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Activities

Activities of ScienceCenter-Network include:

Networking

Projects

Education and Training

Research

Networking, PR

We establish cooperation and exchange between network partners by organizing regular network meetings, trainings and by creating means for internal communication. Network meetings take place bi-monthly and are interactive half-day workshops with 40-50 participants. The informal meetings are organized, moderated and documented by the association. In those meetings people present exemplary projects and analyze them together. Developing strategies and ideas and making new contacts are also essential parts of network meetings. Open exchange formats are a quality characteristic of the ScienceCenter-Network. In addition, the association organises workshops and lectures with experts and international guests for network partners and an interested public.

Common public relations make science center activities familiar for a wide public. The website is the starting point that lists various information and offers for interactive and hands-on learning for science and technology in Austria. Furthermore we publish newsletters and brochures on a regular basis.
Our association maintains international contacts and is an Austrian node in the international science center community. This makes it possible to pass international knowhow and contacts to our Austrian partners.

 

 

Projects

Within ScienceCenter-Network, a wide range of projects for various target groups has been initiated. Listed below are projects where the association was/is involved. Network projects strive to include many network partners, reflecting the diversity of our approaches with the focus on: science center activities for everybody, education and training, special fields of interest (projects for schools, etc.) and research. Following is a selection of projects:

Knowledge°Room: Ongoing project since 2013. So far seven so-called Knowledge°rooms have temporarily been established in different districts of Vienna. Empty shops are adapted as Pop-up-Science-Centers and open their doors three days a week for a period of two-three months each. Knowledge°rooms address the local population in particular and offer low-threshold science activities on free entrance. They are hosted by a team of multi-lingual explainers, who support or advise visitors.

The aim of the project is to ensure an easy access to science communication activities, especially for people, who usually do not visit a science centre or museum, to stir their curiosity in a playful way, and to offer new positive learning experiences to different groups of visitors.

Knowledge°rooms are being developed in cooperation with local multipliers - community initiatives, neighbourhood centres, youth centres, schools, culture and arts groups etc. in order to get in contact the local people and to give impulses to the local community.

By sharing our experiences and lessons learned with the knowledge°rooms, we want spread the idea of locally based, easily accessible and inclusive science communication activities and to provide impulses to other local communities in and outside Austria.

Opens internal link in current windowImpressions, Opens external link in new windowFacebook , Opens external link in new windowArticle JCOM 2014, Opens external link in new windowVideo (German)

EU-Kooperation-Projects, like Places or SEE-Science - the project is about "Boosting Innovation Through Capacity Building and Networking of Science Centres in the SEE Region" and is part of the South East Europe Transnational Cooperation Programme. (2012 - 2014)

Workshops and participation at science events: ScienceCenter-Network with representative partners have been present in various events, e.g. the Opening of "Research goes school", "Research festival Vienna", "Long night of research", YoTEch!, and many more. We also built a small temporary science center during the Innovation days in the Industrialists Federation.

More examples for our acitvities:

Hands-on X-Netz! was an accompanying project of the travelling exhibition "Experience Net(works)s". As a different kind of contest, "hands-on x-net" was looking for creative ideas by young people and enables their realisation with financial and professional support. (2007-2010) See www.science-center-net.at/x-netz (in German)

Science for U: In September 2007, the ScienceCenter-Network was present with a campaign on big screens in the Viennese underground stations. Every day a humorously illustrated scientific question plus the answer and explanation of the phenomenon was displayed on the info screens as well as on the website of the public transportation company. The project was done in cooperation with "Wiener Linien", the Vienna public transport company, and the Slovenian Science Center Hisa eksperimentov who provided the questions, answers and graphics. (2007) Find more here (in German).

Breaking the Ice - Experiments for Schools: March, 1st 2007 was the start of the International Polar Year 2007/2008. ScienceCenter-Network mobilized schools of all parts of Austria to contribute to the global campaign "Breaking the Ice". For that purpose 30 schools of different school types, with students from age 6 to 19 interrupted their normal course for one day. Instead they experimented and discussed the topic "climate change" and its various effects. With two simple experiments they found out themselves how the melting of the icebergs, glaciers and polar caps influences the sea level. (2007) Find more here (in German).

