Museum explainers (also called pilots, guides, educators, science communicator, etc.) are the human interface between visitors and their institutions: science and natural history museums, science centres, aquaria, planetaria, visitors centres but also university open days and science festivals. In the last decade a growing awareness of the importance of their role in engaging different audiences in science  and  technology  produced  an  increasing  number  of  studies  as  well  as  innovative  training schemes. Another area of investigation has been the potential of the work of explaineres as a trigger for the interest in science and technology, for example for secondary school pupils, and as an instrument of social inclusion, when explainers represent different communities and work as ambassadors in their respect. This session aims to offer an overview of some of the most advanced reflections on the topic, including projects and research at a large scale (national or international). Convenor Marzia Mazzonetto (VU University Amsterdam) Anne Lise Mathieu, Universcience, Paris, France. The School of mediation is a project sustained by the French national funding program “Investissements  d’Avenir”. The objective of this 4-year project, with an overall budget of €1.36 million, is to set up short continuing vocational training courses suited to the constraints and needs of  actively  employed  scientific  mediators  and  facilitators  in  France. The project has 8 Partners: universities, associations, sciences centres and museums, united to design these courses, and to build a permanent training centre and an observatory of practices. Started in 2012, the first test of a training session will take place in September 2013. The goal is to design training for all the skills required for this job, to help build a community of science explainers and to raise awareness on the importance of these professionals. Patricia Aguilera Jiménez, Dirección General de Divulgación de la Ciencia (DGDC)/ Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), México. The goal of this study is to observe the scientific explainers behaviors in the Museum of the Light in México City. In this museum “light” is showed like a physical phenomenon, its objective is to expose and explain how the scientific community thinks and make scientific knowledge. This explaining is done by a group of students with university profile. They are prepared during 6 months with a “Training Program Scholarship Holder” (consisting of theoretical and practical topics about optical and other issues). The results founded during this PhD research along four years, show continuous and predictable behaviors, structures and sequences when the explainers make scientific demonstrations. All of them show the evolution of explainers throughout their participation in the museum (for two years). The research would like to discuss the application of findings and how the training that they receive may be more relevant to interact with visitors. Luz Lindegaard, Museo
Interactivo Mirador, Chile Since its opening 13 years ago, the Mirador Interactive Museum (MIM) has modeled and tried to perfection its hiring profile of museum guides and its permanent training plan. So far, this is still an unsolved issue considering that work drop-out rates are very high, and the impossibility to offer a career inside MIM do not allow us to withhold good science divulgators. In this opportunity we would like to share our training standards and the results of a survey administered to current museum guides and to the ones that have left their post in order to deduce the impact of working at a Science Museum. We hope this exchange will allow us to understand how to captivate the people that will assume the most important post in a Museum: to be the nexus between the interactive exhibitions and our visitors. Chrystian Carlétti, Espaço Ciência InterAtiva (Science InterActive Space) / Instituto Federal de Educação, Ciência e Tecnologia do Rio de Janeiro (IFRJ), Brazil. Espaço Ciência InterAtiva is a small science center located at Mesquita, a city of metropolitan area of Rio de Janeiro, which currently has a training course for explainers. In partnership with the Museum of Life/House of Oswaldo Cruz/Fiocruz, one of the most important 88 museums of science in Brazil, leads the “Explainers of Brazil”, a doctoral study that seeks know better the explainers who work in more than 200 scientific cultural spaces of Brazil. This research seeks to know who are those professionals that work in the interface between science and the public in that spaces, what their formation, how they are trained. The Explainers of Brazil aims to provide tools to better understand the role of science centers and museums in Brazilian society, as well as provide information for consolidation strategies for training these professionals.

