Handbook for Small Science Centers

Hardcover (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $94.57
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 9%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (3) from $94.57   
  • New (3) from $94.57   


There has been, and continues to be, an explosion of interest in developing new small science centers that is changing the world of museums. This handbook is designed to be a one-stop source for future and current centers, and anyone interested in the important roles these institutions play in their communities. With articles—all written by leaders in field—covering everything from administration, staffing, finance, marketing, exhibit design, and beyond, this comprehensive resource will be essential reading for institutions that are operating successfully, struggling to survive, and those planning major expansions.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

The Handbook for Small Science Centers has become sort of a bible to me; as various challenges and issues present themselves, I find myself flipping through the pages, finding relelvant articles and soaking in the experience and wisdom of colleagues who have done this before. No matter what form of involvement you may have with a science center there's something in this book for everyone.
— May/June 2008
Elaine Heumann Gurian
Imagine sitting in a comfortable setting with fifty-five kind, experienced, generous, and almost parental nurturers who reveal all their museum secrets to you so that your personal dream of creating a small science or children's museum can be realized. Consider this book the equivalent of conversations with knowledgeable elders who tell stories containing all the juicy expertise you need, available just when you need it. Keep it by your bedside but keep a pen and paper handy.
Sally Duensing
Rather than offering a one-size-fits-all model, the strength and potential impact of this book are in the breadth of different stories of starting and developing informal science centers and children's museums as well as the wealth of advice from leaders in the science center field. It is noteworthy that all of the accounts stated the importance of understanding and connecting with the local communities—not only as visitors, but also as co-developers in the creation of dynamic, responsive, informal learning institutions. A big thanks to Cynthia Yao for having the tenacity to start a vital museum and then to create this book of many voices and tales—a book that hopefully encourages readers to consider the potential impact and future directions of these remarkable environments.
Alan J. Friedman
Cynthia Yao's Handbook for Small Science Centers is a splendid manual for developing a science center of any size or content. The contributors not only tell their success stories, but what went wrong, why, and how they fixed it. No two sets of goals, challenges, opportunities, and solutions are alike, which is why the fifty concise stories in this book are invaluable. By mixing and matching the experiences chronicled here, anyone involved in creating a new institution will find just the advice, warnings, and inspirations they need for their unique situation.
Michael Spock
This wonderful book, mirroring the spirit of the emerging science center movement itself, is chock full of interesting things to learn: modest, practical, accessible, and so much in the real world. In the hands of the visionary with a gleam in her eye on the way to creating a new community-based science program or the seasoned museum worker struggling with today’s operating problem, Handbook for Small Science Centers should become a well-thumbed landmark on all managers’ desks and a must for every board member’s reading list.
Muse - May/June 2008
The Handbook for Small Science Centers has become sort of a bible to me; as various challenges and issues present themselves, I find myself flipping through the pages, finding relelvant articles and soaking in the experience and wisdom of colleagues who have done this before. No matter what form of involvement you may have with a science center there's something in this book for everyone.
Bonnie Pitman
The Handbook for Small Science Canters is a thoughtfully written and extremely helpful new resource for the field that can benefit science centers, children’s museums, and other institutions. The well-organized and excellently written essays cover a wide range of issues that can emerge in organizing and managing a science center.
Phelan R. Fretz
The 12 sections cover nearly all aspects of starting and running a center, not only practical aspects such as governance, audience, exhibits, and so on, but also reflective aspects, such as a history of science centers and speculations on their future....a tremendous resource.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780759106529
  • Publisher: AltaMira Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/2006
  • Pages: 328
  • Product dimensions: 8.73 (w) x 11.17 (h) x 1.04 (d)

