenger Learning Center~St. Louis, Community Science, Public                 scatters and learning about
                                          presented here are statistically significant at p<0.05.*                               Programs, School Programs and Science & Galleries. Following is an analysis                  the geology of Mt. Rainier
                                                                                                                                 of program offerings based on these categories. Unless otherwise noted, all                  was very educational and
                                          As illustrated in the table below, adults gave significantly higher ratings for all    comparisons presented here are statistically significant at p<0.05.                          will tremendously effect
                                          four questions compared to children. Thus, adults also had a significantly higher                                                                                                   my teaching.”
                                          Impact Score compared to children (14.61, 13.52). Females gave significantly           Center for Science                                                                           –Teacher participant,
                                          higher ratings for all four questions compared to males and the Impact Score                                                                                                        Olympic & Mt. Rainier
                                                                                                                                 The Center for Science showcases the Science Center as a scientific information
    *The p-value is a measure of          among females was also significantly higher compared to males (14.04, 13.72).                                                                                                       National Parks
                                                                                                                                 resource for the community. Programs in this department feature cutting
    significance. In general, p-values
    of 0.05 or less are considered        Tourist respondents (program participants from outside the St. Louis metropolitan      edge science topics and opportunities to interact with scientists. Many of the
    statistically significant.            area) gave significantly higher ratings for all four questions, when compared to       programs are designed for adults, while some include offerings for middle and                “This is an exciting way to
                                          local respondents. The Impact Score for tourists was 14.22, compared to 13.85          high school students. SciFest, an annual multi-day, international science festival,          bring information to the
                                          for locals. Within the St. Louis metropolitan area, residents of Illinois had higher   engages participants with current science through fun, accessible presentations              public and to bring the
                                          Impact Scores, on average, than residents of St. Louis City, St. Louis County, and     by leaders in the field. Travel programs, such as Science Around Town, Science of            public to science.”
                                          other local counties in Missouri. The average Impact Score for local residents         National Parks and Paleotrek, combine breathtaking locations with opportunities              –Adult participant, SciFest
                                          from Illinois was 14.13 compared to 13.76 for St. Louis County residents and 13.70     for real-life field work. Offering both local and international explorations, these
                                          for St. Louis City residents. Local residents in other Missouri counties had an        trips explore archaeology, paleontology, ecology and resource management.
                                          average Impact Score of 13.96.
                                                                                                                                 Offerings: 5 distinct programs
                                          There were no significant differences among respondents based on Membership.           Reported interactions: 21,702
                                          There were significant differences based on visitation frequency. Those                Total hours of engagement with programs: 12,845
                                          respondents who reported being frequent visitors (three or more visits per year)
                                                                                                                                 Average length of engagement with programs: 1/2 hour
                                          gave significantly higher ratings on the Attitude question than regular (one to two
                                          visits per year) or infrequent (fewer than one visit per year) visitors. Frequent      Range of program engagement times: 15 minutes to 7 days
                                          visitors also had a significantly higher Impact Score than regular or infrequent       Overall ratings (84 cards collected from Jan.-Aug. 09;
                                          visitors (13.97, 13.74, 13.85).                                                        79% return rate):
                                                                                                                                   • Impact Score: 15.51 (out of 16)
                                                     IMPACT SCORE KNOWLEDGE ENJOYMENT INTEREST                    ATTITUDE         • Knowledge: 3.88 (out of 4)
                               Children                 13.52             3.35            3.59           3.29         3.28         • Enjoyment: 3.96 (out of 4)                                    A teacher from the Ferguson-Florissant School District views
                                                                                                                                                                                                   Exit Glacier with Saint Louis University geologist Dr. John
                               Adults                    14.61            3.64            3.76           3.61         3.61         • Interest: 3.82 (out of 4)                                     Encarnación during the travel program, Science of National
                                                                                                                                   • Attitude: 3.85 (out of 4)                                     Parks-Denali, Alaska. (Photo: Saint Louis Science Center)
                               Females                  14.04             3.49            3.69           3.44         3.42
                               Males                     13.72            3.40            3.62           3.36        3.34
                                                                                                                                 Of all respondents, 89% were adults and 25% reported visiting the Science
                               Tourists                 14.22             3.53            3.73           3.50        3.46        Center five or more times annually. Respondents participating in these programs
                               Locals                   13.85             3.43            3.66           3.39        3.37        gave consistently high ratings regardless of age, gender, residence, membership
                               Members                  13.90             3.43            3.65           3.42        3.40        status or visitation frequency. Generally, respondents’ comments indicated
                               Non-Members              13.90             3.44            3.66           3.41        3.39        a very high level of enjoyment and learning taking place through Center for
                               Frequent Visitors        13.97             3.45            3.67           3.43        3.43        Science programs.
                               Regular Visitors         13.74             3.41            3.63           3.36        3.35
                               Infrequent Visitors      13.85             3.44            3.65           3.39        3.36



