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Now available as an electronic publication only, this collection of inexpensive exhibit ideas is perfect for small museums and exhibit developers on a tight budget. The book provides construction tips and exhibit schematics. Exhibits include the weight changer, liquid crystal walls, Mobius zippers, and more. Paul Orselli; ASTC, 1995. 69 pp. PDF only. #89E
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This report by the Issues Laboratory Collaborative reveals that the public wants to see controversial exhibits, as long as the museum shows both sides of the issue. Communicating Controversy indicates how museums can examine controversial issues without themselves becoming the focus of the controversy. Issues Laboratory Collaborative, 1995. 36 pp. #83
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Limited stock — order now! An Invisible Infrastructure: Institutions of Informal Science Education Inverness Research Associates, 1996; Volume 1: Findings (20 pp.); Volume 2: Statistics (126 pp.); Sold as set only. #97/98
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In The Passionate Fact: Storytelling in Natural History and Cultural Interpretation, Susan Strauss shows how good storytelling weaves a magical web around scientific facts and theories. Strauss uses examples from Native American myths and legends, stories told by friends and collegues, and anecdotes from her work as a storyteller at the Smithsonian Institution's Museum of Natural History and the National Park Service. Susan Strauss; North American Press, 1996. 152 pp. #96
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Science demonstrations, science exhibits, special event plans, and enrichment class curricula make this an ideal publication for those who are just starting a science center or want to infuse new life into their present programs. This book grew out of the NSF-funded Science Carnival Consortium project at Pacific Science Center, which was designed to assist new and developing science centers. Pacific Science Center, 1996. 275 pp. #99
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With its Science City exhibition, the New York Hall of Science took to the streets of the Big Apple, turning street lights, storm drains, and manhole covers into outdoor, public exhibits on urban infrastructure. Take to the Streets examines site selection, approvals and permits, and successful and unsuccessful exhibit ideas, and provides sketches for many of the exhibits that appeared in Science City. New York Hall of Science, 1995. 34 pp. #88
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This four-part report identifies the critical dimensions in starting a science center. The report is the result of a survey of nearly 100 new or expanding science centers and museums, and in-depth, on-site interviews at six. Included are survey data, analysis of interviews, and suggestions for planning. Mark St. John and Sheila Grinell; ASTC, 1993-1996. Sold as set only; partly photocopied. 108 pp. #73
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An ASTC Bulletin that provides guidelines for designing a science center, including ceiling heights, floor loads, lighting systems, electricity, and more. Ten case studies show how the guidelines work in the real world of science-center construction. Charles Howarth Jr. and Maeryta Medrano; ASTC, 1997. 55 pp. #110
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Co-produced by ASTC and the Association of Children's Museums (ACM), this report is based on a survey of 155 US institutions and features detailed data on 14 positions, including salaries analyzed by museum size, educational requirements, benefits provided, and turnover rates. Salary information for 10 additional positions, plus information from CEOs at 25 institutions outside the US are included. PDF format only. 308 pp. #103-2011 FREE for members that contributed data to this report.
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Co-produced by ASTC and the Association of Children's Museums (ACM), this report is based on a survey of 177 U.S. institutions and features compensation data on 24 positions, analyzed by museum operating expenses and location; demographic, educational background, and compensation data for CEOs; employee benefits; and a look at workforce and compensation issues for floor staff. PDF format only. 161 pp. #103-2016 FREE for members that contributed data to this report. Due to the electronic
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Whether starting a new science center or expanding an existing one, a sound business plan is vital to success. This ASTC Bulletin describes why and how to create one and includes a sample plan. Charles H. Trautmann; ASTC, 1997. Available in photocopy only. 26 pp. #111
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Thirty more cheap exhibit ideas, now available as an electronic publication. This edition includes, among others, Pyramid Puzzle by Dan Goldwater, Howling Cats by Stephen Pizzey, and Magnetic Canvas by Chris Burda. Paul Orselli; ASTC, 1999. 49 pp. PDF only. #125E
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Another 31 cheap exhibit ideas, now available as an electronic publication. Featured in Volume 3 are Harvey the Invisible Rabbit by Harry White, Little from the Big by Pietro Cerreta, Parabolic Throw by Geoff Snowdon, and Cartesian Floater by Al Read. Paul Orselli; ASTC, 2004. 68 pp. PDF only. #150E
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This publication is a must for museums engaged in or considering collaboration. The result of a seven-month 1995 study involving four focus groups and 23 in-depth interviews with professionals from science centers at all stages of development, the book provides seven assessment criteria for choosing a project and 12 keys to successful collaboration. Pacific Science Center and SLi, 1997. 69 pp. #106
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TWO GREAT BOOKS, ONE GREAT PRICE! Package of The Convivial Museum and the companion volume, Visitor Voices in Museum Exhibitions, at a discounted price. #159
