March 28, 2019Emily Hostetler, Museum of Science
The Museum of Science, Boston (MOS) recently made their forums available for free download using their new Forum Archive website, thanks to funding from the National Science Foundation for the Building with Biology project (formally recognized as Multi-Site Public Engagement with Science-Synthetic Biology) that ended last September.
There are currently four forums available for download on the website:
- Climate Hazard Resilience
- Outbreak: Fighting Diseases in a Changing World
- Editing Our Evolution: Human Genome Editing
- Should Humans be Allowed to Drive: The Risks and Rewards of Self-Driving Cars
By creating this website, the MOS forum team hopes to make the forums they have developed over the years more accessible to formal and informal educators across the nation. While the team was happy to send links and files to anyone who wanted to use a forum in their classrooms or museum programs before, now anyone has the ability to download the files and use the materials without having to reach out to a team member.
Each forum page on the archive includes a short, but detailed description of the forum and sample images of the documents included in the download. The page also lets the viewer know how long the forum should take to run and if the forum needs table moderators or not.
If the viewer decides to download the forum, they simply click the download link, fill out a short form about how they plan on using the materials and submit. Once submitted, a new link will appear where they can download a zip file, or click on a Dropbox link.
The MOS forum team hopes to continue building the website by adding more downloadable forums and a blog-feature to keep partners up to date on current and future projects. By having people fill out the short form before downloading, the team can also learn more about who is using the forum downloads and why, which could help shape the choices they make for future forums.
Explore the Forum Archive by visiting
If you have any questions, please contact David Sittenfeld, the Museum of Science's Manager of Forums and National Collaborations, at firstname.lastname@example.org.