8 Saint Louis Science Center                                                                                                                                                                                                            Saint Louis Science Center   9
                                          Challenger Learning Center-St. Louis                                                  Community Science Department
                                          Located in Ferguson, Missouri, the Challenger Learning Center provides a variety      The Community Science Department cultivates relationships with community-
                                          of space education programs for schools, scouts, community groups, corporations       based organizations serving families throughout the St. Louis area. Programs                 “I learned how to
                                          and the general public. The core programming at the Center involves two space         developed with these partners promote wellness, diversity and education                      communicate with different
                                          simulation environments: a space station and a Mission Control room. The Center       while integrating science, technology, engineering and math concepts/curricula.              people in positive ways.”
                                          is part of the Challenger Center for Space Science Education, an international,       Partner organizations also contribute to the Science Center through participation
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             – YES participant, Summer
                                          not-for-profit organization founded by the families of the astronauts lost in the     in events such as the Minority Scientist Showcase and through recruiting teens
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Offsite Program
                                          Challenger space shuttle mission in 1986. In St. Louis, the Center is supported by    from their client base for the Youth Exploring Science (YES) program.
                                          a regional partnership of the Saint Louis Science Center, the Ferguson-Florissant
                                          School District, and the Cooperating School Districts. Some of the programs           YES serves youth facing multiple risk factors and works with teens throughout the
                                          offered in 2008-2009 included: Micronauts in Orbit, Rendezvous with a Comet™          course of their high school career. YES provides a work-based, inquiry-learning
                                          and Astronaut Training Camp.                                                          environment focusing on science, technology, engineering and mathematics. As                 “How to use items around
                                                                                                                                part of the program, YES teens also take on teaching responsibilities by facilitating        the house to enable
                                          Offerings: 13 distinct programs                                                       hands-on science and math activities at community partner organizations. The                 creative learning.”
                                                                                                                                YES program allows participants to gain professional, academic and real-world                – Adult participant,
                                          Reported interactions: 12,603
                                                                                                                                skills that assist in building self-confidence and achieving personal success.               Summertime Science
 Participants in Astronaut Training       Total hours of engagement with programs: 29,095                                       Specific YES programs include: Environmental Health Advocates, Science After
 Camp test a rocket they have designed
 and built. (Photo: Challenger Learning   Average length of engagement with programs: 21/3 hours                                School and SciJourn: Science Literacy through Science Journalism.
 Center-St. Louis)                        Range of program engagement times: 30 minutes to 5 days
                                          Overall ratings (352 cards collected from Jan.-Aug. 09; 5% return rate):              Offerings: 15 distinct programs
                                              • Impact Score: 13.47 (out of 16)                                                 Reported interactions: 2,194
    “I learned what astronauts                • Knowledge: 3.47 (out of 4)                                                      Total hours of engagement with programs: 4,894
    really do in space. They                  • Enjoyment: 3.61 (out of 4)                                                      Average length of engagement with programs: 21/4 hours
    don’t just float around!”                                                                                                   Range of program engagement times: 1 to 4 hours
                                              • Interest: 3.18 (out of 4)
    - Child participant,                                                                                                        Overall ratings (1182 cards collected from Jan.-Aug. 09;
                                              • Attitude: 3.20 (out of 4)
    Student Mission
                                                                                                                                65% return rate):
                                          Overall, 85% of respondents were children and 80% were first-time visitors to             • Impact Score: 13.44 (out of 16)
                                          the Challenger Learning Center. Approximately 44% of respondents resided in               • Knowledge: 3.36 (out of 4)
    “I learned about simulated
                                          St. Louis County. Adults gave significantly higher ratings for Knowledge, Interest,
    missions and how important                                                                                                      • Enjoyment: 3.48 (out of 4)
                                          Enjoyment and Attitude compared to children; thus the Impact Score for adults                                                                              A YES teen and a Community Science and Teaching Fellow
    it is for everyone to work            was also significantly higher. The average Impact Score among adults was 14.43            • Interest: 3.29 (out of 4)                                      investigate the electrical conductivity of a potato.
    together. It takes a lot of           compared to 13.29 for children. Generally, comments from participants indicated           • Attitude: 3.31 (out of 4)                                      (Photo: Saint Louis Science Center)
    teamwork to go to space.”             a high level of learning and satisfaction with the programs.
    – Child participant,                                                                                                        In total, 70% of respondents were children and 55% resided within St. Louis
    Astronaut’sTraining Camp                                                                                                    City. Respondents generally fell into two categories of visitation: 40% were                 “I learned basic
                                                                                                                                infrequent visitors (less than one visit annually) and 40% were frequent visitors            characteristics of a
                                                                                                                                (three or more annual visits). Adults, on average, gave significantly higher ratings         leader and how a leader
    “Great girl encouragement                                                                                                   than children for all rating questions and had a higher Impact Score. The average            is supposed to handle
    for the sciences!”                                                                                                          Impact Score among adults was 13.94 compared to 13.22 among children. Science                themselves.”
    – Adult participant,
                                                                                                                                Center Members also had a significantly higher Impact Score of 13.88, compared               – YES participant,
                                                                                                                                to 13.15 among Non-Members.                                                                  Learning Places
    Scout Mission




