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ASTC Annual Conference 2022

ASTC Association of Science and Technology Centers logo


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
ASTC 2022 Conference logo

ASTC 2022 Conference

September 12-15, 2022

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 

Co-hosted by the Carnegie Science Center and the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh and its MuseumLab.

Conference sessions and the Exhibit Hall will be held at the
David L. Lawrence Convention Center

Learn More:



    ASTC 2022 Breakfast projector screen and podium with microphone

    NISE Network Partner Breakfast

    The NISE Network will be hosting a free breakfast for staff from partner institutions (no need to RSVP).


    ASTC 2022 NISE Network booth in the exhibit hall in Pittsburgh

    Booth and Exhibit Hall

    • Monday, September 12, 2022, 11:00 am–6:00 pm
    • Tuesday, September 13, 2022, 10:30 am–6:00 pm
    • Booth #301


    The NISE Network will have a booth in the exhibit hall featuring public engagement activities and resources including information about upcoming projects opportunities. We are looking forward to seeing people in person!


    ASTC NISE Network booth in Pittsburgh with four informal educators ready to talk






    Concurrent Sessions, Presentations, & Posters

    NISE Network presentation at ASTC 2022 Conference NASA Hyperwall
    • Exhibit Hall Hyperwall talk - NASA Resources from the NISE Network 
      Hyperwall Talk at the NASA booth, Exhibit Hall
      Monday, September 12, 12:45 PM - 1:00 PM Eastern


    • Getting Started in Community Science
      : Monday, September 12, 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Eastern
      Through community science, community members collaborate to conduct and leverage scientific research and technological innovation to advance community priorities. In our session, we will explore how to find common ground and share leadership with community-serving partners, as well as how to assess institutional readiness to embark on new collaborative efforts.
      • Presenters:
      • Claudia Martinez Gray, Dialogue & Deliberation Fellow and Director of Education, International Museum of Art and Science
      • David Valentine, Dialogue & Deliberation Fellow and Community Engagement Specialist, Science Museum of Minnesota
      • Rachel Hogan Carr, Executive Director, Nurture Nature Center
      • Max Cawley, Director, Climate Research and Engagement, Museum of Life and Science


    • Reflections on Equity Practices, Policies and Communications
      Monday, September 12, 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM Eastern
      Room TBD
      What strategies can organizations use to examine and evolve their work to become more equitable? CAISE and NISE Network will present lessons learned from reflective processes using frameworks and external experts to investigate and improve their activities, policies, and communications related to equity and inclusion, followed by small group discussion.
      • Presenters: 
      • Alexandra Jackson, Director of Programs & Partnerships, Sciencenter
      • Cecilia Garibay, Principal, Garibay Group
      • Jamie Bell, CAISE, Project Director, Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education (CAISE)
      • Rabiah Mayas, Vice President, Education, Museum of Science and Industry
      • Rae Ostman, Associate Research Professor, School for the Future of Innovation in Society, Arizona State University
      • Ali Jackson Presentation Slides (PPTX)


    • Developing Whole Institution Sustainability Projects for Science Centers and Museums
      Tuesday, September 13,11:00 AM - 12:30 PM Eastern
      This workshop will 1) highlight stories of successful sustainability efforts at museums, 2) describe the basics of planning a museum sustainability effort, including an introduction to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and successful strategies from research, and 3) allow participants to create sustainability project plans for their own institutions.
      • Presenters: 
      • Karen Dewhirst, Science Manager, Creative Discovery Museum
      • Marci Howdyshell, Senior Director of Scientific Content and Research, COSI
      • Nicholas Weller, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Arizona State University - Center for Innovation in Informal STEM Learning
      • Shannon Earnest, Gallery Manager, Saint Louis Science Center
      • Simon Mused, Senior Exhibitions Manager, Scott Family Amazeum
      • Slide presentation (PDF)
    Informal science educators discussion How to Smile poster at the ASTC 2022 conference
    • POSTER: How to Design Successful Hands-On STEAM Activities for At-Home Learners
      Tuesday, September 13, 2:00 PM - 3:15 PM Eastern
      Posters, Exhibit Halls B and C
      Recently, museums have been driven to refine materials for at-home learners. gathered a consortium of NISE Network museums to document and share this knowledge through a new At-Home Activities Framework and curated collection. We will discuss the framework, provide exemplars, and ask attendees to reflect on their at-home programming.
      • Presenters: 
      • Alberto Lopez, Youth Outreach Coordinator, Florida Museum of Natural History
      • Brad Peroney, Carnegie Science Center
      • Darrell Porcello, Director of National STEM Networks, Children's Creativity Museum and NISE Network
      • Marci Howdyshell, Senior Director of Scientific Content and Research, COSI
      • Victoria Mitchell, Director of Exhibits and Programs, Exploration Place, The Sedgwick County Science and Discovery Center
      • Full poster (PDF)
      • Howtosmile At-Home Activities Framework (PDF)



