Collaborating Across the University/Informal Boundary: Broader Impacts Through Informal Science Education
In this chapter we present the ways in which institutional cultural differences impact the development and implementation of learning activities in informal settings. Five university-based centers for the study of chemistry worked with informal learning professionals to re-envision educational and public outreach activities about science. The projects were part of a broader effort to catalyze new thinking and innovation in informal education and chemistry centers. The set of projects illustrates the broad possibilities for informal learning settings, with projects targeting diverse audiences with a range of experiences including an interactive exhibit at a major science center, activities for an small drop-in science club for disadvantaged teens, curricula for organized afterschool and summer camp programs, audio science stories for a general audience, and a fellowship training program for informal educators and scientists. We highlight the ways in which professionals working in universities and informal settings structured their collaborations and reflect upon the conditions that led to success on a range of dimensions.