Museum & Community Partnerships: Collaboration Guide and additional resources

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    Collaboration Guide cover page 1
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    Collaboration Guide graphic page 7
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    Creating Successful Collaborations: Museum and Community Partnerships (5 minute video)

This guide offers an introduction to collaborations between museums and youth-serving community organizations. While this guide is designed specifically for museums and community organizations, much of the content contained in this document can be applied to all kinds and levels of partnerships. This guide includes an overview of why to collaborate, levels of partnerships, how to start a partnership, and a variety of resources to sustain and deepen your collaborative relationships. Sprinkled throughout this document is advice from experienced collaborators as well as examples of different ways museums and community organizations are collaborating to increase access for underserved audiences, improve STEM equity, increase school readiness, support family learning, and engage different audiences. In addition to the guide resources to assist museums in creating and sustaining partnerships with youth-serving community organizations include: • video on "Creating Successful Collaborations: Museum and Community Partnerships" (5 minute video) • memorandum of understanding (MOU) sample template, • collaboration tips, • profiles of national youth-serving organizations, • sample text for invitation to collaborate on the Museum & Community Partnerships project The guide also includes Profiles of National nanoscale science, engineering, and technology ("nano") through new or expanded museum and community-based partnerships. To be eligible, existing NISE Network partners must Youth-serving Organizations collaborate with a community partner, such as a local community group, afterschool program, library, or a local chapter of a national youth-serving group. Collaborating with an existing youth-serving organization on STEM activities is an effective way for museums and university outreach programs to connect with audiences they may not regularly reach, particularly underserved audiences. The following profiles of national youth-serving organizations have been compiled to assist museums and university outreach programs in developing partnerships with a community organization or a local chapter of a national youth-serving organization. These profiles are intended to provide a brief introduction to each organization. Profiles include: 1. 4-H, 2. Afterschool Alliance, 3. Boys & Girls Clubs of America, 4. Boy Scouts of America, 5. Girls Inc., 6. Girl Scouts, 7. Libraries, 8. National Girls Collaborative Project, 9. Parent Teacher Association (PTA), 10. Y (YMCA), and 11. YWCA


Year created

Developed for the NISE Network with funding from the National Science Foundation under Award Numbers 0532536 and 0940143. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this product are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Foundation.

Owning institution

Science Museum of Minnesota


Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 3.0 United States (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 US).
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Development Process

NISE Network products are developed through an iterative collaborative process that includes scientific review, peer review, and visitor evaluation in accordance with an inclusive audiences approach. Products are designed to be easily edited and adapted for different audiences under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike license. To learn more, visit our Development Process page.