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In a time of challenge, what can museum professionals do to assure that museums continue to fulfill their promise as essential public institutions? This richly illustrated book offers reflections about key dimensions of a defining quality of vibrant public places, which the authors call "conviviality"—a welcoming spirit, orientation to the community, comfort, opportunities for social engagement, and places for healing and renewal. Kathleen McLean and Wendy Pollock; ASTC, 2011. 200 pp. #158
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This book looks at family groups in four science museums. It summarizes the results of a four-year NSF-funded R & D project—defining and measuring family learning, determining exhibit characteristics that facilitate active family learning, and developing exhibit components that embody these characteristics and measure their impact. Minda Borun, et al; Philadelphia/Camden Informal Science Education Collaborative, 1998. Available in pdf format only. 70 pp. #121
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Drawing on the Science Museum of Minnesota's experiences with its Experiment Gallery activity station, Jane Snell Copes has put together this compilation of proven, hands-on science activities designed for museums. The book is indispensable for its tips on interacting with visitors, building sturdy equipment, locating suppliers for consumables, and keeping activities safe. Jane Snell Copes; Science Museum of Minnesota, 1997. 173 pp. #107
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With the first wave of baby boomers now looking to the next phase of life, the time is right for museums to expand their engagement with older adult audiences. This publication offers positive examples, inspirational stories, and resources for those who are ready to get involved. Wendy Pollock, Editor; ASTC, 2009. 55 pp. #154
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Math Momentum in Science Centers is the final product of a three-year, NSF-funded initiative led by TERC in partnership with ASTC. The book is based on the experiences of 13 U.S. science centers and aquariums that took on the challenge of making mathematics not only more visible in their institutions, but also more engaging, inquiry-based, and broadly accessible. Jan Mokros, et al.; TERC, 2006. 168 pp. #151
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In this expanded and updated version of her 1992 A New Place for Learning Science, author Grinell, former president and CEO of the Arizona Science Center, offers advice based on more than 30 years' experience in working with start-ups. Sheila Grinell; ASTC, 2003. 128 pp. #143
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It is well known that science museums offer extensive programming for teachers in the classroom, but little is known about how they are helping to prepare future teachers currently enrolled in college and university preservice programs. This publication helps to fill that information gap. Twelve museum profiles highlight key elements necessary to the success of preservice partnerships. Sally Middlebrooks; ASTC, 1999. 76 pp. #128
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A must-read for museum professionals engaged in exhibition development, program planning, marketing campaigns, and the development of new facilities. "Front-end studies"—or research done at the onset of the planning process—can help museums to build bridges between themselves and visitors. This volume, based upon dozens of studies in the field, guides the reader through the planning process. Lynn D. Dierking and Wendy Pollock; ASTC, 1998. 131 pp. #120
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This book is a timely survey of ways museums are incorporating user-contributed content in exhibitions and other media. Overview articles by the editors plus 29 other articles describe a variety of experiments dating from the 1970s to the present -- from comment books to sticky notes, video kiosks to blogs. For professional and student alike, Visitor Voices offers inspiration, food for thought, and practical advice. Kathleen McLean and Wendy Pollock, editors; ASTC, 2007. 164 pp. #152
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Do you excel in math? Struggle with it? If the answer is Yes, this book is for you! These math questions show you that math is everywhere—and knowing how to tackle it is useful… and fun. With entertaining connections to popular culture, sports, hobbies, science and careers, the challenges are intriguing and insightful (plus you don’t need a calculator or paper to solve them). Open this book and discover the fascinating world of math! Free shipping to U.S. addresses only. Please contact pubs@a
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Why do you see lightning before you hear thunder? What keeps the planets orbiting around the sun? What metal is a liquid at room temperature? Science affects everything - yet so many of us wish we understood it better. Using an accessible question-and-answer approach, key concepts in biology, chemistry, physics, earth and general science are explored and demystified in this award-winning book. An engaging and fun way to better your understanding of how science surrounds us every day. Free shi
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Based primarily on data reported in late 2014 and early 2015 by 188 science centers and museums, this electronic report includes a master table of key data points for individual respondents, graphs suitable for dropping into digital presentations, and over 60 tables and graphs of information on facilities, programs, attendance, membership, employees and volunteers, and finances. PDF only. #4-2014
