Blog N' Learn: Gathering STEAM Part 2 - Full STEAM Ahead

August 28, 2013

California Science Center

California Science Center

In Part 2 of my interview with The STEAM Journal Editor, Sara Kapadia, Sara actually becomes the interviewer, asking a few of her own questions of Dr. Ron Rohovit of California Science Center.

Clara Rice: Do you think STEAM activities will become more prevalent in children's museums moving forward? Is it a fad, or is it here to stay?

Sara Kapadia: I had the honor of leaning on a museum expert to help me answer this question. I turned to Dr. Ron Rohovit who is the Deputy Director of Education at the California Science Center in Los Angeles. Prior to his current position, Ron was the Director of Education at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. He has been in the informal science learning field for over 20 years, managing education departments; researching learning experiences; and developing and delivering programs for educators, school groups and the general public. Before getting into the science museum field, Ron taught in public schools for three years. Ron has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, a master’s degree in secondary science education and museum studies, and a doctorate in Educational Leadership.

You can find the complete text of Sara's interview with Dr. Rohovit in Part Two of our article in InPark Magazine. Many thanks again to Sara and to Dr. Rohovit for their time and insights.

We'd love to hear your comments on how STEAM principles have impacted your museum or attraction, so please feel free to add them below.  Next week, we'll revisit a treasured JRA project on its tenth anniversary.

 

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Blog N' Learn: Gathering STEAM

August 21, 2013

Sara Kapadia

Sara Kapadia

For this week’s feature, I am interviewing Sara Kapadia on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and STEAM (STEM + Art). Ms. Kapadia is an academic, educator and PhD Education student and Graduate Research Assistant at Claremont Graduate University. She has a Bachelor’s of Education in Science from Cambridge University, a Masters of Arts in Social Justice, Social Policy and Education from University of London and was a graduate student at Oxford University. Sara is the founder and editor of The STEAM Journal, a trans-disciplinary, theory-practice, peer-reviewed, open access online journal, a publication to share knowledge from theory and practice while cultivating dialogue, research and awareness on the intersection of Art and Science. The inaugural issue of The STEAM Journal was published on March 13, 2013 and is available at http://scholarship.claremont.edu/steam.

In Part One of this two-part interview, I'll ask Sara about the development of STEAM from STEM, how STEAM activities work, and how STEAM concepts and "maker culture" are being integrated into museums.  You can find the full interview as a feature on InPark Magazine's website.

Enjoy!

~ Clara Rice, JRA + Blog Editor


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Two Countries, One Goal: JRA Forms Museum Partnership with InnoPark

August 14, 2013

Svetlana Motorina, InnoPark Director.  Photo courtesy Major Journal.

Svetlana Motorina, InnoPark Director. Photo courtesy Major Journal.

JRA has inked a partnership agreement with Russian children’s discovery park InnoPark to develop interactive science centers and children’s museums in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

One of the priorities of “Innovation Russia 2020”, an initiative of the Russian Government, is the popularization of scientific and innovative activities in the country. Other countries have addressed similar mandates by creating interactive science centers and children’s museums. Europe counts over 400 such institutions, and there are more than 500 of them in the United States. The majority of activities in these centers are hands-on, where visitors can explore and interact with exhibits using all five of their senses. Studies have shown that these interactive experiences stimulate children’s learning, creativity, innovative thinking and curiosity.

All images courtesy of InnoPark unless noted.

Russia currently houses 15 children’s museums, but until recently, these institutions had not yet reached the quality of their global counterparts. Founded in 2012, InnoPark, a children’s discovery park, is located in the largest city park in Moscow. In just its first year, it opened its doors to 40,000 visitors and welcomed more than 150 schools. On March 5, 2013, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Agency of Strategic Initiatives chose InnoPark as one of the most efficient social projects in the country and recommended it for replication in the CIS region. The park offers an interactive museum, mini-planetarium, hall of mirrors and toddler area, as well as workshops and courses in robotics, electronics and physics.

