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NASA’s Museum & Informal Education Alliance Frequently … - informal education encyclopedia free

NASA’s Museum & Informal Education Alliance Frequently …-informal education encyclopedia free

NASA's Museum & Informal Education Alliance - Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Museum & Informal Education Alliance?
The Museum & Informal Education (MIE) Alliance (pronounced "My Alliance") is a community
of practice comprising informal science educators at museums, science centers, planetariums,
NASA Visitor Centers, Learning Centers, observatories, libraries, parks, nature centers, and
more, who wish to share NASA information with their visitors.
It is intended to bring current NASA science and technology to visitors through professional
development of the museums' staff, notice of NASA events, access to NASA experts,
educational materials, etc.
It is a free service and the only requirements are that you be a staff member or registered
volunteer at an informal education institution, respect all embargoes on pre-released news items,
and report to us on a quarterly basis how you use the information we provide.
Who is eligible to participate in the Alliance?
The Alliance is intended for staff at institutions that meet the following requirements:
? Are a legally organized public or private non-profit institution or part of a non-profit
organization or government entity;
? Are essentially educational in nature;
? Use and interpret objects, images, and/or a site for the public presentation of regularly
scheduled programs and exhibits;
? Carry out the above functions primarily at a physical facility/site; and
? Have at least one paid or unpaid professional staff person with museum knowledge and
Do I have to be from a museum?
The American Alliance of Museums' Code of Ethics states:
"Museums make their unique contribution to the public by collecting, preserving and
interpreting the things of this world." It also acknowledges the variety of sizes and types
of museums, "Their numbers include both governmental and private museums of
anthropology, art history and natural history, aquariums, arboreta, art centers, botanical
gardens, children's museums, historic sites, nature centers, planetariums, science and
technology centers, and zoos." To this we add NASA Visitor Centers, Challenger
Learning Centers and observatory visitor centers, as well as aviation museums and park
visitor centers. The Code also notes "The museum universe in the United States includes
both collecting and non-collecting institutions. Although diverse in their missions, they
have in common their nonprofit form of organization and a commitment of service to the
public. Their collections and/or the objects they borrow or fabricate are the basis for
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research, exhibits, and programs that invite public participation." (Reference:
How can I register?
Fill out the application form at https://informal.jpl.nasa.gov/museum/About/Application.
What happens after I submit the application form?
After the team reviews and approves your application, you will be sent a "Welcome!" email.
You will also start receiving our weekly messages and have access to the member-only,
password-protected Museum & Informal Education Alliance webpages.
Are there any other requirements for membership?
We request your reports on how you use NASA images, content and other information. The
simple online report form ("Event Submission") on the internal Alliance website asks for basic
information about your activities, including approximate audience numbers. It is important for
us to have this data in order to respond to inquiries from NASA Headquarters and other entities
such as the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Office of Science
and Technology Policy (OSTP).
What types of activities should I report?
We want to share how you use NASA content, whether or not it came directly from the Museum
& Informal Education Alliance. That includes images, videos, stories, and educational resources
in your galleries, exhibits, and multimedia shows, as well as student activities, teacher
professional development, public programming, and special events. However, please do not
report your fund-raising events (e.g., your annual gala). And you should not double report if you
already report to another NASA program.
Is there any penalty if I don't report?
We request information on your NASA-related events, so we can demonstrate the effective use
of public funds to NASA Headquarters through providing the infrastructure and data. Without
your help in this reporting, our partnership will not be able to show the benefits.
What's in it [the reporting] for us?
The public website https://informal.jpl.nasa.gov/museum/ is currently set up to advertise your
organization's events and activities. Visitors can see what is going on by location or by
chronology, enabling them to plan to visit your facility. Conversely, we can show our NASA
sponsors that you--our customers--are using the services and materials we provide. To
advertise your event, login to the internal Museum & Informal Education Alliance website and
select the "Event Submission form."
What if I don't want to advertise a certain event (e.g, private events, registration is full,
We'd still like to share the information internally at NASA. We look over and approve all event
postings before they go public, so simply indicate in the event description if you'd prefer not to
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post this particular event publicly. Note that the form does have an option to mark your event as
"Open to the General Public" or not, and you can always submit events after they have passed.
Will my venue appear on the Museum & Informal Education Alliance map?
Yes, twice! When your registration is approved, your organization will be added to the map of
MIE Alliance partners (https://informal.jpl.nasa.gov/museum/Connect). When you submit an
activity, the location of the event will be added to the map of MIE Alliance partners' activities
How does this all work?
Navigating NASA's extensive resources can be daunting. The Museum & Informal Education
Alliance team provides a human connection and assistance for informal educators looking to bring
NASA to their diverse audiences. To do so, we use the following tools:
? Member website - hosts a searchable library of files and lists of resources for members to
? Collaborative Team Chat forum - acts as a hub to connect with the team as well as other
? Calendar of events - includes NASA events, as well as opportunity deadlines and fun
? Member-only live briefings - NASA experts tell you about their current work and answer
your questions
? Weekly member message
Plus, always feel free to ask directly whenever you're seeking specific resources or help.
How does Team Chat work?
Think of it as a free, on-demand conference where you can network and share resources and best
practices with your informal educator peers. It features forums about planetariums, exhibits and
models, Apollo anniversaries, and more. The entire history of conversations is
searchable. There's no install required, and once you're set up, you can respond to posts directly
via email notifications.
Members can find instructions on how to access the team chat here:
How do the live briefings (webinars) work?
They are announced via the MIE Alliance weekly message and posted on the Museum Alliance
internal website.
Typically, we provide at least a week's notice, but occasionally may schedule a "Breaking
News" webinar on short notice. If you are unable to join in live, the recordings will be available
later. The announcement will include a link for you to log in to the online meeting; you will be
able to see the slides progress and hear the speaker(s). If you do not have internet access, we also
include phone in-only options. The speakers' slides are available in advance so you can move
through them as you listen. You will be able to ask questions via online or phone.
Keep in mind the webinars are intended for your professional development as a Museum &
Informal Education Alliance partner, to help you prepare for upcoming events and presentations.
They are NOT to be shared live or as recordings in classrooms, museums or other venues,
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What are the aims of informal education?What are the strengths of informal education?It’s a form of training. Given access to the right resources, an informal learner can often be left to figure some things out on their own.It’s cheap.It’s empowering.It’s practical.It’s immediate.It satisfies (and rewards) curiosity.It offers a more productive break.It encourages lateral thinking.