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Based primarily on data reported in late 2015 and early 2016 by 192 science centers and museums, this electronic report includes a master table of key data points for individual respondents, graphs suitable for dropping into digital presentations, and over 60 tables and graphs of information on facilities, programs, attendance, membership, employees, and finances. PDF only. #4-2015
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These three collections of inexpensive exhibit ideas, which are now available in PDF format, have been extremely popular. Perfect for small museums and exhibit developers on a budget, each volume provides construction tips and exhibit schematics for 30 time-tested interactive exhibits. We are now selling these together for a discount, so buy all three for a special price today! PDF only. #169E
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This compilation includes a number of the highest-rated affordable exhibits from The Cheapbook, Cheapbook 2, and Cheapbook 3, as well as a number of brand new exhibit ideas. These are great for people who want to put together science exhibits while on a budget and would like to see what other museums voted on as the best. Order now to save big time on exhibits! PDF only. #170
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The discounts get even better when you combine the latest entry of the Cheapbooks series with the Cheapbooks 1-3 Bundle. Cheapbooks Greatest Hits mainly features the most popular exhibits from the first three Cheapbooks (chosen by Cheapbooks users) but also contains 12 brand new and affordable exhibit ideas. Now is your chance to experience every exhibit idea compiled by Paul Orselli and ASTC. PDF only. #178
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Limited stock — order now! H. Richard Crane; Ann Arbor Hands•On Museum, 1992. 106 pp. #60
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A must for exhibit developers, researchers, educators, and other museum professionals looking for ways to engage visitors more deeply with interactive science exhibits, this book documents the exploration and findings of the Exploratorium's APE project. Thomas Humphrey, Joshua P. Gutwill, and the Exploratorium APE Team; Exploratorium, 2005. 144 pp. #205
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This book is an important tool for employees and managers who want to communicate more effectively. The Four Conversations: Daily Communication that Gets Results shows some of the mistakes that are made in everyday conversation and provides the reader with the tools how to minimize those mistakes and to communicate in a way that is productive both for themselves and their colleagues. Jeffrey Ford and Laurie Ford; Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2009. 240 pp. #166
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A wonderful introduction to the world of mammals. In this award-winning book, kids learn how 14 baby mammals eat, sleep, learn and grow. Filled with fascinating facts and beautiful images, it explores how the babies navigate their journey from helpless infants to self-sufficient adults. The content correlates directly with lifecycle curriculum. Also available in Spanish, Hebrew and Dutch. Free shipping to U.S. addresses only. Please contact pubs@astc.org before ordering for delivery to anoth
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In Their Own Voices is the story of thirteen families from the African American, Latino, and Asian communities in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Camden, New Jersey, who have been actively involved in grant-funded outreach programs for nearly two decades. The collection is a surprisingly candid and moving portrait of the significant role that these programs can play in the lives of local families. Minda Borun, et al., The Franklin Institute, 2011. 70 pp. #160
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Treat yourself to an intriguing story of great discoveries. In “Leonardo da Vinci Gets a Do-Over,” the Renaissance Master returns to test his genius in the modern world. With the help of three American middle schoolers, da Vinci attempts to catch up on 500 years of knowledge in a quest to invent something to better humankind. The seventh graders become da Vinci’s ambassadors to the modern age, all the while being enthralled by his tales of Renaissance life. An entertaining, engaging and inventiv
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Limited stock — order now! Melanie L. Herman and Peggy M. Jackson; Nonprofit Risk Management Center, 2001. 96 pp. #20
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Crack open this book to sharpen your logic and reasoning skills. These literature-based math mysteries take just one minute to read. The brainteasers are entertaining, but even better, their real-world connections help kids see math concepts and quandaries as approachable, learnable and solvable. A fun way to develop deductive reasoning skills and discover the joys of math! Free shipping to U.S. addresses only. Please contact pubs@astc.org before ordering for delivery to another country.
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Bilingual (Spanish/English) edition of our award-winning science mysteries book. Each mystery takes just one minute to read and challenges kids to use their critical thinking skills. Mysteries in earth, space, life, physical, chemical and general science are included. Now you can solve science brainteasers in two languages! Free shipping to U.S. addresses only. Please contact pubs@astc.org before ordering for delivery to another country.
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The mysteries are back! 65 More Short Mysteries You Solve With Science continues the fun. Each story takes just one minute to read, but they have a clever twist—you have to tap into your critical thinking skills to solve them. Challenge your science knowledge in this fun, problem-solving book. These brainteasers will keep you engaged and eager to learn more! Free shipping to U.S. addresses only. Please contact pubs@astc.org before ordering for delivery to another country.
