This year's Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico will include a public event called "Science in the Park." In Tiguex Park, science educators attending the conference from around the world will show off their best outreach activities, prototypes, and demonstrations to local students and members of the science museum and informal science education communities.
The event will take place Tuesday, October 22 from 11 AM to 2 PM across from two of the conference's host centers, Explora and the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science. Among the science fun will be Nanodays activities from the Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network. (See Howtosmile.org's Nanodays Think Small, Very Small blog post.)
Public science at professional meetings is a growing trend. In 2013, the National Science Teacher's Association (NSTA) conference sponsored a Community Science Festival in San Antonio for parents, teachers, students, school officials and other community members. The purpose was to help "rekindle a national sense of urgency and action among schools and families about the importance of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education, while entertaining and motivating tomorrow's innovators and achievers to pursue careers in the STEM fields." The American Geophysical Union (AGU) conference held a free, public Exploration Station at its last meeting in San Francisco, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting included three public Family Science Days in Boston. (See Howtosmile.org's "Scientists Go Public" blog post.) During this year's professional programs at the ASTC conference, Howtosmile.org Principal Investigator Darrell Porcello will join the "Still Kickin' It Indie Style" session on Monday, October 21, 11:30 AM-1:30 PM, to demonstrate hands-on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) activities that are low cost and high impact.