Meet the Author

Cynthia C. Yao is the founder of the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum and was responsible for its establishment, vision, leadership, management and success as Executive Director from August 1978 to April 2000. She has a graduate degree in Museum Practice (MMP) from the University of Michigan. In October 2005, Cynthia was inducted in the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame and received the life achievement award of the Michigan Women’s Studies Association for the founding and success of the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Foreword   Lynn D. Dierking     xi
Preface and Acknowledgments   Cynthia C. Yao     xiii
Acronyms     xvii
Central Case Study
The Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum: From Dream to Reality   Cynthia C. Yao     3
Case Studies of Other Small Science Centers and Start-ups
Developing in Phases: A Case History   Charlie Trautmann     21
Hockey, Nickel Mines, and the Pursuit of a Vision: Getting It Done at Science North   Alan Nursall     27
One Small Center's Story: Grass Roots Thrive on Flexibility   Adela "Laddie" Skipton Elwell     31
Focus and Balance for the Small Museum   Rebecca Schatz     35
Discovery Science Center Start-Up: Launch Pad in a Mall   Karen Johnson     39
Curious Kids' Museum   Mary Baske   Pat Adams     44
Science Spectrum: A Science Center for the South Plains of Texas   Cassandra L. Henry     48
Science Center in a College: An Unabashedly Autobiographical Account   Albert J. Read     52
Science Projects: The Observatory Science Centre, Herstmonceux, and Inspire Discovery Centre, Norwich   Stephen Pizzey     56
Experimentarium: A Fairy Tale from Hans Christian Andersen's Denmark   Asger Hoeg     61
Getting Started and Running a Science Center
Planning the Building   Peter A. Anderson     69
Sci-Port Discovery Center: How We Operate and Position Our Science Center for Ongoing Success   Andree Peek     74
Over the Top: Building Resources to Open and Grow   Marilyn Hoyt     81
Marketing Basics: Applications for Small Science Centers   Kim L. Cavendish     86
The Science Shop at the Science Spectrum   Cassandra L. Henry     92
Decision Making on Purpose: Translating Organizational Identity into Effective Experiences$dHands On! Inc.     97
Making Effective Exhibits for Rewarding Visitor Experiences   Kathleen R. Krafft     103
Learning from My Mistakes   Paul Orselli     110
The Use of Objects in a Small Science Center   Claude Faubert     114
Creating Special Exhibits Spaces
Discovery Spaces: Small Museums within a Large Museum   Lucy Kirshner     121
Creating Developmentally Appropriate Early Childhood Spaces in Science Centers   Kim Whaley     125
Outdoor Science Parks: Going Beyond the Walls   Ronen Mir     132
Traveling Exhibitions: Rationales and Strategies for the Small Museum   Robert "Mac" West   Christen E. Runge      135
Education Programs
Developing an Educational Plan   Laura Martin     145
Building Capacity to Work with Schools   Colleen Blair     151
The Why and How of Doing Outreach Programming: Fulfilling My Fantasy   Dennis Schatz     156
Fifty Years of Museum School   Kit Goolsby   Charlie Walter     162
Promoting Public Understanding of Research through Family Science Programs at MIT   Beryl Rosenthal     167
Working in a Science Center
Leading and Implementing Innovation in Your Science Museum   Ronen Mir     175
Hiring, Supporting, and Developing Museum Educators for Your Science Center   Elsa B. Bailey     178
Explainers: Youth Development at the Exploratorium   Bronwyn Bevan   Darlene Librero     183
Understanding Your Audience   Kirsten M. Ellenbogen     189
Girls, Boys, Moms, and Dads: Learning about Their Different Needs in Science Museums   David Taylor (1953-2005)     193
Evaluation 101   Elsa B. Bailey   George E. Hein     197
Working Model: A Mechanism for the Effective Board   Harold Skramstad   Susan Skramstad     205
Code of Ethics for Museums$dAmerican Association of Museums     209
Building a Sustainable Future   Thomas Krakauer     215
Renovation as Innovation: SciWorks, the Science Center and Environmental Park of Forsyth County   Beverly S. Sanford     219
Collaborations: From Sharing a Museum Site to Winning NSF Grants   Sarah Wolf     222
Exploration Place: Science Center and Children's Museum Combined   Al DeSena     227
From Little Acorns   Chuck O'Connor     231
The Tech: The Challenges of Growing from Small to Large   Peter B. Giles   Maureen E. Kennedy     234
How to Foster Innovation within Your Science-Technology Center: Observations from Under the Seat Cushion   Susan B. F. Wageman     239
Overview of Science Centers
Science Center History$dAssociation of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC)     247
Fanning the Flames: The Exploratorium at the Birth of the Science Center Movement   Robert Semper     252
Sesame Program: The Impact of a PhD Program on Science Museums   Vicki Breazeale   Watson "Mac" Laetsch     256
Science and Discovery Centers: The European Perspective   Melanie Quin     260
Science Centers and the Future
Developing a New Business Model For Science Centers   John H. Falk      269
Reality, Variety, and Ingenuity: Futures for Science Centers   Peter A. Anderson     277
Resources for Exhibit Fabrication   Kathleen R. Krafft   Paul Orselli   David Taylor     284
ASTC and Related Organizations     290
Directory of Science Centers, Institutions, and Individuals Represented     293
Index     296
About the Authors     300
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)