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Not your ordinary mystery book, One Minute Mysteries makes science fun! Each story, just one minute long, challenges your knowledge in earth, space, life, physical, chemical, and general science. No tools or special equipment required, all you need is a willingness to have fun. This entertaining and educational book is great for kids, grown-ups, educators and anyone who loves good mysteries, good science, or both! Free shipping to U.S. addresses only. Please contact pubs@astc.org befor
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This title teaches leaders how to evaluate and define their leadership maxims by leading oneself, leading the thinking, leading one's people, and leading a balanced life. Based on Mike Figliuolo's "Leadership Maxims" training course, One Piece of Paper is a fundamental addition for leaders in all fields. Mike Figliuolo; Jossey Bass, 2011. 244 pp. #167
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TWO GREAT BOOKS, ONE GREAT PRICE! Package of One Piece of Paper and The Four Conversations: Daily Communication that Gets Results, at a discounted price. #168
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McLean's best-selling book provides museum professionals with a broad understanding of the many disciplines needed to produce effective exhibitions, from industrial, graphic, and interior design to writing, editing, psychology, and management. Kathleen McLean; ASTC, 1993. 196 pp. #67
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Progressive Museum Practice: John Dewey and Democracy is a unique and historically relevant read that delves into John Dewey's influence on museum practice, as well as into the significance of museums in fostering democracy and education. If you want to learn about an important aspect of museum education history, this is a must-read. George E. Hein; Left Coast Press, 2012. 254 pp. #165
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TWO GREAT BOOKS, ONE GREAT PRICE! Package of Science on Stage Anthology and The Passionate Fact: Storytelling in Natural History and Cultural Interpretation, at a discounted price. #159
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This anthology comprises five plays written by and performed at science centers: Alice in Numberland, George Washington Carver: Born to Succeed, Sara the Scientist, The Soap Opera, and Wondrous Visions: A Visit with Leonardo da Vinci. Includes the scripts, playwright's notes, and production histories and rights. Tessa Bridal and Susan McCormick, editors; ASTC, 1991. 128 pp. #51
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Limited stock — order now! Judith White; Smithsonian Institution, 1992. 69 pp. #61
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Practitioners in informal science settings—science centers and museums, aquariums, zoos, botanical gardens, and more—are interested in finding out what learning looks like in those settings, how to measure it, and what they can do to ensure that all visitors come away with a positive learning experience. Surrounded by Science is designed to make that task easier. Marilyn Fenichel and Heidi A. Schweingruber; National Academies Press, 2010. 220 pp. #162
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The Art of Tinkering is an unprecedented celebration of what it means to tinker: to take things apart, explore tools and materials, and build wondrous, wild art that's part science and part technology. Join 150+ makers as they share the stories behind their beautiful and bold work-and use the special conductive ink on the cover to do some tinkering yourself!
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Is a ghost haunting the school pool? Seventh-grader John Hawkins feels all alone in his new school until his interest in robotics lands him an invitation to join four of his classmates in a secret group. John, along with new friends, Malena, Hector, Natsumi and Kimmey, pool their knowledge of biology, technology, logic, and chemistry to unravel mysteries that haunt their quiet town. Can they expel the ghost in time for the competition against their cross-town rivals? A mystery novel with a side
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This book demystifies the formative evaluation process. Step-by-step procedures are provided, along with case studies from around the United States. The book contains contributions from Minda Borun, Margaret Chambers, Lisa Detloff, Alan Friedman, Patricia McNamara, Chandler Screven, Beverly Serrell, Cary Sneider, and David Taylor. Samuel Taylor, editor; New York Hall of Science, 1992. 118 pp. #58
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This book looks at the human factors that affect hands-on exhibits. Illustrations provide data on human dimensions for visitors of all ages and sizes, including wheelchair users. The manual covers creating legible, accessible labels; designing user-friendly viewers and eyepieces; selecting exhibit controls and making them easy to use; planning audio exhibits and noise control; and much more. Jeff Kennedy; ASTC, 1990. 77 pp. #36
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With support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, ASTC commissioned 10 research articles for publication in the ASTC Newsletter and several other association journals on such topics as measuring learning, naive notions, writing exhibit labels, and science centers as research laboratories. This volume presents the series. Beverly Serrell, editor; ASTC, 1990. #38
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Following up on the success of the first volume, this book contains essays on communicating risk, explaining difficult concepts, identifying and serving new museum audiences, using focus groups, assessing school field trips, and designing exhibits that motivate, and more. Minda Borun, Shelia Grinell, Patty McNamara, and Bevery Serrell, editors; ASTC, 1993. 44 pp. #68