InnoPark will serve as JRA’s exclusive marketing representative within Russia and the CIS for children’s museums and science centers through at least 2016. Through their collaboration, JRA and InnoPark hope to raise the bar for museums and science centers in Russia and the CIS. “We are excited to partner with JRA to increase the quantity and quality of children’s museums in Russia,” said InnoPark Director, Svetlana Motorina. We think JRA’s strengths in interactive design, coupled with InnoPark’s skill in developing engaging scientific content, will create vibrant learning experiences in Russia and the CIS that will improve Russia’s reputation in the museum industry and increase its overall innovation potential.”

“InnoPark has proven that children’s museums and science centers can succeed in Russia and the CIS,” said Keith James, JRA’s Chief Executive Officer. “Their familiarity with this growing market and their passion for helping children learn make them the ideal partner for us, and we look forward to working together in developing dynamic museum and science centers for Russia’s children.”

Next week, we're picking up STEAM with a guest Blog N' Learn.  Thanks for reading!

Tags: JRA Team , Outside the Studio

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The "Cool Stuff" Report: LumenoCity

August 05, 2013

This weekend, residents of Cincinnati were treated to two free collaborative concerts by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (CSO), Cincinnati POPS, Cincinnati Ballet, Cincinnati Opera and Cincinnati May Festival Chorus.  That in itself was cool enough.  Amping up the coolness level to infinity was the 40-minute projection show, designed by local graphic design and branding firm Landor, that was choreographed to the performance. The projection surface for this spectacle was Cincinnati Music Hall, a National Historic Landmark built in 1878 that ranks acoustically as one of the finest performance spaces in the world and that houses the CSO, POPS, Opera and May Festival. LumenoCity came together in just six months as a way of welcoming incoming CSO conductor, Louis Langree. Over a dozen local corporations and foundations fitted the estimated $500,000 bill.

Over 35,000 people flocked to Washington Park to witness the concert, which were collectively considered a crowning moment in the ongoing renaissance of Cincinnati's formerly blighted urban neighborhood of Over-the-Rhine.  Here's what JRA Senior Project Director Randy Smith had to say about his experience in the audience: "for all my fellow Cincinnatians, I would like to thank the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and all your sponsors for the vision, creativity and good grace to stage LumenoCity this weekend. It was a truly magical evening, a great show of our cultural strength, and another example of Over-The-Rhine's growing revival.  This event could not have happened with the renewed cultural amenity of Washington Park." 

But don't take our word for it - enjoy the video below and the photos on our Facebook page, both taken by Blogger-in-Chief, Clara Rice. 

Community based cultural events like LumenoCity are just another reason we at JRA love our hometown and are proud to be in Cincinnati. 

(Please excuse the "audience commentary".  It was exciting - you had to be there.)

Tags: Outside the Studio

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Friday Fives: Jacob Berding

August 02, 2013

Jacob Berding

Jacob Berding

For the last in our trifecta of Friday Fives, we're interviewing Jacob Berding, another member of Savannah College of Art and Design's Themed Entertainment Design MFA program.  Before SCAD, Jacob studied just up the road at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where he started two companies, Operation Video Game and MoLo Creative Group.  Operation Video Game has released four apps to Apple's App Store and The MoLo Creative Group has completed websites for various clients including Yellow Ribbon Support Foundation, Ionic Communications and Pepsico.  You can find Jacob's complete portfolio here, but now, let's find out what he has to say for himself:

What sport do you enjoy watching/playing?
Baseball, I am a huge Reds fan, I never miss a game. (We love that.)

If you could have any super powers, what would they be?
Super speed, too much time wasted on travel and traffic, just need to zoom by it all.

What's a quote that describes you?
"We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths."

My favorite part of the design process is …

Concept phase, what is better than coming up with completely irrational, impossible, highly unlikely ideas?

I beat a creative block by …  
Leaving.   Nothing breaks a block more than just stepping away from everything and doing something with the left side of the brain.  Come back to the issue an hour or two later and it is resolved!

Thanks, Jacob!  Next week, we'll shift gears and unveil an exciting new partnership...Stay tuned!

 

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