May 5 - Concurrent Professional Development Sessions

9:00 a.m.–10:15 a.m.

Mistakes Were Made
Firestarter: Resources squandered, stakeholders alienated, deadlines missed. We honestly admit our biggest blunders and what we learned from them. A crowd-sourced contest finds the biggest mistakes in the room followed by presentation of the ACM Epic Failure Trophy of 2017. Sharing is the first step in learning!

Crisis Communication
Panel: How museums respond to difficult situations and the public messaging that follows a crisis can have long-standing ramifications if not managed adeptly. This session will share insight on conflict management and de-escalation training on common issues facing museums. Discussion will focus on addressing disputes between guests, visitor to staff sexual confrontation, aggravated crowds, navigating cultural differences, and unauthorized pick-up due to custody disputes. Walk away with the framework for preparing a robust Crisis Communication Plan, including strategies for crafting public messaging, identifying which audiences need to be informed, and addressing media.

Starting Small: Launching a Museum and University Collaboration
Firestarter: Many museum professionals want to collaborate with university researchers, and vice versa. But how do you start, especially if you work in a small, mid-sized, or newer museum? How do you ensure that the partnership is mutually beneficial? Learn replicable strategies from a partnership between Children's Museum Tucson and the University of Arizona. After short presentations from both the university and museum perspectives, discuss examples of first steps that can be taken to develop such collaborations.

The Art of Working Together: Managing an International Collaboration
Media Club/Panel: Children in the 21st century navigate an increasingly globalized world, and children's museums are uniquely poised to be sites of global awareness and international connections. Find out how an established children's museum in Chicago and an emerging museum in Johannesburg, South Africa, created a successful international art exchange program for children. Children and artists in both cities worked together on a collaborative art project, and afterwards got to meet one another through Skype. Panelists will share practical advice for those who want to collaborate internationally: both the knock-out successes and lessons learned from our first collaboration, Art Across Oceans.

Playful Inclusion—Fun for All!
Workshop: The power of play can inspire imagination, deepen connections, and lead to new discoveries—for kids of all abilities. Children with special needs are no exception! At this session, two museums will share visitor engagement tools, programmatic strategies, staff training practices, exhibit design and creative partnership ideas to increase access to play-based learning. The National Inclusion Project will provide a mini-training workshop and resources to inspire successful inclusion at your museum. Let's talk about the great work of prioritizing access in play experiences and the amazing impact it can have on families in our ommunities.

Engaging Preschool Teachers in Science Professional Development
Panel: With the growing emphasis nationwide on early STEM, more and more children's museums and science centers are providing workshops and programs that empower early childhood educators to promote science in the early years. What resources, activities, and tools are most effective? How can we inspire teachers to take what they learn back to their classrooms? This session will highlight professional development models used with preschool teachers, pre-service teachers, and parents. Get ideas to use in developing and conducting your own preschool science professional development programs, and share your knowledge and experience with other participants.

Best Program Ever! Tools and Techniques to Create Great Programs
Workshop: This high-energy, hands-on workshop introduces fun, effective professional development tools and techniques. You'll be up and your feet learning improv exercises, brainstorming activities, using creative critique and reflection tools, and much more. We'll send you home with a resource package that will help your team improve existing programs, create great new programs, and do a fantastic job engaging guests every day.

Mud, Fire, and Tools! Pop-Up Adventure Playgrounds and Museums
Workshop: Presenters will introduce the core ideas of adventure play and Pop-Up Adventure Playgrounds, exploring ways that open-ended play with loose parts can be supported in various settings. They will cover topics of risk management and program documentation. They will also discuss barriers to play and ways to overcome these challenges in order to better support children's play and empower the next generation of problem-solvers. Following the presentation, play, collaborate, and create a Pop-Up Adventure Playground on site with provided materials.