10 Saint Louis Science Center                                                                                                                                                                                                         Saint Louis Science Center   11
                                               Public Programs Department                                                              School Programs Department
                                               The Public Programs Department offers programs both at the Science Center               The School Programs Department offers hands-on, inquiry-based science
    “It was great for improving                                                                                                                                                                                                         “We learned how
                                               and off-site, through ScienceOFFCenter, for a variety of audiences including:           workshops both on-site to visiting school groups as well as off-site within school
    balance in the elderly.                                                                                                                                                                                                             sound waves move
                                               adults, families, scouts, children and home-school groups. School-age children          classrooms. The department also offers professional development workshops
    Made me feel younger.”                     can participate in hands-on, engaging programs such as scout badge workshops,           for teachers and opportunities for parents to develop skills in interacting with                 through vibrations.”
    – Adult participant, Segway                overnight camp-in experiences or week-long day camps. Science Café programs             their children to facilitate science and mathematics learning in the home. Staff                 – Child participant,
                                               take place in the inviting environment of local restaurants and allow adults to         work directly with educators to identify target areas and content focus and                      Science of Sound
                                               engage in conversations about contemporary topics with local scientists. The            design customized programs that encourage both students and educators to
                                               Amazing Challenge is an action-packed, day-long race around the city that               take ownership of the experience. All programs conform to Missouri and Illinois
    “Ocean life is endangered                  tests participants’ teamwork and creativity as they use public transportation to        state standards. Programs delivered in the 2008-2009 year included: MySci™,
    and Science is a little bit                visit points of interest throughout St. Louis. Other programs include: Segway           Family Math & Science, Inside Me, Science of Sound and Basic Robotics.
    more fun than I thought.”                  Tours and Challenges, HomeSchool Days and specialized lock-ins like Night at
    – Child participant, Camp-In               the Museum, which focus on a particular theme. The department also offers               Offerings: 21 distinct programs
                                               customized programming such as team building, programs for older adults and             Reported interactions: 12,875
                                               specialized scout badge workshops.                                                      Total hours of engagement with programs: 20,146
                                                                                                                                       Average length of engagement with programs: 11/2 hours
                                               Offerings: 17 distinct programs
    “Made me think about ethical                                                                                                       Range of program engagement times: 45 minutes to 2 hours
                                               Reported interactions: 13,119
    concerns that I really hadn’t                                                                                                      Overall ratings (743 cards from Jan.-Aug. 09; 11% return rate):
                                               Total hours of engagement with programs: 69,579
    considered before.”                                                                                                                    • Impact Score: 13.98 (out of 16)
    – Adult participant, Science               Average length of engagement with programs: 51/3 hours
                                                                                                                                           • Knowledge: 3.43 (out of 4)
    Café, "Operating on Well                   Range of program engagement times: 30 minutes to 30 hours
                                                                                                                                           • Enjoyment: 3.69 (out of 4)
    Folks – Genetic Diagnosis"                 Overall ratings (2064 cards from Jan.-Aug. 09; 17% return rate):
                                                                                                                                           • Interest: 3.44 (out of 4)                                     YES teens engage students in the Adams Elementary School
                                                   • Impact Score: 14.12 (out of 16)                                                                                                                       Summer Program with an eco system activity.
                                                                                                                                           • Attitude: 3.40 (out of 4)
                                                   • Knowledge: 3.54 (out of 4)                                                                                                                            (Photo: Saint Louis Science Center)
                                                   • Enjoyment: 3.72 (out of 4)                                                        Approximately 80% of respondents were children and almost one-third reported
                                                   • Interest: 3.44 (out of 4)                                                         this as their first Science Center experience. Of all respondents, 85% were Non-
                                                   • Attitude: 3.41 (out of 4)                                                         Members. Children gave significantly higher Enjoyment ratings compared to
                                                                                                                                       adults. Infrequent visitors also gave significantly higher ratings for Enjoyment              “I enjoyed interacting
                                                                         Overall, 54% of respondents were children, 23% were           compared to either regular visitors or frequent visitors, though the difference               with my child and friends
                                                                         Science Center members, and 82% were local residents.         in average Impact Scores among these groups was not significant. Within the                   and seeing how quickly
                                                                         Adults gave significantly higher ratings for all questions    St. Louis metropolitan area, residents of Illinois had the highest average Impact             she comprehends when
                                                                         and thus had a significantly higher Impact Score compared     Score (14.93) followed by: residents of Missouri counties other than St. Louis City           it comes to these math
                                                                         to children. The average Impact Score for adults was 14.86    and County (14.20), residents of St. Louis City (13.81) and residents of St. Louis            activities.”
                                                                         compared to 13.48 among children. Tourists also rated their   County (13.54). In general, comments from participants indicated a high level of              – Adult participant, Family
                                                                         overall experience significantly higher compared to local     engagement and learning.                                                                      Math in Your School
                                                                         residents. The average Impact Score among tourists was
                                                                         14.72 compared to 14.04 among local residents. Comments
                                                                         from respondents indicated strong overall enjoyment of
                                                                         the programs as well as increased knowledge.

       “Segway Adventure Camp” participants celebrate the
       conclusion of an eight mile ride from the National Great Rivers
       Museum to the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge.
       (Photo: Saint Louis Science Center)


12 Saint Louis Science Center                                                                                                                                                                                                              Saint Louis Science Center   13
   “Actual heart and how it                  Science & Galleries Department                                                         PROGRAM SPOTLIGHT
   works. Seeing real heart
                                             Programs offered through this department primarily occur within the Science
   and learning gave me a                    Center’s permanent galleries and are facilitated by the gallery staff. These           This section highlights three of the approximately 100 programs offered during
   lot of understanding why                  programs focus on the Science Center’s five main content areas: earth science,         the 2008-09 program year. The selected programs offer participants prolonged
   I need to exercise.”                      emerging technologies, life science, physical science and space science. As            engagement, ranging from multiple days to multiple years, with science and
   – Adult participant,                      appropriate for program content, some programs in this department may                  technology content and experiences. In 2008-2009 we highlight: Science Café,
   Family Med School                         be held at off-site locations. These programs are available for visiting school        Science Firsthand – Partners in Discovery and SciFest.
                                             groups as well as the general public. They range from daily, 10-minute Amazing
   “That just by recycling                   Science Demonstrations, such as “CO2 Where Are You” to annual events such              Program Spotlight: Science Café (Public Programs)
   a milk jug you can                        as NanoDays. This department also offers early elementary programs through             About Science Café
   change the world.”                        the Discovery Room, such as It’s My Body and Science Is FUNdamental, and               The Science Café program presents current scientific
   – Child participant,                      opportunities to engage in real science experiments, such as See Your Own DNA,         issues to the general public in an informal setting. It
   Amazing Science                           in the Life Science Lab Classroom. Other programs within this department include:      provides an opportunity for adults who are interested
   Demonstration                             Scientists at the Center, Stream Table Able and Planetarium Space Shows.               in science topics to discuss with their peers concepts
                                                                                                                                    they may have encountered in the news or other
                                                                  Offerings: 22 distinct programs                                   popular media. The program's audience includes
                                                                  Reported interactions: 248,331                                    those who do not consider themselves science
                                                                  Total hours of engagement with programs: 171,724                  experts, but have an interest in current scientific
                                                                                                                                    issues and their implications. Science Cafés also
                                                                  Average length of engagement with programs: 40 minutes
                                                                                                                                    facilitate dialogue between experts working in the
                                                                  Range of program engagement times: 10 minutes to 3 hours          field and the lay public. Topics have ranged from
                                                                  Overall ratings (2346 cards from Jan.-Aug. 09; 1% return rate):   medical ethics to space travel to climate change.
                                                                  • Impact Score: 13.85 (out of 16)
                                                                                                                                    Each program consists of a presentation by one to
                                                                  • Knowledge: 3.39 (out of 4)
                                                                                                                                    three speakers, followed by a formal question and          Dr. Rainer Bussman, Curator of Economic Botany at the William L.
                                                                  • Enjoyment: 3.64 (out of 4)                                      answer period. Audience members are then invited           Brown Center for Plant Genetic Resources, discusses “Medicinal
                                                                                                                                                                                               Plants” with Science Café participants.
                                                                  • Interest: 3.42 (out of 4)                                       to discuss topics amongst themselves as well as with       (Photo: Saint Louis Science Center)
    A child and an adult play together during a Discovery Room
    Session, sorting shapes and learning beginning math skills.   • Attitude: 3.40 (out of 4)                                       the guest scientists who move from table to table in
    (Photo: Jim Kersting)                                                                                                           order to have one-on-one exchanges with attendees. The program provides an
                                             The majority of respondents were children (74%). Twenty-eight percent of               opportunity for the Science Center to bridge the gap between scientists and
                                             respondents were Members and 74% were local residents. A total of 30% reported         individuals in the community with the goal of increasing the public understanding
                                             being first-time visitors to the Science Center. Similar to Public Programs, adults    of science.
                                             gave significantly higher ratings and thus had a higher Impact Score than children.
   “I enjoyed both the STL                   The average Impact Score among adults was 14.72 compared to 13.54 for children.
                                                                                                                                    Programs Offered
   night Sky Program &                                                                                                              During the 2008-09 program year, nine sessions, all free to the public, were
                                             Though not significantly different, a higher visitation frequency correlated with
   the info about satellite                                                                                                         offered to approximately 400 participants. Presentations began at 7 pm on the
                                             higher Impact Scores. The average Impact Score among frequent visitors was
   viewing. Made me want                                                                                                            third Thursday of the month, and lasted approximately two hours. During the
                                             14.04, compared to 13.84 for regular visitors and 13.77 for infrequent visitors.
   to dust off the family                                                                                                           course of the program year, Science Cafés took place at three different restaurant
   telescope.” – Adult                                                                                                              venues: Llywelyn’s Pub, Monarch Restaurant and Herbie’s Vintage 72.
   participant, Planetarium
   Space Show                                                                                                                       Response from Participants
                                                                                                                                    Beginning in January 2009, feedback forms using the SAMI questions were
                                                                                                                                    collected from participants. Between January 2009 and August 2009, a total
                                                                                                                                    of 144 forms were collected from 350 participants for a return rate of 41%. Of
                                                                                                                                    those who provided their gender, 55% were female and 45% were male. A total

