On Sunday afternoon, March 6, 2011, over fifty educators from the formal higher education and informal science education worlds gathered at the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, New Jersey to engage in two days of discussion about how both communities could work together to advance STEM learning through the broad focus of civic engagement. The invitational SENCER-ISE Conference was funded by grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Noyce Foundation. The informal science educators who attended SENCER-ISE came primarily from science and natural history museums, science centers, science media and communication outlets, and science organizations such as the National Geographic Society and the Association of Science-Technology Centers. The world of formal science higher education was represented by SENCER faculty, primarily by those who are co-directors of the SENCER Centers for Innovation. The participants came from 19 states and the District of Columbia and also from Canada, Chile, and Israel.
We are happy to share with the entire SENCER community the Executive Summary (http://www.ncsce.net/Initiatives/pdfs/ExecSum_ISE_Aug11.pdf) to the conference proceedings. Participants saw the initial discussions as the first step to explore the commonalities between informal and formal science education and possibilities for future collaboration. We are developing opportunities for further networking and will share that information as it becomes available.
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