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Oct 22, 2007 Article
Needs and expectations of teachers about the Science Museum of Castilla-La Mancha

by Santiago Langreo

After serving the community for seven years, the Science Museum of Castilla-La Mancha (MCCM) has decided to renew itself. In this context, a survey of the needs and expectations of the people to which the museum is dedicated plays a major role for the changes planned to prove successful. Teachers are among the main users of the museum, staying at the core of all teaching-learning processes, and play a role as mediators between science and students. This paper analyses the judgements made by teachers about various types of events and teaching resources which are normally provided by science museums and, more specifically, the Science Museum of Castilla-La Mancha. Against that backdrop, science (our content), education (our objective) and the democratic participation of teachers will show a clear route to follow if one wants to achieve quality for our institution and its future events.

Volume 6 • Issue 04 • 2007

Sep 20, 2007 Commentary
Debating as an educational method to science and citizenship

by Sara Calcagnini

If one of aims of science today is to respond to the real needs of society, it must find a new way to communicate with people and to be acquainted with their opinions and knowledge. Many science museums in Europe are adopting new ways to actively engage the public in the debate on topical scientific issues. The Museum of Science and Technology "Leonardo da Vinci" in Milan (partner of the SEDEC project) has thus experimented some formats for dialogue with teachers and with the public in general. Our experience shows that museums can be places where science and the public on the one hand and democracy on the other meet.

Volume 6 • Issue 03 • 2007

Jun 21, 2007 Article
Museums for Science Education: can we make the difference? The case of the EST project

by Maria Xanthoudaki, Brunella Tirelli, Patrizia Cerutti and Sara Calcagnini

This paper addresses the role of museums in education in science and technology through the discussion of a specific project entitled EST “Educate in Science and Technology”. The Project puts together methodologies and activities through which museums can be used as resources for long-term project work. In-service training for teachers, work in class with learning kits or with materials brought in by a Science Van, and visits to the museum are planned and developed jointly by museum experts and teachers. The Project proposes a teaching and learning model which sees the museum experience as central and integral part of a teaching and learning process with more effective outcomes. The analysis of the Project activities and methodologies is based on the work carried out at the National Museum of Science and Technology Leonardo da Vinci, which perceives the learner (the visitor) at the heart of its educational methodologies and provision.

Volume 6 • Issue 02 • 2007

Jun 21, 2007 Commentary
The science and society movement and the MUSE project

by Michele Lanzinger

For the purpose of this article, Science & Society (S&S) is referred to as that current of thoughts and those cultural initiatives aimed at fostering dialogue between research, scientific and technical output on the one hand and society on the other, so as to allow people to make conscious decisions about science and the sustainability of its developments. This concept underlies the elaboration of the MUSE cultural concept, the new Science Museum in Trent, Northern Italy.

Volume 6 • Issue 02 • 2007

Jun 21, 2007 Commentary
The role of science centres and museums in the dialogue between science and society

by Paola Rodari and Matteo Merzagora

In a meta-analysis carried out in 2002, the two main associations of science centres and museums (ASTC, mainly US-centered, and ECSITE, mainly European) gathered all studies analysing the impact of science centres and museums on their local communities1. Four types of impact were identified: personal, social, political and economical. It was noticed that the vast majority of studies concentrated on the personal impact (that is, learning outcome, visitor satisfaction, etc.), while the latter three were largely neglected. The very fact of pointing this out, and many recent experiences - some of which are included in this commentary - show that there is now a shift of attention.

Volume 6 • Issue 02 • 2007

Jun 21, 2007 Commentary
The first kiss of science - From interactivity to dialogue

by Juan Nepote

In the Rafael Nieto Auditorium of the National Autonomous University of San Luis Potosi Mexico, few chairs are empty. The room is full of Astrophysics professors, Solid State of Matter, Elementary Particles, Fluid Mechanics, etc. It is the 49th National Congress of Physic. Today ­extraordinarily- it has slip into the program an analysis round table about the new outlines in science museums in Mexico.

Volume 6 • Issue 02 • 2007

Jun 21, 2007 Commentary
Science museums in a knowledge-based society

by Pietro Greco

What is the role of science museums nowadays? If we want to answer this question, we need to understand the historical period we are living and what role(s) museums can play. We are undoubtedly at the beginning of a new age based on a new relation between science and society, a concept which has been explained and repeated by sociologists and economists over and over again and is confirmed by statistics.

Volume 6 • Issue 02 • 2007

Jun 21, 2007 Commentary
Education, facilitation and inclusion - The tunisinian experience

by Adel Zouaoui

Being aware of the fact that science is a decisive factor for development and individual well being and a citizen's right, no less important than all his other rights, Tunisia's new-Era initiated its Science City on 10 April, 1992. The purpose of such an institution is to disseminate science throughout the whole of Tunisia for the different categories of citizens and to help, in the context of dovetailing with the educational sector, youngsters get, from their earliest years, interested in science and its use.

Volume 6 • Issue 02 • 2007

Jun 21, 2007 Commentary
The Lisbon post-its: how science-in-society issues were reflected in the last ECSITE meetings

by Paola Rodari and Matteo Merzagora

ECSITE is the European network of science centres and museums ( The ECSITE Annual Conference, attended every year by several hundreds of professionals in science museums and science centres (870 at the last edition), and the ECSITE director forum, where full members of the association discuss on focused topics, are excellent observation points. Looking at what goes on in these meetings allows to track what is high on the agenda of the science-centre community, how the focus of interest moves, what are the main concerns of museum professionals.

Volume 6 • Issue 02 • 2007

Dec 21, 2006 Article
Apriti Cielo: the public’s astronomical imagery as a key to evaluate a museum project

by Stefano Giovanardi

An effective communication of astronomy cannot take place without considering the view the general public has on the universe. Through a number of narrative interviews with non-experts, a research was carried out on personal cosmologies, to outline the public’s heterogeneous astronomical imagery. The result is a bundle of conceptions, perceptions and attitudes which are useful to interpret the difficulties the public experiences when facing the contents of astrophysics, and to establish an ongoing dialogue.

Volume 5 • Issue 04 • 2006