May 4 - Concurrent Professional Development Sessions
3:45 p.m.–5:00 p.m.
Putting the FUN in Funding: Creative and Effective Donor Recognition
Panel: Is donor recognition a win-win, or always a trade-off? Efforts to begin a capital campaign, renovate a gallery, look for program sponsorship, or acknowledge annual donors lead to discussions of who to acknowledge, and how. Learn your colleagues' approach to the ethics, and the "who, what, when, where, how?" of donor recognition. We'll explore innovative ways to say thanks while bringing a fun, creative spirit to recognizing those who make contributions that in turn make our achievements possible.
Keeping Our Spaces Safe and Secure
Town Hall: Despite our best wishes, no public venues are immune to the risks of accidents, medical emergencies, violence, or natural disasters. We want our children's museums to be safe havens of play-filled learning, but we still need to be aware of and have a plan to deal with the threats that exists to that ideal. We want to offer welcoming and inviting environments, but still maintain the safety and security necessary to provide engaging experiences for all. What is too much safety and security? Where is that line between too much and not enough? Join us for an invigorating conversation about one of the most basic elements of museum operations.
Designing Outdoor Areas with Sustainability in Mind
Talk Show: How many ways can sustainability be considered during the process of developing an outdoor area? Environmental sustainability is top of mind, but what about social and economic sustainability? In this lively town hall-meets-talk show, come together to create a David Letterman-esque Top Ten List of things to keep in mind when designing outdoor spaces with sustainability in mind. Design criteria, decision-making process, materials, accessibility, equity, etc., will also be covered. Panelists will unveil their Top Ten lists, followed by a lively, collaborative Top Ten list-making extravaganza.
Out-of-School Programs: Successes and Lessons Learned
Town Hall: Everyone likes meaningful collaboration with measureable outcomes. Out-of-school programs—like camps, outreach and afterschool programming—are a fantastic way to meet museums' goals of accessibility and impact while establishing truly beneficial partnerships. Hear from two museum education teams about six different programs that stretched their museums to better serve elementary-age students and engaged families in fun, interactive learning. Presenters will share successes and mistakes to help attendees draw a road map for how to launch and sustain out-of-school programs on any budget. The session will include a structured Q&A discussion.
Kids at Heart: Millennial Engagement in Children's Museums
Workshop: Kids at Heart will present tools for children's museums looking to create engagement programs for Millennials. Many Millennials are becoming parents themselves, however, a large portion of the population is often overlooked by children's museums. With the largest transfer of wealth in history nearing, it is crucial to engage this population to ensure long-term sustainability. The session will be based on the launch of a successful pilot program at the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh and ignite a discussion about turning today's young professionals into tomorrow's major donors and unwavering advocates.
Creating a Learning Framework: How to Get Started
Workshop: The buzz continues to build about learning frameworks and their power to provide a cohesive underpinning for a museum's educational work. But how does a museum get started down the path of creating one? And what does a "finished" institutional learning framework look like? This interactive session will combine short presentations with activities to jumpstart the process and continue it after the conference. Review existing examples, identify common aspects of frameworks, and hear from presenters in the process of creating a learning framework, all while engaging in reflection and small group conversation.
Ten Easy Ways to Be More LGBTQ Friendly—and Why It Matters
Firestarter/Panel: Welcoming LGBTQ individuals and families is easier than you might think. Come explore how current best practices for child development and customer service apply to LGBTQ families. Hear from those with first-hand experience how good it feels to be included, talk with an early childhood expert who demystifies a topic that can feel political and controversial, and walk through a checklist of helpful tips with museum staff who have already implemented numerous LGBTQ family-friendly practices. Leave this session feeling empowered to better serve LGBTQ families.
Reimagining School Readiness: Key Findings from Research and Practical Implications
Panel: Kids entering kindergarten in 2017 will be entering the workforce in 2034. For these kids, school readiness is about being ready for schools as they are now, and also how they will evolve. The Bay Area Discovery Museum's Center for Childhood Creativity will present findings from their recently released white paper that summarizes new insights into school readiness. Educators from three very different museums will discuss practical implications for these findings from the research.
Crowdfunding for Community Partnership
Workshop: Making Spaces is a partnership between Google, Children's Museum of Pittsburgh, Maker Ed, and ten regional hubs, including children's museums, to integrate making into schools across the US through crowdfunding. This session brings together many current trends in museum work—the integration of makerspaces into museum practice, crowdfunding as a tool for fundraising, and new methods for museum-community partnership. Partners have created resources that enable museum professionals, teachers and students to plan for and activate learning communities around making. Engage with these resources, and learn about additional resources that are available on the project website and learn about opportunities for future involvement, as the project continues to scale up.