Math in Zoos and Aquariums: The Evolution of a Professional Development Workshop

Friday, July 27, 2012
Resource Type:
Reference Materials | Report
Environment Type: 
Public Programs, Aquarium and Zoo Programs, Professional Development, Conferences, and Networks, Professional Development and Workshops, Exhibitions, Museum and Science Center Exhibits
General Public | Museum/ISE Professionals | Evaluators
Ecology, forestry, and agriculture | General STEM | Life science | Mathematics
TERC Inc, Garibay Group, Arizona Science Center

With support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Mathematics in Zoos and Aquariums project worked with zoo and aquarium staff members to integrate mathematical concepts into the interpretation of living collections. Over two years, the project developed three activities related to logic, measurement, and data analysis and conducted workshops with over 400 staff from 124 institutions. In refining the workshop model and conducting evaluation, we found that most staff increased their comfort with and use of math-based activities and that the goals of the participants and the size of their institutions affected implementation. Here, we describe the activities, the evolution of the workshop design, and the results of the evaluation, which used multiple methods to track participation. The workshop and the evaluation revealed patterns that have implications for introducing technical concepts into interpretive practices and for the design of effective professional development in zoos and aquariums.


Team Members

Laura MartinLaura MartinAuthor
Andee RubinAuthor

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