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ASTC Gives Museum of Science's Larry Bell Leading Edge Award

October 15, 2015

On October 19, the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) honors Larry Bell, Museum of Science, Boston senior vice president of strategic initiatives, with the Roy L. Shafer Leading Edge Award for Leadership in the Field during ASTC's annual conference in Montreal.

"Larry Bell has an unsurpassed knowledge of -- and passion for -- informal STEM education," says Anthony (Bud) Rock, ASTC president and CEO. "A fantastic partner on important projects that serve our entire field, he has earned tremendous respect from his peers and richly deserves the Leading Edge Award that he is receiving."

Left: Chevy Humphrey, chair, ASTC board of directors, and president, Arizona Science Center, with Bell..

In recognizing Bell's impact, ASTC highlights three innovations that have shaped visitor engagement with informal science education: his groundbreaking Science Is an Activity exhibit plan to create hands-on experiences offering visitors practice in applying science thinking skills to problem-solving; Forums, a new museum learning model for informed decision-making about often controversial societal issues such as how we should use genetic engineering; and a first-of-a-kind national Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network involving the public in building a community of informal science educators and university research scientists to advance public understanding of nanotechnology. By December 2015, the network will have reached 30 million people.

"We are thrilled by ASTC's recognition of Larry. His extraordinary intellect, creativity, and vast experience in the design of interactive exhibits and programs have shaped the educational process and impact of the Museum for over four decades," says Museum of Science president Ioannis Miaoulis.

For Bell, "Designing exhibits and programs to engage visitors in discovery has been both exciting and fun. Science museums are playgrounds for the mind. And, while creating experiences to build dialogue and informed decision-making skills about complex issues is new intellectual territory for museums, it is critical for putting science and technology to work in the world we live in."

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The Museum of Science, Boston

  1 Science Park, Boston, MA 02114  phone: 617-723-2500