The increasing interest for Science reveals the importance of museum institutions in Science and Technology for their educational, motivational and recreational traits. There has been a visible increase in Brazilian scientific production within the last ten years. This reality has been reflected in the making of national public policy to ST&I, with important reflexes on academia and, to a narrower extent, on the private sector. Within the scope of a scientific culture formation, it can be attested, however, a real, though timid, growth of dynamic (hands-on) museumdriven initiatives, aiming to attract and stimulate interest in ST&I in society, and, in special, in children and teenagers. Even though the national discourse points towards the strategic potential of ST&I for the development of the country, science education still has a lot to improve, as it can be observed by the negative results of national and international tests within the areas of Science, Mathematics and Reading. What would, then, be the contribution of science centers and museums towards a formation of a national scientific culture? How do the processes of establishment and management of these institutions come about and how do they articulate with municipal public policies? In order to be able to understand these dynamics and the interface museum institutions make with educational, political, managerial and social sectors, the present research examines three different museum propositions. It consider their educational and recreational aspects, as well as of managerial-financial nature. The research is a multiple case study. The selected institutions are located in São Paulo state, the Brazilian science hub which concentrates most of the resources and research. They are: Catavento Cultural (state-run, located in São Paulo city), Sabina School Park of Knowledge (municipal, in the city of Santo André, inland State of São Paulo) and Exploratory Museum of Science (university-run, at Unicamp, in Campinas). Results of the research show the need of improvement in managerial and financial areas; the relative importance of museums in science education; the narrow diversity of pedagogical actions with the public and teachers; the low usage of museums as public tools, integrated to the cities; and the difficulty in promoting accessibility in all its forms. On the other hand, it was possible to see a considerable level of approval of these non-formal education spaces by the public.

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

The role of science museums in scientific culture (Catavento, Sabina and Unicamp exploratory museum)

Adriana Lima   Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Brazil

Maria das Graças Conde Caldas   Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Brazil

The increasing interest for Science reveals the importance of museum institutions in Science and Technology for their educational, motivational and recreational traits. There has been a visible increase in Brazilian scientific production within the last ten years. This reality has been reflected in the making of national public policy to ST&I, with important reflexes on academia and, to a narrower extent, on the private sector. Within the scope of a scientific culture formation, it can be attested, however, a real, though timid, growth of dynamic (hands-on) museumdriven initiatives, aiming to attract and stimulate interest in ST&I in society, and, in special, in children and teenagers. Even though the national discourse points towards the strategic potential of ST&I for the development of the country, science education still has a lot to improve, as it can be observed by the negative results of national and international tests within the areas of Science, Mathematics and Reading. What would, then, be the contribution of science centers and museums towards a formation of a national scientific culture? How do the processes of establishment and management of these institutions come about and how do they articulate with municipal public policies? In order to be able to understand these dynamics and the interface museum institutions make with educational, political, managerial and social sectors, the present research examines three different museum propositions. It consider their educational and recreational aspects, as well as of managerial-financial nature. The research is a multiple case study. The selected institutions are located in São Paulo state, the Brazilian science hub which concentrates most of the resources and research. They are: Catavento Cultural (state-run, located in São Paulo city), Sabina School Park of Knowledge (municipal, in the city of Santo André, inland State of São Paulo) and Exploratory Museum of Science (university-run, at Unicamp, in Campinas). Results of the research show the need of improvement in managerial and financial areas; the relative importance of museums in science education; the narrow diversity of pedagogical actions with the public and teachers; the low usage of museums as public tools, integrated to the cities; and the difficulty in promoting accessibility in all its forms. On the other hand, it was possible to see a considerable level of approval of these non-formal education spaces by the public.

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