14 Saint Louis Science Center                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Saint Louis Science Center   15
                                       of 29% of respondents were Science Center Members. The vast majority of                       • “A scientific approach to more natural medicines. The ability to think
                                       respondents (97%) were residents of the St. Louis Metropolitan Area, with the                    critically about what I’m buying.” (“Herbal Medicines and Botanical
                                       majority of them residing in St. Louis City or St. Louis County.                                 Dietary Supplements”)

                                       Approximately one-third of respondents indicated participation in more                    Fifteen percent cited a personal connection with the topic that related information
                                       than one Science Café presentation and over one-quarter reported frequent                 to the respondents’ own lives.
                                       experiences (three or more times per year) with the Science Center. A total of
                                                                                                                                     • “Information on how to research the topic further, a fun way to practically
                                       45% of responses were from individuals who indicated Science Café was their
                                       first experience with the Science Center. Neither participation nor Membership                   think about the future, and ideas on where great minds think technology
                                       status seemed to affect ratings significantly.                                                   is headed.” (“Starships, Worldships and Interstellar Nomads”)
                                                                                                                                     • “Basic intro to topic I wasn’t familiar with or very interested in but now I’d
                                       The following table presents the Impact Scores and ratings for each                              like to learn more.” (“Medicinal Plants”)
                                       Science Café:
                                                                                                                                 Participants also cited the format of Science Café as enhancing their
                SESSION TITLE                     IMPACT SCORE KNOWLEDGE ENJOYMENT INTEREST ATTITUDE                             experience.
                “Operating on Well Folks:                                                                                            • “Really good that the guest speaker had a one-on-one at each table.”
                                                        14.65             3.61             3.78          3.65             3.61
                Genetic Diagnosis”                                                                                                      (“Medicinal Plants”)
                “Climate Change:                                                                                                     • “Great opportunity to meet people of similar interests.” (“Medicinal Plants”)
                                                       14.40              3.53             3.80           3.73            3.33
                Ends of the Earth”
                “Starships, Worldships and                                                                                       Conclusions
                                                        13.83             3.28             3.61          3.56             3.39
                Interstellar Nomads”                                                                                             The informal setting of Science Café may help attract individuals who might not
                "Happy Birthday Darwin!"                13.73             3.15             3.62          3.58             3.38   normally seek out Science Center programming. Nearly half of responses were
                “Can Space Exploration Save                                                                                      from individuals who indicated that Science Café was their first experience with
                                                        13.70             3.10             3.60          3.50             3.50
                the Earth?”                                                                                                      the Science Center. However, Science Café was also attractive to individuals who
                "Medicinal Plants"                      12.96             2.71             3.38          3.58             3.29   have an established relationship with the Science Center; close to one-third of
                “Herbal Medicines and
                                                                                                                                 respondents indicated they were already Members. Science Cafés also attracted
                Botanical Dietary Supplements:          12.39             2.96             3.32           3.11        3.00       repeat participants; approximately one-third indicated they had participated in
                Facts and Fiction”                                                                                               at least one other Science Café.
                OVERALL                                 13.57             3.17             3.56           3.51            3.33
                                                                                                                                 The majority of respondents reported that Science Café was a learning
                                                                                                                                 experience for them. Many described a personal connection to the presentation.
                                       Two sessions reported average Knowledge ratings of 3.50 or higher; five had               Respondents also noted enjoying the relaxed format of Science Café as compared
                                       average Enjoyment ratings of 3.50 or higher; six had Interest ratings averaging 3.50      to the more formal environments of a museum or classroom and the opportunity
                                       or higher; and two averaged Attitude ratings of 3.50 or higher. Five sessions had         for one-on-one interaction with the guest scientists.
                                       average Impact Scores of 13.00 or greater. “Operating on Well Folks” and “Climate
                                       Change” had the highest average Impact Scores, 14.65 and 14.40, respectively.             The Impact Scores as well as Knowledge and Enjoyment ratings were significantly
                                                                                                                                 different between the various programs. The different subjects addressed did not
                                       Respondents were asked to describe what they got out of their experience;                 seem to correlate with different ratings, but program logistics such as crowding
                                       69% of all responses referred to gaining or reinforcing information from the              and noise levels may account for some of these differences. The highest rated
                                       presentation. These comments tended to mention specific content.                          programs, “Operating on Well Folks” and “Climate Change,” each had smaller
                                             • “A better understanding of evolution, natural selection. The transition from      audiences, likely enhancing participants’ overall experience. The opportunity to
                                                fish to land animals was very interesting.” (“Happy Birthday Darwin!”)           engage with the topics in a small-group setting seems to be a key component of
                                             • “Interstellar distances are vast & the challenge of human expansion               the success of Science Café.
                                                is daunting but definitely possible if we only choose it.” (“Starships,
                                                Worldships and Interstellar Nomads”)