    Two informal science educators having a discussion about Moon Adventure Game poster during ASTC 2022 conference
    • POSTER: The Long Game: Using Games to Transform Science Center Experiences
      Tuesday, September 13, 2:00 PM - 3:15 PM Eastern
      Poster Board #40. Exhibit Halls B and C
      The Moon Adventure Game is an open-source collaborative game created to incorporate games into program offerings. This poster provides an opportunity to look at design thinking for museum experiences in the form of escape rooms and other role playing games that are more portable and versatile than traditional escape rooms.

      • Presenters:

      • Catherine McCarthy, Project Manager Senior - NISE Network, Arizona State University - Center for Innovation in Informal STEM Learning

      • Jeannie Colton, Project Coordinator, NISE Network

      • Max Cawley, Associate Program Manager - Learning Philosophy & Evaluation, Museum of Life and Science
      • Poster (PDF)


    • Building Lasting Community Partnerships
      Tuesday, September 13, 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM Eastern
      Developing long-lasting and meaningful relationships with other organizations can be a daunting task. Learn from three successful partnerships with representatives from both the science center and their partner organization. Whether from urban, rural, or tribal communities, you’ll take away helpful and replicable lessons for you to apply at your institution.
      • Presenters: 
      • Imani Vincent, Schoolhouse Teacher
      • Jessie Herbert-Meny, Director, spectrUM Discovery Area
      • Max Cawley, Associate Program Manager - Learning Philosophy & Evaluation, Museum of Life and Science
      • Peter Leipzig, Education Program Coordinator, Sciencenter
      • Yanet Lopez, Community Engagement Manager, Fleet Science Center
      • Christina Leavell, Arizona State University
      • Presentation Slides (PDF)


    • Working Across Dimensions: DEAI Tools and Practices
      Wednesday, September 14, 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM Eastern
      Actionable Insights from the Cultural Competency Learning Institute National Landscape Study grouped diversity, equity, access, and inclusion (DEAI) practices in museums into four dimensions: public facing, internal, foundational, and cross-functional. Presenters will share examples, tools, and resources aligned with the actionable insights. Attendees will take part in activities they can apply in their own organizations.
      • Presenters: 
      • Alexandra Jackson, Director of Programs & Partnerships, Sciencenter
      • Cecilia Nguyen, Senior Exhibit Developer, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry
      • Eric Buenrostro Azua, Vice President of People and Culture, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry
      • Kevin Perez, Camp Manager, Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum
      • Michelle Mileham, Project Manager, Utah Division of Arts & Museums
      • Ali Jackson Presentation Slides (PPTX)


    • Go Where the People Are and Do What the People Do: Experimenting With Situated Engagement
      Wednesday, September 14, 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM Eastern
      From neighborhood gatherings to parades, open-air markets to fantasy conventions, communities always get together on their own terms. What would it look like if you put down your usual bag of science tricks and joined in? Learn about our experiences with prioritizing cultural context with the practice of situated engagement.

      • Presenters: 

      • Becky Carroll, Senior Researcher

      • Ben Wiehe, Manager, MIT Museum

      • Benjamin Dickow, President & Executive Director, Columbia Memorial Space Center

      • Emily Rice

      • Paul Martin, Co-Director, Arizona State University - Center for Innovation in Informal STEM Learning


    • Working Together Toward Better Co-creation
      Wednesday, 3:30 PM - 4:15 PM
      What happens when we invite the public to share authority in the design and execution of science education initiatives? What should our goals be for co-created projects? How do we measure success? We'll share takeaways from two projects and invite problem-solving on how organizations can approach their own co-creation work.
      • Presenters:
      • Claire Quimby, Senior Research Associate, Rockman et al Cooperative Inc
      • Elizabeth Kunz Kollman, Director, Research and Evaluation, Museum of Science, Boston
      • Leigh Ann Mesiti Caulfield, Senior Experience Researcher, Mad*Pow
      • Presentation Slides (PPTX)

    NISE Network Partner Breakfast

    • Thursday, September 15, 2022
      7:30am-9am Eastern
      please see details and map above

    NISE Network Networking Happy Hour

    Many NISE Network members will gather for networking during the "Preconference Meet Up" time slot  

    • Sunday, September 11, 2022
      7:00 PM - 9:00 PM Eastern
      Casual meet up at the Backyard at 8th and Penn. Grab yourself a drink and enjoy the outdoor space with colleagues as you familiarize yourself with Pittsburgh.
      Look for the NISE Network table signs!
      no need to RSVP



    Attached Files