Museum Educators

Institute of Museum and Library Services

This project was made possible in part by the
Institute of Museum and Library Services.

DISCOVERY Training Boot Camp: Project Overview

The DISCOVERY Children’s Museum received a Museums for America grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to undertake a floor staff training project called DISCOVERY Training Boot Camp. Learn more about the scope and goals of the program in the slide presentation below.

Project Logic Model

At the outset of the project, a logic model was developed together with the evaluator working with the Museum. The logic model was a visual and descriptive illustration of how we wanted to develop the program and what we wanted to have happen as a result of the program. It guided the implementation of the project, provided common language, supported program development and helped shape evaluation questions. Most of all, it kept us focused on reaching the outcomes of the project.

Gallery Training Videos

These videos provide overviews of the permanent exhibitions at DCM. Learning Experiences Coordinators talk about target ages, content, education & experience goals and useful engagement tips. Videos are generally between 5 and 20 minutes in length.

Solve It

Kim Carter, Learning Experiences Coordinator, gives an overview of ​Solve It

  • Target Age: Children ages 8-12 + adults (families), school groups (3rd – 7th grade)
  • Focus: Science, Interdisciplinary

The Summit

Chris Lucas, Learning Experiences Coordinator, gives an overview of ​The Summit

  • Target Age: Children ages 4-12 + adults (families), school groups (Pre-K – 7th grade)
  • Focus: Science

Patents Pending

Chris Lucas, Learning Experiences Coordinator, gives an overview of ​Patents Pending

  • Target Age: Children ages 6-12 + Adults (families), school groups (1s​t​ – 7t​h​ grade)
  • Focus: Science, Invention

Young at Art

Tina Tetter, Learning Experiences Coordinator, gives an overview of ​Young at Art

  • Target Age: Children ages 4 to 12
  • Focus: Art

Fantasy Festival

Tina Tetter, Learning Experiences Coordinator, gives an overview of ​Fantasy Festival

  • Target Age: Children ages 4 to 12
  • Focus: Art, Imaginary Play

Eco City

Sam Nelson, Learning Experiences Coordinator, gives an overview of ​Eco City

  • Target Age: Children ages 4 to 9 + adults (families)
  • Focus: Early Childhood, Environment, Interdisciplinary

Water World

Sam Nelson, Learning Experiences Coordinator, gives an overview of ​Water World

  • Target Age: Children ages 2-12 + adults (families), school groups (Pre-K – 7t​h grade)
  • Focus: Early Childhood, Science (Water)

Toddler Town

Sam Nelson, Learning Experiences Coordinator, gives an overview of ​Toddler Town

  • Target Age: Children from birth to 5 + adults (families), school groups (Pre-K – K)
  • Focus: Early Childhood, Interdisciplinary

DISCOVERY Lab

DISCOVERY Lab Training Video Coming Soon.

Inquiry-Based Interaction Videos

These videos provide examples of inquiry-based interactions in permanent exhibitions at DCM. In these examples, staff activates a visitor’s curiosity by posing questions, scenarios or challenges that are explored through an active, problem-based learning process. Videos are generally between 3 and 5 minutes in length.

Young at Art

Tina Tetter, Learning Experiences Coordinator, ​facilitates an inquiry-based interaction in Young at Art with boys ages 8 and 6 at the ​Magnification Station​​.

More Videos Coming Soon.

Gallery Training Documents

These written documents provide detailed information about the permanent exhibitions at DCM. Each document has a ​Part A​​ (focusing on target audience, education & experience goals, key takeaways, background information and resources) and a ​Part B​​ (focusing on features of the exhibition and descriptions of exhibition components.) There is also an introductory chapter that provides a history of DCM, core values and Museum messages, and goals & resources for supporting successful interactions with visitors.

Your Role in the Big Picture: Essential Information for Education Floor Staff

Solve It

The Summit

Patents Pending

Young at Art

Fantasy Festival

Eco City

Water World

Toddler Town

Executive Summary of Final Evaluation Report, Example of Survey Data

An external evaluator conducted evaluation of the project, including both formative and summative assessments. The evaluator collaborated with staff to develop evaluation tools and gather data, then analyzed the data, discussed results with staff, and wrote memos of findings as well as a final report. A summary of the final report, along with an example of survey data gathered from floor staff, is provided below.

Assessment Tools Used with Floor Staff

During the course of the project, DCM Education staff worked with the project evaluator to revise assessment tools to use with floor staff they supervised. Revisions focused on aligning the assessment tool with corresponding outcomes in the logic model. The Program Presentation Rubric is used by supervising Education staff to assess floor staff’s presentation & delivery of public programs. The Floor Report is generated daily by supervising Education staff to document examples of floor staff behavior or actions that are either above expectations or below expectations.

Plan for Piloting New Tools & Techniques

Following site visits to other museums, DCM Education staff created a list of all of the tools and techniques they learned about from their peers having to do with visitor engagement and internal team building. This list was prioritized based on strength of fit with DCM, overall feasibility and which things could be implemented immediately & easily. Education staff then decided how the tool/technique would be tried (i.e. once a week on a specific day, every day for a week, or something different.) The table below was created to design a schedule for piloting new tools and techniques which included rotation and weekly debriefing.