Educators Get the Latest Informal Science Tools from Project 2061

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS—Recognizing that much science learning occurs outside the classroom—at a zoo, museum, or nature center—AAAS's pioneering Project 2061 science literacy initiative went to Chicago to offer something new: a workshop aimed at educators in informal science settings.

Sixteen educators from zoos, museums, arboretums, planetariums, and other informal learning settings came to the Project 2061 workshop, held 11-13 March at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. Many of the educators planned to revamp their exhibits and learning tools, and they intended to use their newly-acquired understanding of Project 2061 publications as guidelines.

"Learning science often begins with a love of science, and there's no better place than a science center or museum to foster both," said Mary Koppal, director of communications for the program. "Project 2061 is looking forward to exploring the interface between formal and informal science learning and how to take advantage of both to promote science literacy for all."

Koppal organized the workshop along with Nicole Kowrach at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, Mary Ann Wojton at the Center of Science and Industry (COSI) in Columbus, Ohio, and Marlene Hilkowitz, a workshop leader for Project 2061. The Project 2061 staff anticipates that a second workshop for educators in informal learning settings will be held later this year or in early 2010. The location and other details will be posted on the Project 2061 Web site as they become available. Or contact Mary Koppal.