The National Center for Science and Civic Engagement at Harrisburg University has just been awarded a one-year grant of $239,260 from the National Science Foundation to hold “SENCER-ISE,” an invitational conference that will create partnerships between formal and informal science educators to advance STEM learning through civic engagement. The conference, planned for late winter/early spring, will improve communication and expand collaboration between these two communities. David Burns is the principal investigator, Alan Friedman is the project director and informal science education coordinator, and Ellen Mappen will serve as the SENCER coordinator for this new initiative.
Alan J. Friedman is a consultant in museum development and science communication. For 22 years he served as Director of the New York Hall of Science, New York City’s public science-technology center. Under his leadership the Hall won special recognition for encouraging new technologies, creating new models for teacher training, and serving an extraordinarily diverse audience. He is the recipient of the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Award for Public Understanding of Science, the Association of Science-Technology Centers’ Fellow Award, and the American Institute of Physics’ Gemant Award. The American Association of Museums named him to its Centennial Honor Roll in 2006. He currently serves on the National Assessment Governing Board and the Boards of the Noyce Foundation, Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, and the Fund for the City of York. Before coming to New York Dr. Friedman worked at the Cite des Sciences et de l’Industrie, Paris, and the Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Friedman received his Ph.D. in Physics from Florida State University and his B.S. in Physics from Georgia Tech.
Regarding SENCER-ISE, he commented,” SENCER and the world of Informal Science Education (ISE) are both populated with very smart people who are deeply committed to sharing science with everyone they can reach. They are even using similar techniques, such as involving non-scientists in studying consequential issues. Yet as far as I know, leaders of these two communities have never met. That’s what is so exciting about SENCER-ISE: imagine what great ideas and projects could come out of this first meeting.”