16 Saint Louis Science Center                                                                                                                                                                                           Saint Louis Science Center   17
                                Program Spotlight: Science Firsthand – Partners in Discovery                          Respondents’ comments suggest that they enjoyed the experience
                                (Community Science)                                                                   and learned new information.
                                Begun in 2005, Science Firsthand – Partners in Discovery is a five-year, Informal        • “How to recycle and remake and reuse paper.”
                                Science Education program funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF)                  – Female youth participant, HHBGC
                                and coordinated through a partnership between First Hand Learning, Inc. (FHL)            • “I learned that tomatoes are fruits.”
                                and the Saint Louis Science Center. Founded in 1998, the Buffalo, New York-                – Female youth participant, Gateway Homeless Shelter
                                based FHL is a non-profit organization that promotes inquiry-based teaching,             • “I learned a rap and about the water cycle.”
                                learning from direct experience and closer links between informal and formal                – Male youth participant, HHBGC
                                educational institutions. Using afterschool settings, Science Firsthand encourages
                                high-risk urban youth to engage in scientific investigation. Youth participants are   Among the responding YES teens, almost 40% resided within
                                paired with mentors; as co-investigative teams, the mentor/mentee pairs carry         St. Louis City and 36% resided within St. Louis County; 60%
                                out scientific observations and investigations on topics of interest to them. In      were female and 40% were male. Their average ratings of the
                                2008-2009, Science Firsthand had programs operating in: St. Louis; Buffalo,           experience were:
                                NY; and Albuquerque, NM. Since 2005, the Program Evaluation and Research                   • Impact Score: 14.21 (out of 16)
                                Group (PERG) at Lesley College has evaluated Science Firsthand; the Year 5                 • Knowledge: 3.73 (out of 4)
                                Evaluation Report, by Sabra Lee and Tracy Wallach, informs this spotlight. The             • Enjoyment: 3.59 (out of 4)                                       A Science Firsthand mentor and three students from
                                goals of Science Firsthand are:
                                                                                                                           • Interest: 3.41 (out of 4)                                        the St. Louis Chinese Language School collect and
                                                                                                                                                                                              compare seeds. (Photo: Saint Louis Science Center)
                                    • To engage urban youth in the study of a scientific topic of compelling               • Attitude: 3.48 (out of 4)
                                    personal interest.
                                                                                                                      YES teens’ comments suggest they not only learned new information from the
                                    • To increase the confidence of urban youth in their own mental capacities
                                    and in their ability to learn.                                                    programs, but also developed their professional presentation skills and learned
                                                                                                                      how to work with younger people.
                                Mentors for the St. Louis program are selected from participants in the Science          • “I got how to be more patient with children! How to interact while teaching
                                Center’s Youth Exploring Science (YES) program, Big Brothers Big Sisters of
                                                                                                                            'YOUNGER' children.”
                                Eastern Missouri and the Northside Community Center's Striving to Achieve                  – Female YES participant, HHBGC
                                Results (STARS) program. Mentors meet with their mentees individually as their
                                                                                                                         • “I got a lot; the kids taught me a lot about science I have never known of.”
                                schedules permit as well as attend monthly group meetings. During the summer
                                                                                                                           – Male YES participant, Gateway Homeless Shelter
                                of 2009, additional components of Science Firsthand were implemented at the
                                Herbert Hoover Boys and Girls Club (HHBGC) and the Gateway Homeless                      • “I got to expand the children’s minds and teach them more.”
                                                                                                                           – Male YES participant, Gateway Homeless Shelter
                                Shelter. In each setting, YES teens and other mentors led groups of children aged
                                seven to 10 in conducting hands-on, inquiry-based activities to explore scientific    By allowing YES teens to act as mentors to younger participants, both groups
                                concepts in areas such as botany, weather or nutrition. Both youth participants in    of youth are encouraged to explore the topic of science to develop personal
                                these programs and YES teens were given the opportunity to rate their experience      interests and abilities, thus achieving the goals of both Science Firsthand and
                                by completing a SAMI feedback form. A total of 85 forms were collected from           the YES program.
                                YES teens and a total of 159 forms were collected from youth participants.
                                                                                                                      Based on the initial success of the summer program, the Saint Louis Science
                                Of the responding youth participants, 21% reported their family had a Science
                                                                                                                      Center and Science Firsthand implemented a second session with the Herbert
                                Center Membership, 54% reported being frequent visitors to the Science Center
                                                                                                                      Hoover Boys and Girls Club (HHBGC) in the fall of 2009. After working with YES
                                (three or more annual visits), and 96% resided within Missouri. Their average
                                                                                                                      teen mentors over the summer, HHBGC staff now serve as Science Firsthand
                                ratings for these programs were:
                                                                                                                      mentors. The Science Center continues to seek opportunities to expand the
                                     • Impact Score: 12.46 (out of 16)                                                Science Firsthand program through outreach to other community partners.
                                     • Knowledge: 3.21 (out of 4)                                                     While the program was scheduled to conclude in February 2010, NSF awarded a
                                     • Enjoyment: 3.21 (out of 4)                                                     one-year extension and Science Firsthand will continue through March 2011.
                                     • Interest: 3.03 (out of 4)
                                     • Attitude: 3.01 (out of 4)
18 Saint Louis Science Center                                                                                                                                                                                            Saint Louis Science Center   19
                                Program Spotlight: SciFest International Science Festival                              again focused on specific sessions they attended as well as mentioned session
                                (Center for Science)                                                                   presenters. Respondents found session presenters to be engaging and, in
                                                                                                                       general, skilled at communicating challenging subject matter to an audience with
                                SciFest debuted at the Science Center in October 2008. An international
                                                                                                                       varied academic backgrounds. Respondents also welcomed the opportunity to
                                science festival featuring world-renowned scientists, SciFest seeks to present
                                                                                                                       engage presenters in conversation.
                                cutting- edge science in a fun and engaging manner. The Science Center was
                                chosen, over many major cities, as the site for the first SciFest in the United            • " 'Guitar in 11 Dimensions' was really quite good. The presenter was an
                                States. It was developed in collaboration with the highly successful Cheltenham               adroit guitar player, had an engaging sense of humor and presented
                                Science Festival in the U.K., and is now an annual event at the Science Center.               string theory in a way that I could nominally understand it or at least
                                Taking place over multiple days, SciFest offers programs during the week for                  feel like I did.”
                                school groups and on the weekend for the general public, with a particular focus           • “The presentation I attended was informative, interesting and allowed for
                                on adults. Through this program, the Science Center continues its commitment                  a lot of question/answer. I liked being able to go from the presentation
                                to increase the visibility of science and technology in the St. Louis community               room to the couches and tables in the Exploradome in order to continue
