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affiliations conference preview: spaces for learning

Do you operate an education center at your museum, or thinking about it?  Join us at the Affiliations National Conference on June 10-12  to meet colleagues who are opening or running new spaces for learning on the Smithsonian campus.  Through tours of these spaces, frank discussions with colleagues, exchanging resources and research, and hands-on activities, discover and share what makes an education center such a vital place in a museum.

Affiliations staff is currently working with the following museums to feature their education spaces:qurious

  • The National Museum of Natural History will be opening Q?RIUS in 2013, a new interactive 10,000 square foot programming space.  Q?RIUS will have access to a 20,000 specimen collection representing all departments of the museum, innovative programming and distance learning opportunities.
  • The National Museum of the American Indian’s imagiNATIONS activity center invites families to explore how Native peoples have adapted to natural environments with innovation.  Visitors can explore different kinds of transportation (snowshoes and skateboards), homes (tipis, adobes, igloos), hands-on activities (basket-weaving, Native percussion), and more.
  • The National Museum of American History is undergoing a major renovation that will result in new education spaces when they reopen in 2015.  Affiliates can talk to the staff about their planning and prototyping process, the “Object Project” and demonstration spaces, and explore possible collaboration opportunities.
  • The National Air and Space Museum’s Moving Beyond Earth gallery is an immersive space that puts visitors “in orbit.”  Affiliates can enter their Shuttle mock-up to learn about life in orbit (including the space toilet), or play the interactive SpaceFlight Academy, a group quiz that tests flight readiness.
  • The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden’s very popular ARTLAB+ is a digital media studio forARTLAB teens.  Staff will share how they provide access to professional technology and art, coupled with mentorship, to develop a community of young creators and innovators.   

Come to the Affiliations National Conference in Washington, D.C., on June 10-12, and bring your own experiences with education spaces to share with Smithsonian and Affiliate colleagues in these hands-on tours.  See you there!

The Smithsonian Affiliations National Conference is for current Affiliates only. If you are interested in becoming an Affiliate, please contact Elizabeth Bugbee for more information.

2013 National Conference: Connect, Collaborate, Engage!

Join us in Washington, D.C., June 10-12, 2013! Each year we try to raise the bar a little higher and create an unforgettable conference where unexpected connections are made, new collaborations are forged, and new ideas are discovered.  

As we begin planning the 2013 Affiliations National Conference, we’d like to hear from our Affiliates. Tell us what sessions you’d like. Is there a behind-the-scenes tour you’d like to see? Is there a Smithsonian expert you’re dying to hear from? Is there a topic you’d like to hear more about? We want to know! Email Elizabeth Bugbee with your ideas.

Perhaps you have a session idea of your own you’d like to present? We are opening up the conference to Affiliate session proposals. Click here for our Session Proposal Form.  

Please follow these guidelines when submitting a proposal:

  1. Session idea must be a collaborative opportunity which aims to reach out to larger, more diverse audiences.
  2. Session idea must align with one of the Smithsonian’s grand challenges:
    Unlocking the Mysteries of the Universe
    Understanding and Sustaining a Biodiverse Planet
    Valuing World Cultures
    Understanding the American Experience
    Revitalizing Education
  3. We’d like the conference sessions to be as participatory as possible, so sessions that ask attendees to actively participate are encouraged. 

Let’s make the 2013 Affiliations National Conference the best yet!  

The Smithsonian Affiliations National Conference is for current Affiliates only. If you are interested in becoming an Affiliate, please contact Elizabeth Bugbee for more information. 


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