This book would not have been possible without the sponsorship of the Institute for Museum and Library Services, the National Science Foundation, and the Burroughs Wellcome Fund.
A group of expert practitioners and researchers in the field of informal science education served as consultants and provided ongoing input in the development of this book. Special thanks are due to them for their invaluable guidance throughout the process. This group included Sue Allen, Visitor Research and Evaluation, Exploratorium, San Francisco (now at the National Science Foundation); Myles Gordon, Myles Gordon and Associates, Hastings on Hudson, New York; Leslie Herrenkohl, College of Education, Cognitive Studies in Education and Human Development and Cognition, University of Washington, Seattle; Gil Noam, Program in Afterschool Education and Research, McLean Hospital and Harvard Medical School; Natalie Rusk, Media Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Bonnie Sachatello-Sawyer, Hopa Mountain, Inc., Bozeman, Montana; Dennis Schatz, Pacific Science Center, Seattle.
Special thanks are also due to Tom Keller, who served as study director for the project. He coordinated the work of the consulting experts and shepherded the book through the complex development process.
In order to determine how well we were reaching our target audience, we solicited feedback on an early draft of the book from a group of outstanding practitioners in the field. We want to thank the following individuals for their insightful comments on this early draft of the book: Rick Bonney, Cornell Lab of Ornithology; Chris Gentile, Oatland Island Education; Julie Johnson, Science Museum of Minnesota; Martiza MacDonald, American Museum of Natural History; Jennifer Martin, Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose, California; Ellen McCallie, Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education, Association of Science-Technology Centers; Dale McCreedy, Gender and Family Learning Programs, Franklin Institute Science Museum; Kathy
McLean, Independent Exhibitions; Thea Sahr, Educational Outreach, WGBH; Mary Ann Steiner, Center for Learning in Out of School Environments, University of Pittsburgh; and Gretchen Walker, Community and Visitor Programs, Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California, Berkeley. They provided constructive comments and suggestions that were essential to the project.
The final draft of this book was reviewed by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education of the National Research Council (NRC). The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making the published book as sound as possible and to ensure that the book meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process.
We wish to thank seven individuals for their review of the final draft of this book. Four of these reviewers had also provided feedback on the early draft: Rick Bonney, Chris Gentile, Thea Sahr, and Gretchen Walker. Three additional individuals participated in the review of the final draft: Bronwyn Bevan, Informal Learning and Schools, Exploratorium, San Francisco, California; Lynn D. Dierking, Free-Choice Learning and Department of Science and Mathematics Education, Oregon State University; and Cecelia Garibay, Garibay Group, Chicago, Illinois.
Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they did not see the final draft of the book before its release. The review of this book was overseen by Cary I. Sneider, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Portland State University. Appointed by the NRC, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this book was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this book rests entirely with the authors.