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PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

The professionalization of explainers
Profile, competences and training schemes

Marzia Mazzonetto   VU University Amsterdam, Holland

Anne Lise Mathieu   Universcience, France

Luz Lindegaard   Museo Interactivo Mirador, Chile

Patricia Aguilera Jiménez   Dirección General de Divulgación de la Ciencia / Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico

Chrystian Carlétti   Espaço Ciência InterAtiva - Instituto Federal de Educação, Ciência e Tecnologia do

Rio de Janeiro РInstituto Federal de Educa̤̣o, Ci̻ncia e Tecnologia do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Museum explainers (also called pilots, guides, educators, science communicator, etc.) are the human interface between visitors and their institutions: science and natural history museums, science centres, aquaria, planetaria, visitors centres but also university open days and science festivals. In the last decade a growing awareness of the importance of their role in engaging different audiences in science  and  technology  produced  an  increasing  number  of  studies  as  well  as  innovative  training schemes. Another area of investigation has been the potential of the work of explaineres as a trigger for the interest in science and technology, for example for secondary school pupils, and as an instrument of social inclusion, when explainers represent different communities and work as ambassadors in their respect. This session aims to offer an overview of some of the most advanced reflections on the topic, including projects and research at a large scale (national or international). Convenor Marzia Mazzonetto (VU University Amsterdam) Anne Lise Mathieu, Universcience, Paris, France. The School of mediation is a project sustained by the French national funding program “Investissements  d’Avenir”. The objective of this 4-year project, with an overall budget of €1.36 million, is to set up short continuing vocational training courses suited to the constraints and needs of  actively  employed  scientific  mediators  and  facilitators  in  France. The project has 8 Partners: universities, associations, sciences centres and museums, united to design these courses, and to build a permanent training centre and an observatory of practices. Started in 2012, the first test of a training session will take place in September 2013. The goal is to design training for all the skills required for this job, to help build a community of science explainers and to raise awareness on the importance of these professionals. Patricia Aguilera Jiménez, Dirección General de Divulgación de la Ciencia (DGDC)/ Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), México. The goal of this study is to observe the scientific explainers behaviors in the Museum of the Light in México City. In this museum “light” is showed like a physical phenomenon, its objective is to expose and explain how the scientific community thinks and make scientific knowledge. This explaining is done by a group of students with university profile. They are prepared during 6 months with a “Training Program Scholarship Holder” (consisting of theoretical and practical topics about optical and other issues). The results founded during this PhD research along four years, show continuous and predictable behaviors, structures and sequences when the explainers make scientific demonstrations. All of them show the evolution of explainers throughout their participation in the museum (for two years). The research would like to discuss the application of findings and how the training that they receive may be more relevant to interact with visitors. Luz Lindegaard, Museo
Interactivo Mirador, Chile Since its opening 13 years ago, the Mirador Interactive Museum (MIM) has modeled and tried to perfection its hiring profile of museum guides and its permanent training plan. So far, this is still an unsolved issue considering that work drop-out rates are very high, and the impossibility to offer a career inside MIM do not allow us to withhold good science divulgators. In this opportunity we would like to share our training standards and the results of a survey administered to current museum guides and to the ones that have left their post in order to deduce the impact of working at a Science Museum. We hope this exchange will allow us to understand how to captivate the people that will assume the most important post in a Museum: to be the nexus between the interactive exhibitions and our visitors. Chrystian Carlétti, Espaço Ciência InterAtiva (Science InterActive Space) / Instituto Federal de Educação, Ciência e Tecnologia do Rio de Janeiro (IFRJ), Brazil. Espaço Ciência InterAtiva is a small science center located at Mesquita, a city of metropolitan area of Rio de Janeiro, which currently has a training course for explainers. In partnership with the Museum of Life/House of Oswaldo Cruz/Fiocruz, one of the most important 88 museums of science in Brazil, leads the “Explainers of Brazil”, a doctoral study that seeks know better the explainers who work in more than 200 scientific cultural spaces of Brazil. This research seeks to know who are those professionals that work in the interface between science and the public in that spaces, what their formation, how they are trained. The Explainers of Brazil aims to provide tools to better understand the role of science centers and museums in Brazilian society, as well as provide information for consolidation strategies for training these professionals.

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