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ASTC Annual Conference 2023

ASTC Association of Science and Technology Centers logo


Charlotte, North Carolina
ASTC 2023 conference date and location.

ASTC Conference 2023

October 7–10, 2023
Charlotte, North Carolina 

Hosted by Discovery Place


Happy Hour - Professional Networking

Friday, October 6th, 7:30pm - (ASTC Meet-Ups time slot)

Optimist Hall food court

near Duke Energy entrance

outside at picnic tables upper level
1115 N. Brevard Street, Charlotte, NC 28206 
located between E 15th and E 16th Streets

Google Map: 

There’s space reserved just for the ASTC conference, and you can explore the many dining and drinking options.
Open to all conference registrants. Food and drink will be available for purchase.

Lynx Light Rail Directions:

  • To get to Optimist Hall, take the BLUE line Lynx light rail from the 3rd Street/Convention Center station four stops north to the Parkwood station. Turn right when exiting the station, and walk about 6 minutes along Parkwood Avenue. 
  • Map of the Blue Line 
  • Learn more about riding Lynx light rail:

Walking Directions: 

  • Please note it is a 30+ minute (1.5 mile) walk from the Charlotte Convention Center

NISE Network staff members at ASTC conference booth in 2023 in Charlotte North Carolina

Booth and Exhibit Hall

Saturday, October 7, 2023, 11:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Sunday, October 8, 2023, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Booth #801

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!

Booth Handouts

Concurrent Sessions & Posters

  • Saturday, October 7, 20231:15 PM – 2:15 PM US EST
    Solar Eclipse: Choose Your Own Adventure
    Location: Charlotte Convention Center, E221A
    Eclipses occur when one object in space passes through the shadow of another object in space. During a solar eclipse, the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth, blocking all or part of the Sun for the viewer. The annular solar eclipse on October 14, 2023 and the total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024 across the Americas will provide opportunities to engage hundreds of millions of people across the country. This session invites STEM educators, community-based organizations, science centers, libraries and more to share their experiences and plans. By the end of the session, participants will learn more about the upcoming solar eclipses, STEM resources available, and programming tips. As part of this interactive “choose your own adventure” session, attendees will be invited to share their own experiences and plans for hosting solar eclipse events and engaging the public in these experiences.
    • Session Leader: Carolyn Ng – NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    • Presenter: Catherine McCarthy – NISE Network
    • Presenter: Anne Holland – Space Science Institute
    • Presenter: James Harold – Space Science Institute
    • Presenter: Laura Peticolas – Sonoma State University
    • Presenter: Dennis Schatz, National Science Teaching Association
    • Presenter: Darrell Porcello, Children's Creativity Museum
    • Solar eclipse flyer (PDF) 
    • Slides (PDF)


  • Saturday, October 7, 20231:15 PM – 2:15 PM US EST
    Community Science Through Civic Engagement: Lessons Learned from the Field
    Location: Charlotte Convention Center, E219BC
    As trusted institutions and inclusive spaces, science centers are uniquely positioned to
    mobilize community science to address priorities of local communities while advancing their missions.
    We will discuss how ASTC members can actively participate in civic engagement and policymaking within
    their communities, including best practices for collaborating with external partners.
    • Session Leader: Laura Bartock, Association of Science and Technology Centers
    • Presenter: Max Cawley, Museum of Life and Science
    • Presenter: Megan Roselli, Da Vinci Science Center
    • Presenter: Ortal Ullman, Union of Concerned Scientists


  • Sunday, October 8, 2023,  2:15 PM – 3:15 PM US EST
    Relationships, Relevance, and Reciprocity: Shifting Our Institutional Perspectives Using a Connected Learning Ecosystems Framework