Exhibitions

Travelling exhibition "Discovering Net[work]s": Toured throughout Austria from 2007 - 2010, the exhibition had almost 85.000 visitors. Eleven interactive stations, developed with partners of ScienceCenter-Network, invite to marvel and experiment. Topics include biological networks, physical network structures, communication nets, social networks, economic networks, and many more. See www.science-center-net.at/erlebnisnetzwerke (in German)

Grenzgenial: This network project (2009 - 2013) )involved many partners, approaching the topic of borders and boundaries with a multitude of science center activities throughout Austria. Starting with an event and an invitation for the public to contribute their ideas on research on borders, the project will lead to flexible modules, temporary and permanent zones, each inviting to experience a different aspect of the topic. Find more here in German

Wirkungswechsel: The ongoing travel-exhibition about interdependencies in science, communication and everday life. Up to 20 exhibits provide different approaches to phenomena caused by two-way interactions. Its successful start was in September 2014 in Vienna (find more here in German).

SAAATELLIT (How do satellites influences our every day life?)

Armutsgrenze (about worths and values)

TraffXperts (about professions in the field of mobility)

Move on (about the future of mobility an new vehicles)

playDECIDE - discussion games offer an easy introduction into current topics in sciences allowing participants to discuss complex issues like stem cells, HIV/AIDS, brain research or preimplantation diagnostics in small groups in a very structured, yet personal way. playDECIDE was offered and moderated by members of ScienceCenter-Network for many interested groups: amongst others in the ORF RadioCafé, with students, with homeless people and in prisons. see www.playdecide.org (ongoing, since 2006)

Find more projects here (in German)

Education and Training

The Science Center Network establishes cooperation and an exchange between its network partners and others by organizing trainings and workshops. Selected examples: 

Explorative learning: Within this project, six science center-like institutions throughout Austria worked together. They each established partnerships with six primary schools for at least a year, developing programs for inquiry-based learning within the institution as well as in the school. The pilot project has a strong research component, focusing on changes and learning of children, teacher as well as the instutions involved (April 2008-February 2010). The project was funded within the program "generation innovation" of the Austrian Ministry for transport, innovation and technology (BMIVT). The results were presented in a symposium November 9.-10., 2010, in Vienna.

WWTF-Fellowship arts & sciences: Entering a cooperation with the University of Applied Arts, this open process strived to work towards "developing network-based spaces for science center activities in Vienna". By establishing an experimental communcation lab, we aimed to identify elements of the arts useful as a framework for interactive science center activities. The process was facilitated and researched by an external fellow funded by the Vienna Science and Technology Fund (WWTF). (April 2009 - April 2010) Find more here (in German).

Research on interactive exhibits: The Austrian Science Center Netzwerk hosted a symposium in Vienna, Austria, on May, 25th-26th 2009. International experts reported about state-of-the-art visitor research in museums. The focus of the symposium was on interactivity, learning, target groups, design and methods of conducting research on museum visitors. The symposium took place in the Technical Museum of Vienna and was supported by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science and Research (BMWF) within its programme forMUSE - research in museums. (2009)

 

Find more here (in German)

Research

The association performs research projects on the development, implementation, utilization and impact of science center activities, interactive exhibits and informal learning. The results are communicated to the partners and can be implemented within all Austrian science center activities.

Following is a selection of projects, find more here (in German):

Network analysis: At the occasion the third anniversary of the ScienceCenter-Netzwerk, we conducted a study on the effects and use of the network as well as the connections established between partners. Quantitative data collection used a novel interactive approach, resulting in high return rate, utilised by social network analysis. Interviews with all partners cooporated the positive impulse of the network and indicated directions for future orientation. (The study is available in German.)

Study on science & society governance: With a literature study and expert interviews, we identified good practice elements of dialogic-discursive methods and low-access science center activities according to their potential use in good governance of science and society in Austria. The study was conducted for the Austrian Council for Research and Technology Development (RFTE). (Find more about the study, which is available in English - here.)

Children discover technology (KET): This project of network partners in Upper Austria brought science and technology into Kindergarden with the novel combination of a theatre combined with science center exhibits. The association Science Center Netzwerk was conducting companying research to evaluate the concept and devise learning from this pilot project. (Find more about this study here, in German)

Teachers views on "discover net(work)s": With this accompanying research, we analyed how teachers assess and use our travelling exhibition and the underlying didactical concept. The study showed that not only was the exhibition highly rated by teachers of school groups from ages 8-18, but that many of them found themselves in unusual roles, discovering new talents among their pupils and getting input for their own teaching. (2008-2010)

Mapping science center activities in Austria: This first study aimed at identifying and categorising available interactive exhibits and activities to enable sustainable use of such offers. The study was conducted for the Austrian Ministry of Science and Research (2007). Find this study here (in German).

Find more about our research activities here and about education and training here (in German) or contact us.