                                and to raise the profile of St. Louis, at the national level, as a leader in science          conversation, also.”
                                and technology.
                                                                                                                       Those responding also reported they had fun and enjoyed the
                                Characteristics of SciFest 08 Attendees                                                ambiance of the Science Center during this special program;
                                Approximately 20,000 visitors attended some component of SciFest 08. A random          Science Center galleries and exhibits were specifically mentioned
                                sampling of adult visitors was surveyed before entering the Science Center; a          as a highlight. This compelling experience resulted in longer
                                total of 339 interviews were conducted. Data from the interviews represents the        stay times. Respondents reported staying, on average, about 45
                                most accurate profile of Science Center visitors during SciFest 08. Demographic        minutes longer than the two hours that is typical of the average
                                information from pre-SciFest 08 survey respondents shows that the SciFest 08           Science Center visit.
                                audience was comparable to the average Science Center audience with a few
                                                                                                                       Respondents were very enthusiastic about their likelihood
                                noteworthy differences. The pre-SciFest 08 survey sample shows:
                                                                                                                       of attending future SciFest programs. Of general public
                                    • A larger percentage of minority visitors.                                        respondents, 94% said they were “somewhat” or “very” likely
                                    • A higher percentage of visitors with advanced degrees.                           to attend a future SciFest; the same percentage said they
                                    • More adult groups.                                                               were “somewhat” or “very” likely to recommend attending to a
                                    • A smaller percentage of Science Center Members.                                  friend. Volunteers and presenters were similarly positive with
                                                                                                                       90% or greater of all respondents in these groups saying they
                                                                                                                       would participate in the future and recommend attending to             Physicist Dr. Mark Lewney engages Scifest attendees with
                                Experience at SciFest 08                                                                                                                                      both rock guitar and string theory.
                                After the festival, participants who provided an e-mail address were sent an           friends. Based on immediate feedback from the general public,          (Photo: Saint Louis Science Center)
                                on-line survey asking for feedback on their experience. Of the 545 participants        presenters and volunteers, the first SciFest was extremely
                                who were e-mailed surveys, 236 responded for a return rate of 36%. While the           successful and very well-received.
                                pre-SciFest 08 survey represents a random sample, the post-SciFest 08 survey
                                is a self-selecting sample. Compared to the pre-SciFest 08 sample, the post-           Longitudinal Response to SciFest 08
                                SciFest 08 sample had a larger percentage of respondents who were female,              Approximately 11 months after their SciFest 08 experience, participants who had
                                visited in adult groups, were in the 45+ age group or had undergraduate and            provided an e-mail address were sent a short, on-line survey. The survey focused
                                advanced degrees.                                                                      on how participants remembered their experience and how they had interacted
                                                                                                                       with science in the intervening months. Of the approximately 550 individuals
                                Respondents gave high ratings to their overall experience at SciFest 08, with          who received the on-line survey, 121 responded for a return rate of 22%. The
                                more than 93% rating it as either “good” or “excellent.” A total of 87% also           demographic profile of this group is very comparable to those who responded
                                indicated that SciFest 08 met their expectations either “mostly” or “extremely”        to the initial post-SciFest 08 survey.
                                well. A majority cited the content of the sessions in explaining their high ratings.
                                                                                                                       Almost a year after attending SciFest 08, participants continued to give high
                                They liked the variety of topics offered, as well as the exposure to cutting-edge
                                                                                                                       ratings to their experience. A total of 96% rated it as “good” or “excellent.” When
                                science. When describing highlights of their SciFest 08 experience, participants
                                                                                                                       asked to describe their experiences with science in the last year, 66% noted they
20 Saint Louis Science Center                                                                                                                                                                                             Saint Louis Science Center   21
     had visited the Science Center or participated in a Science Center program in         LOOKING TO THE FUTURE
     the months following SciFest 08. Regarding other science-related activities, 35%
     indicated they had tried a science experiment at home, 20% had taken a science        As we issue our third Report to the Community, the Science Center will have
     class and 19% had visited another science center.                                     collected our first full year of Impact data using our new System for Assessing
                                                                                           Mission Impact (SAMI). We are excited by the initial data and the ways in which
     When asked about their likelihood of attending SciFest 09, a majority stated          program staff are beginning to use this information to refine their programs.
     they were “very” likely to attend and 94% indicated they were either “very” or        As we collect more data and are able to make comparisons between program
     “somewhat” likely to participate in the program again. In addition, more than         years, we look forward to SAMI becoming an even more integral component of
     one-third expressed interest in receiving information about volunteering at           our work.
     SciFest 09.
                                                                                           We also look forward to expanding programming for adults as we add programs in
     SciFest 09 Preliminary Findings                                                       our new department, Center for Science. Through this department, the Science
     While SciFest 09 occurred outside the time period covered by this report, some        Center continues our commitment to provide an accessible environment in
     comparative data is available. Two weeks after the program, SciFest 09 attendees      which people of all levels of experience with science have opportunities to
     who provided an e-mail address were invited to participate in an on-line survey       follow their interests and engage with science in a way that is meaningful and
     about their experience. Similar to SciFest 08, respondents rated their overall        useful to them.
     experience very favorably. The same percentage as in 2008, 93%, gave their
     experience at SciFest 09 an overall rating of either “excellent” or “good” with the   In addition, we continue to expand our partnerships in the immediate community
     majority (54%) rating their experience as “excellent.” A total of 96% indicated       and beyond. Next year’s report will spotlight Family Med School. This program,
     that the program met their expectations either “mostly” or “extremely” well. This     developed in cooperation with the medical schools at Washington University
     is slightly higher than 2008 when 87% responded that their expectations were          in St. Louis and Saint Louis University, invites families to engage in hands-on
     met “mostly” or “extremely” well.                                                     activities related to human anatomy and contemporary health issues. Led by
                                                                                           area physicians and educators, Family Med School brings families together for
     A somewhat higher percentage of respondents to the 2009 survey indicated              monthly experiences over the course of an entire year.
     they would attend future SciFest programs and recommend attending to others.
     In 2009, a total of 96% of respondents were “very” or “somewhat” likely to            Next year’s report will also spotlight SciJourn: Science Literacy through Science
     attend in the future and “very” or “somewhat” likely to recommend attending           Journalism. Another partnership, this four-year, NSF-funded grant is based at
     to a friend. This compares to 94% and 90%, respectively, for responses to the         the University of Missouri-St. Louis College of Education, and also includes
     same questions in 2008. Based on preliminary analysis of participant response         a collaboration with the Normandy School District. Designed to answer the
     to SciFest 09, it seems that the program continues to engage visitors and             question, “Does the teaching of science journalism improve high school students’
     provide valued opportunities for interactions with scientists. Findings from          science-related public literacy?,” the program involves students in working as
     these evaluations will inform the development of future SciFest programs, as the      reporters and editors as they research, write and publish original news stories.
     Science Center continues to make this a program that residents of the region          We look forward to offering a still richer analysis of the experience of participants
     eagerly anticipate each year.                                                         in our programs in the next Report to the Community, which will include a full
                                                                                           program year of SAMI data.




