This week, Lincoln Park Zoo rolls out several new educational initiatives designed by the newly created Hurvis Center for Learning Innovation and Collaboration. The center, an ambitious new endeavor made possible thanks to a $3 million leadership gift by the Hurvis Charitable Foundation, is poised to address the growing need within the zoo, museum and aquarium community nationwide to explore new approaches to effectively engage visitors in science learning.
Studies have demonstrated the profound effect that zoos and museums can have on science learners, and the National Research Council recommends cultural institutions to focus on developing new models of research and collaboration. While still in the early stages of development, the Hurvis Center is primed to become a leader in this area developing, testing and researching informal education concepts while simultaneously providing innovative educational programming.
"People expect novel experiences, but with limited resources many cultural institutions may shy away from new or unproven approaches to audience engagement because of the risk involved," explained the center's Senior Director Leah Melber, Ph.D. "That is where the Hurvis Center steps in. We have been provided the resources and support to take risks in order to develop and implement new programming approaches using the zoo and partner institutions as learning laboratories to test and measure the success of new models."
Melber, who brings more than two decades of experience with informal and formal science education, will lead her team in new approaches to deliverable programs. Every new initiative will be coupled with stringent research, measurement and evaluation so that concepts can be honed, sharpened and maximized to have the greatest impact the goal being to increase public understanding of, and engagement with, science. Collaboration with colleagues across the zoo and museum community is a critical part of the c
|Contact: Sharon Dewar|
Lincoln Park Zoo