2061 Connections
An electronic newsletter for the science education community

November/December 2008

New Workshop Expands Offerings for ‘09

An Atlas workshop at AAAS headquarters in Washington, DC

An Atlas workshop at
AAAS headquarters
in Washington, DC

Since 2002, Project 2061 has been helping informal science institutions (ISIs) bring highly focused and science-rich professional development to teachers in their region. In a series of co-hosted workshops, Project 2061 has collaborated with the Exploratorium in San Francisco, the Los Angeles Natural History Museum, the Miami Museum of Science, the Science Museum of Minnesota, SciWorks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and others. The popular “Using Atlas of Science Literacy” workshops help K–12 teachers learn how to use Project 2061’s standards-based tools, including Atlas 2 and Benchmarks for Science Literacy, to improve their science programs.

Building on these efforts, Project 2061 is now launching a customized Atlas workshop that responds more specifically to the needs of informal science institutions. The workshop will take into account not only the professional development that ISIs provide to teachers, but also their work in the areas of student programs, community outreach, and exhibit design.

Informal Science Learning Through a New Lens
Development of the new workshop was funded by a grant from AAAS’s William T. Golden Endowment Fund for Program Innovation. The primary goal of customizing the Atlas workshop was to support ISIs in their work with the schools and communities they serve. As shrinking budgets and No Child Left Behind mandates place greater demands on schools, teachers, and students, science centers and museums are working harder to help meet their needs. The new Project 2061 workshop is designed to help museum educators and staff to interpret their institutions’ exhibits and other resources through the lens of the national and state standards to which teachers and students are being held accountable.

To develop the new workshop, Project 2061 drew on feedback from the ISI community. At the 2007 annual conference of the Association of Science-Technology Centers, a group of science center directors provided their views on how Project 2061 could best serve the professional development needs of ISIs. In addition to programming for their education and outreach staff and for the K–12 teachers they serve, the group identified such high priority topics as science content standards, assessment, and research on student learning.

Additional feedback came from focus group meetings held before and after an Atlas workshop this past summer at COSI in Columbus, Ohio (read AAAS article on COSI workshop). Project 2061 staff and a diverse group of ISI educators discussed the unique needs of ISIs and recommended changes to the specific content of the workshop.

Workshops in the ‘09 Lineup
Whether you work in the informal or formal science learning community, we invite you and your colleagues to attend an Atlas workshop in the coming year. The first “Using Atlas of Science Literacy in Informal Science Learning Settings” workshop will be held March 11­–13, 2009, at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry (MSI). A Project 2061 workshop leader will be joined by museum educators who will co-present parts of the workshop.

Also on the schedule for 2009 is our long-running “Using Atlas of Science Literacy” workshop for K–12 educators and administrators. Workshops will be held March 2­­­­–4 and October 19–21 in at AAAS headquarters in Washington, DC, and September 14–16 at the Museum of Life + Science in Durham, North Carolina. More workshops will be scheduled throughout 2009.

For a full listing of workshop dates and locations, as well as details about registration and how to apply for a scholarship, visit our workshop information page.

# # #

For more information about Project 2061’s professional development workshops, please contact:

Communications Director: Mary Koppal, (202) 326-6643


[Subscribe] [Archive]