22 Saint Louis Science Center                                                                                                                                                      Saint Louis Science Center   23
                                                           APPENDIX                                                    Antionette Jenkins
                                                                                                                       Janiece Johns*
                                                                                                                       Damonte Johnson*
                                                                                                                                             Ann McMahon
                                                                                                                                             Tavis Merriman*
                                                                                                                                             Diane Miller
                                                                                                                                                                    Desiree Redus*
                                                                                                                                                                    Ashley Reekie
                                                                                                                                                                    Phillip Reyes
                                                                                                                                                                                           Rebecca Thorn
                                                                                                                                                                                           Amanda Tinnin
                                                                                                                                                                                           Robert Treece

                           Saint Louis Science Center Education, Exhibits & Programs Staff                             Justin Johnson*
                                                                                                                       Shanea Johnson*
                                                                                                                                             Lamar Miller*
                                                                                                                                             Taylor Miller*
                                                                                                                                                                    Janice Richard*
                                                                                                                                                                    Tegan Rieser
                                                                                                                                                                                           Torrniece Triplett*
                                                                                                                                                                                           Kiontey Turner*
                                                             As of August 31, 2009                                     Benny Jones III*      Aaprara Mills*         Desmond Riley*         Nautica Turner*
                                                                                                                       Airea Jones*          Aariel Mills*          Siinya Riley-Dulaney   Jazmine Tutwiler*
                                                                                                                       Brandon Jones*        Floretta Mitchell      Robert Rinehart*       Nephreteri Tutwiler*
     Muhidin Abdimalik*              Korry Busch*                       Chirag Doshi*           Eric Gustafson         Jovan Jones*          Fredrick Monroe*       David Ritchey          Carol Valenta
     Derrick Adams*                  Brandon Byrd                       Pili Dressel            Tracy Hale*            Laron Jones*          Carl Moore, Jr.*       Jalis Robinson*        Marcella Vamboi*
     Adeola Adewale*                 Cambreana Byrd*                    Terrence Dwyer          Dave Hall, Jr.*        Michaela Jones*       Ashley Moore*          Natasha Rogers*        Najwa Wakil*
     Ronald Agbigbe*                 Taylor Calicutt*                   Trish Edwards           Tiana Hall*            Myesha Jones*         Jalen Moore*           Christine Roman        Stephvin Wallace*
     Krystal Aikens*                 David Callahan                     Martha Elias*           Tyrie Hall*            Randy Jones*          Kaelan Moorehead*      Randy Ruffin*          Kimberly Wallis
     Dorsey Alford*                  Paul Calloway*                     Olef Elias              Kyle Hardin*           Shaveal Jones*        Susan Morris           Rodney Ruffin*         Margie Walsh
     Marlow Allen, Jr.*              Lisa Carrico                       Exzavean Ellison*       Skyler Harmann         William Kazban*       Robin Morrison         Evin Russell           Alexander Walters*
     Chris Allen                     Jessica Castiglioni                Daphne Emrick*          Cameron Harris         Sherrisse Keeper      Koran Muhammad*        Dominic Schaeffer      Suzanne Walton
     Saxon Allen*                    Adam Catchings*                    Cindy Encarnacion       DeVonte Harris*        William Kelly         Shaquil Muhammad*      John Schmitt           Jordyn Wartts*
     Joan Alter                      Christopher Cella                  Toney Estes*            Kristina Harris*       Steve Kessel          Timothy Mulhall        Michael Schoenewies    DeVon Washington*
     Joel Anderson                   Eldridge Cherry*                   Jasmine Evans*          Eric Harrison*         Kathryn Kiel          Najma Nasiruddin*      Sarah Schoenlaub       Kevin Washington*
     Matthew Anderson*               Marguerite Choquette               Jamaal Fisher*          Andre Hawkins*         Betsy King            Pam Nazzoli            Ron Schowalter         Danny Watson*
     William Anthony*                Nia Chunn*                         Jason Fivecoat          Andreille Hawkins*     Orville Kirk          Larnise Neal*          Erin Scott*            John Watson*
     Samantha Arbeiter               Jenny Cimino                       Anthony Fleming, Jr.*   Ted Heidemann          Nicholas Klotz        Kathryn Nelson*        Brock Seals*           Ruth Watt
     Tre’Sean Atkinson*              Devin Clark*                       Gemecia Fleming*        Jennifer Heim          John Lakey            Malcom Nelson*         Joe Seidler            Briante Wells*
