Backgrounder: Mary Ann Steiner to serve as
Director of the Center for Lifelong Science Learning
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania … The Center for Lifelong Science Learning will be headed by Mary Ann Steiner, Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s curator of public engagement. Prior to coming to the museum, Steiner served at the Science Museum of Minnesota as Director of the Youth Science Center and at the National Science Foundation (NSF) as Program Director for Informal Science Education.
“Mary Ann is seen as a national leader on institutional collaborations and how museums can work in a sustainable way with a range of community education organizations,” said Kevin Crowley, director of the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Learning in Out-of-School Environments (UPCLOSE).
Steiner has published on the topic of “Inclusion, Disabilities, and Informal Science Learning” with the Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education (CAISE), and has considerable experience in the areas of youth programming, program development and evaluation, and inclusion of diverse audiences as they relate to informal science education.
Steiner came to the museum earlier this year from the University of Pittsburgh’s Learning Sciences and Policy Program and UPCLOSE. As a University of Pittsburgh researcher, she studied how universities and museums support community learning for people of all ages and how community knowledge can inform the work of these institutions.
As director of the Center for Lifelong Science Learning, Mary Ann Steiner’s focus is on creating collaborations that catalyze programs with resonance both as an independent experience and as part of a citywide learning ecology. The consequences of that experience, however, shouldn’t stop there: Steiner believes that each of these experiences should have meaning for the museum’s professionals and for academics as well.
“Each of our programs will be part of a broader learning experience,” says Steiner. “People who learn in the museum also learn in many other places, based on their interests. We need to structure programs that relate to and support those other experiences—whether that’s at a school or university, in a community group or at home with family. And through a thoughtful design process, we can build programming that not only fits into peoples’ broader learning experiences, but helps make our future programs—and even our scientific research—more effective and more fun.”
Carnegie Museum of Natural History, one of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, is ranked among the top five natural history museums in the country. It maintains, preserves, and interprets an extraordinary collection of 20 million objects and scientific specimens used to broaden understanding of evolution, conservation, and biodiversity. More information is available by calling 412.622.3131 or by visiting the Web site, www.carnegiemnh.org.
Click here to return to press release
# # #