By Kate Skelly
Arizona Science Center is located in Heritage and Science Park in the heart of downtown Phoenix. The Center serves over a half million guests annually, nearly 140,000 of which are school children. To accomplish its mission to, “Inspire, educate, and engage curious minds through science”, Arizona Science Center utilizes an informal, hands-on approach to science exploration and inspiration. The Center's dynamic programming includes focused field trips, camps, to-the-moon and beyond presentations in the Dorrance Planetarium, immersive shows in their 5-story IMAX Theater, and featured traveling exhibitions.
Chevy Humphrey is President and CEO of Arizona Science Center, as well as a Co-Chair of the 2016 Annual Meeting Host Committee. Chevy has been with Arizona Science Center since 1998. In this Member Spotlight, Chevy discusses Arizona Science Center, its programming, and its place in Phoenix’s growing cultural scene.
How have Phoenix’s museums influenced the city, its communities, and culture?
The cultural footprint in Arizona is strong and growing. We attract visitors from all over the world. Our collective educational efforts and mission to provide Arts and Sciences exposure to locals, as well as out-of-state visitors, can have a positive and lasting impact on their lives.
You began working at Arizona Science Center in 1998. How has ASC changed since then?
Arizona Science Center has remained steadfast in our mission: To inspire, educate, and engage curious minds through science! At the same time, we’ve grown, enhanced our contributions to the community with programming and services, and we have pushed our own boundaries by continuing to be on the cutting-edge of creativity and innovation.
How can science centers foster a love of science in their communities?
Science centers, and particularly our Center, fill a unique space in support of today’s fast-paced and ever-growing communities. The human connection is so important to what we do. In fact, our guest's experiences and emphasis on learning-by-doing happen when guests don’t even realize it! Arizona Science Center staff have a passion and commitment to having fun while also engaging our visitors on STEM subjects in a fun and engaging way. If you haven’t been to our Center, please check us out. No two visits are the same!
What are some current trends in museum education that you find particularly interesting?
The online to offline classroom evolution is very interesting. Museums have always provided a platform for free-choice learning. Now the world has caught up with the power of this! People learn through a number of mediums and now have the ability to search anything they want to know about on the Internet. That said, Arizona Science Center plays a key role in creating a seamless integration of physical and digital immersion. By opening access to these experiences, we are supporting active learning through skill sets needed for the future – critical thinking; problem solving; and team building. Our physical space offers hands-on experiences that are fun, create wonder, and inspire action; while our virtual presence keeps the wonder going until the next visit. We encourage personalized learning so that we meet our visitor’s life-long learning needs. This is has been and still is a current trend in our Industry.
What would you like to say to attendees as they prepare for WMA 2016 in Phoenix?
Phoenix is an amazing city that is growing with a vibrant downtown and an emphasis on education, technical innovation, and growth. Arizona Science Center is pleased to be a host of the upcoming WMA conference in 2016. We can’t wait to share the beauty of the desert with you!
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