Science museum is an institution open to the public to promote culture and heritage,and to develop citizen’s science skills.
Therefore, science museum offers activities for different categories of publics,included children, who represent an high percentage of the visitors. It contributesto develop science literacy in children, by using different approaches to meet theirstyles of learning and to answer their educational needs and expectations.
My paper presents the research we carried out in the Natural History and Archaeology Museum of Montebelluna TV, Italy. More specifically, we want to present to you howwe assessed background information about children perceptions, expectations andinterests regarding science museum. This front-end evaluation activity was functionalfor the Institution to best answer children’s educational needs in order to design a newmuseum area, and it also helped the Museum to plan new science communicationstrategies that might be implemented in the new area.
Having surveyed several International Charts about childhood, we decided it wasimportant to listen to the children’s voices on applying dynamic and interactivetechniques from the sector of education, and to create educational settings wherechildren could discuss together and develop their civic mind.
In consideration of the above, we asked to a group of children (six to eleven years old)to participate in some forums, where they should express their own ideas about thedesign of the new museum area.
“What’s the best on visiting science museums?
What’s the less attracting on visiting science museums?
Who would you like to bring with you to visit a science museum? Why he/she/ they?
How would you like to design a new science museum?”
Starting from those and other questions, young visitors provided us with usefulinformation about their perceptions and preferences. Furthermore, they gaineda good educational experience where they reflected upon what they do in themuseum; they thought and expressed their feeling and options; they lived a happyand productive time together; they had a good occasion to cooperate and discusswithin a group on building a joint project.
The research about this topic raised the staff and trustees’ awareness regarding theirvisitors and potential visitors, on considering the point of view of the audience. It wasalso a good practice for children to develop their self-knowledge and to trial a socialparticipation experience.
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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

What is the best of visiting science museums?
Young visitors’ forum to evaluate science museum offers

Chiara Mauro   Department of Education University of Padova - Italy

Science museum is an institution open to the public to promote culture and heritage,and to develop citizen’s science skills.
Therefore, science museum offers activities for different categories of publics,included children, who represent an high percentage of the visitors. It contributesto develop science literacy in children, by using different approaches to meet theirstyles of learning and to answer their educational needs and expectations.
My paper presents the research we carried out in the Natural History and Archaeology Museum of Montebelluna TV, Italy. More specifically, we want to present to you howwe assessed background information about children perceptions, expectations andinterests regarding science museum. This front-end evaluation activity was functionalfor the Institution to best answer children’s educational needs in order to design a newmuseum area, and it also helped the Museum to plan new science communicationstrategies that might be implemented in the new area.
Having surveyed several International Charts about childhood, we decided it wasimportant to listen to the children’s voices on applying dynamic and interactivetechniques from the sector of education, and to create educational settings wherechildren could discuss together and develop their civic mind.
In consideration of the above, we asked to a group of children (six to eleven years old)to participate in some forums, where they should express their own ideas about thedesign of the new museum area.
“What’s the best on visiting science museums?
What’s the less attracting on visiting science museums?
Who would you like to bring with you to visit a science museum? Why he/she/ they?
How would you like to design a new science museum?”
Starting from those and other questions, young visitors provided us with usefulinformation about their perceptions and preferences. Furthermore, they gaineda good educational experience where they reflected upon what they do in themuseum; they thought and expressed their feeling and options; they lived a happyand productive time together; they had a good occasion to cooperate and discusswithin a group on building a joint project.
The research about this topic raised the staff and trustees’ awareness regarding theirvisitors and potential visitors, on considering the point of view of the audience. It wasalso a good practice for children to develop their self-knowledge and to trial a socialparticipation experience.

A copy of the full paper has not yet been submitted.

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