    Location: Charlotte Convention Center, E217
    The concept of learning ecosystems provides a useful lens to examine youth learning and the integrated community supporting and broadening their pathways and opportunities. This interactive session refocuses attention on mutual responsibility across an ecosystem. Participants will encounter tools and strategies to take back to their local teams.
    • Session Leader: Sarah VanDenbergh – Gulf of Maine Research Institute
    • Presenter: Alexandra Jackson – Sciencenter
    • Presenter: Kerri Ziemann – the Wild Center
    • Presenter: Nina Ridhibhinyo – ECHO, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain
    • Presenter: Rae Ostman – Arizona State University - Center for Innovation in Informal STEM Learning
    • Slides (PDF)
  • Sunday, October 8, 2023, 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM US EST 
    Existing vs. Re-Imagined Exhibits: What Works in Virtual Stem Programming
    Location: Hall C (POSTER)F

    • Session Leader: Kenneth Monjero – Science Centre Kenya

    • Presenter: Heather Farnworth – Ontario Science Centre

    • Presenter: Alexandra Jackson – Sciencenter

    • Presenter: Vesa Lepisto – Heureka, the Finnish Science Centre

    • Presenter: Bobby Cerini – Questacon, Australia's National Science and Technology Centre


  • Monday, October 9, 2023, 11:15 AM – 12:15 PM US EST
    Keeping Voices in the Room: Gathering Values in Codesign for Equitable STEM Experiences
    Location: Charlotte Convention Center, E216
    Designing for inclusion and equity from ideation to production should engage powerful participatory design methods to ensure gathering of community voices and values. Hear how the Making Waves with Radio project adapted value sensitive design and equity-centered research-practice partnerships to create innovative, joyful, and STEM-rich learning activities and educator guides.
    • Session Leader: Sherry Hsi – BSCS Science Learning
    • Presenter: David Knudsen – Museum of Life and Science
    • Presenter: Diego Rojas – BSCS Science Learning
    • Presenter: Heather Segale – UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center
    • Presenter: Steve Scholle – Museum of Life and Science
    • Slides (PDF)


  • Monday, October 9, 2023, 11:15 AM – 12:15 PM US EST
    Positioning Young People as STEM Change-Makers for the Future
    Location: Charlotte Convention Center, E212
    Presenters will share work supporting learners' STEM identity, futures thinking skills, and building confidence through exhibitions, media, and programs. With an approach that emphasizes empathy and experience, rather than didactic content, museums can create relevant and optimistic opportunities for young people to explore the future and their role in creating it.

    • Session Leader: Meredith Doby – The DoSeum
    • Presenter: Dana Hemes – New York Hall of Science
    • Presenter: Katie Todd – Children's Museum of Pittsburgh
    • Presenter: Rae Ostman – Arizona State University - Center for Innovation in Informal STEM Learning
  • Monday, October 9, 2023, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM US EST
    Relationships, Partnerships, and Asset Thinking: Learning from STEM Learning Ecosystems
    Location: Charlotte Convention Center, E217
    Join us for a discussion about STEM learning ecosystems in rural communities. We will share findings examining practices used by four exemplar projects from across the country. In breakouts, ecosystem team members will facilitate discussions about applying those findings to real place-based challenges that can be swiftly applied to practice.
    • Session Leader: Allison Anderson – Museum of Science
    • Presenter: Elena Sparrow
    • Presenter: Kal Mannis – Arizona Science Center
    • Presenter: Sarah VanDenbergh – Gulf of Maine Research Institute
    • Presenter: Matthew Cass – Southwestern Community College
    • Slides (PDF)


  • Monday, October 9, 2023, 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM US EST
    Better Together: Community Collaboration to Enable Access to NASA-Themed Projects
    Location: Charlotte Convention Center, E220CD
    Organizations currently participating in the NASA TEAM II program will give overviews of their projects and the role of community involvement, focusing on key topics: building cultural and contextual relevance, developing alongside the community, co-creation, and respecting local knowledge. Presenters will then lead small group discussions.
    • Session Leader: Emily Duguid – Orlando Science Center
    • Presenter: Max Cawley – Museum of Life and Science
    • Presenter: Heather Kleiner – Sci-Port Discovery Center
    • Presenter: Jon Doctorick – Carnegie Science Center
    • Presenter: Angeline Judex – Long Island Explorium


Attached Files