     Jamiah Austin*                  Lavelle Clark*                     Miesha Fleming*         Lea Heintz             Andy Lalor            Demisha Nettles*       Antonio Shepard*       Jasmine Welsh*
     Jasmine Bailey*                 Sharniqua Clark*                   Aaron Ford*             Karlyn Henry*          Marcus Lamb*          Bre’Yanna Nicholson*   Lonnie Smith Jr.*      Hannah Wetzel
     Thomas Bailey*                  Andrea Coffee*                     Will Fort*              Cameron Herron*        Kris Lane*            Jasmine Noble*         Alea Smith*            Johnny White IV*
     Jon Baker                       Jacobie Collard*                   Jo-Ellen Forrest        Javier Herron*         Thomas Langdon*       Erin Nolan             Arielle Smith*         Rajae White*
     Jarred Banks*                   Justin Collard*                    David Francis           Charles Heuvelman      Payton Lee, Jr.*      Richard Osborn         Dennis Smith           Mary Lou Wiegand
     Thomas Becker                   Kimberly Collins-Bey*              Ligaya Franklin*        Christopher Hicks*     Jerron Lee*           Tyesha Outlaw*         Frieda Smith           Jill Willhite
     Kyshae Biggs*                   Kathryn Connor                     Shaniqua Frazier*       Quion Hicks*           Ivi Lewis*            Bryan Owens*           Ian Smith              Melvin Williams, Jr.*
     Jasmine Billings*               Jason Cook                         Paul Freiling           Brandy Hildebrand      Kenisha Lewis*        Aaliyah Palmer*        Izel Smith*            Brett Williams
     Kristen Binz*                   Darnell Cooper*                    Melinda Frillman        Courtney Hilliard*     Adrian Lindsey*       Ashley Palmer*         Briana Sowell*         Dajae Williams*
     Michael Blanford                Delamonte Cooper*                  Tasmyn Scarl Front      Andrea’ Hollins*       Katy Lofton           Nicola Paulette*       Tonisha Spencer*       DeNeshia Williams*
     Alshon Blunt                    Trenell Cooper*                    Andre Fuqua             Garie Holman           Ronald London, Jr.*   Michelle Payne*        Blake Staten*          Gerald Williams*
     Alan Bolden*                    Jermaine Cotton*                   Johann Galikin          Rodney Holmes*         Robinique Love*       Niki Penson*           Ariel Stavri*          Jerrica Williams*
     Alex Bolden*                    Jerricka Cotton*                   Heather Gallagher       Stephanie Holmes       Jarel Loveless*       Danny Perry*           Steve Steadman         Jerrick Williams*
     Eboney Booker*                  Hurlie Cozart                      Gabrielle Gant*         Nona Holmstrom         Christina Lovett*     Kaderia Perry*         Erin Steinert          Leslie Williams*
     Ryan Boyer                      Elizabeth Crompton                 Jazmin Garrett*         Elizabeth Honigfort*   Chris Lucas           Brittany Perryman*     Aadaisia Stevens*      Shanae Williams
     Kevin Boyd, Jr.*                Tanya Cross                        Romiyus Gause, Jr.*     Dylan Houston*         Heidi Lung            Elizabeth Peters       Kerry Stevison         Sharelle Williams*
     Elaine Briscoe                  Chastity Culberson                 Sam Geerling*           Jacora Houston*        Francis Mack          Diane Pilla            Danielle Stewart       Travelle Williams*
     Courtney Brooks*                Blake Daily*                       David Gentili           Jasmine Howard*        Nicholas Mackey*      Anjanea Pointer*       Mary Stewart           Britney Wilson*
     Matia Brothers*                 Marcus Daily*                      Ron Giesler             Susan Hull             Mike Malolepszy       Justin Polacek         Toni Stovall*          Nicola Wilson*
     Amber Brown                     De’andre Davis*                    Precious Gleason*       Layne Ibel             Gregg Maryniak        Pierica Polk*          Mehyaisha Sumrall*     Tierra Wilson*
     Bria Brown*                     De’marco Davis*                    Katherine Golden        Carolyn Ikpeama        Travis Mayes*         Brianna Porter*        Adtronique Swopes*     Al Wiman
     Taneika Brown*                  James Davis*                       Kristine Golden         Elisa Israel           Fudail McCain*        Robert Powell          Markietta Tate*        Scott Winstead
     Terhonda Brown*                 Lans Davis*                        Ronald Goldfeder        Glenn Jackson*         Seth McClerklin*      Jessica Preston*       Kia Taylor*            Jasmin Woods*
     Zachary Brown*                  Lacey Dean                         Tamika Graham*          Gywanna Jackson        Ted McCorvey III*     Billy Preston          Kurly Taylor*          Diamond Wright*
     James Buchanan*                 Maureen Decker*                    Kendall Granger, Jr.*   Lawanda Jackson*       Jasmaine McCurry*     Daevion Prewitt*       Micheal Terry*         Bradley Wynn*
     Carnekia Burnett*               Hugo Delgado*                      Aijah Gray-Hagens*      Delle Jackson          Kellie McCurry*       Cierra Price*          Devonne Theard*        Darius Young*
     Lori Burns*                     Crystal Derring*                   Kevin Griffin           Taylor Jackson*        Andrew McGarrahan     NeBria Ragland*        Breyonna Thomas*       Jeannie Young
     Tori Burns*                     Raven Dodds*                       Terris Grimes           Breanna Jarrett*       Tiera McGowan*        Iesha Randolph*        Brian Thomas
     Christopher Burton*             Reva Dodds*                        Daisionara Gurley*      Breia Jefferson*       Vincent McKinney*     Shannon Rapp           Melissa Thomas         *Youth Exploring Science
                                                                                                                                                                                           (YES) Teen

24 Saint Louis Science Center
                                                SOURCES                                             NOTES
     Falk, J. and Dierking, L. 2000. Learning from Museums: Visitor Experiences and the Making of
               Meaning. Walnut Creek, CA: Altamira Press.


     Heim, J. 2009. SciFest 08 Evaluation Report. Unpublished manuscript, Saint Louis Science
               Center, Saint Louis, MO.


     Heim, J. 2010. SciFest 09 Evaluation Report. Unpublished manuscript, Saint Louis Science
               Center, Saint Louis, MO.


     Lee, S. with Wallach, T. 2009. Science Firsthand – Partners in Discovery, Year 5 Evaluation
               Report, October 2008 – October 2009. Unpublished manuscript, Program Evaluation
               and Research Group at Lesley University, Cambridge, MA.




26 Saint Louis Science Center                                                                               Saint Louis Science Center   27
                                NOTES




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