Friday, September 30, 2011

Flowing With the Current by Laddie Elwell

It was a great summer at HSC! Thanks to help from the Neilson Foundation, there were weeklong programs about Birds, Photography, Robotics (2 weeks), and Advanced Robotics, and an Ecology group that met once a week for ten weeks. HSC was glad to be able to offer scholarships to many youngsters to attend. There were also regular meetings of Science Club, Tots ‘n’ Science, and Discovery Science. Also, hundreds of tourists from all over the United States and Canada (and a number of foreign nations as well) crowded into the Center, so our staff was kept very busy!

Time is flying by with February coming up on the horizon, and by then we will have a new director, assuming everything happens as it should. This means that HSC’s budget has to become significantly larger in order to support a paid director and the expenses he or she will need to cover in order to do the job properly. One of these expenses will be to attend the annual conference of the Association of Science Technology Centers, ASTC, which we all refer to as “aztek.” Our association with ASTC makes it possible for us to offer free admission to 322 other science centers across the United States (and around the world!) as a perk of HSC membership.

Jim and I will be attending the ASTC conference in Baltimore in October. Because we have always enjoyed ASTC meetings, we’ve regarded them almost as vacations, although, in truth, they are very busy and a fair amount of work! Science museum staff from all over the world attend the conferences and incredible amounts of information about programs, exhibits, and activities are exchanged. HSC staff members have been presenters for a number of ASTC sessions, mostly in those designed for small science centers. The wonderful thing about ASTC is that science center people in general are very generous in sharing ideas about almost anything that goes on in science centers and museums!