An “Open-campus Museum” for Sharing Science with the Public

By Jeff Camhi, Jeff Dodick and Dina Tsybulskiy.

Published by The International Journal of Science in Society

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Only a small percent of the general population encounters ideas generated at research universities. At the Hebrew University’s science campus in Jerusalem, the Nature Park & Galleries (NPG), the unique “open-campus museum,” presents science to the public. NPG uses the entire campus, indoors and out, for communicating its messages, via signage, brochures, guide books, smart phone audio-guides, and student guides. In one of NPG’s programs, high school groups spend most of a day visiting two forefront biology research labs. They are guided by a graduate student in each of these labs. The high school students prepare for the visit by studying an in-class program of several lessons created by NPG staff in coordination with, and taught by, the school teachers. Following the lab visits, a similarly created and delivered in-class program crystallizes the learning experience. Our evaluation of the effects of this program show significant improvements in attitudes toward science and in understanding of the nature of science.

Keywords: University Museum, Academic Museum, University Outreach, Science Outreach, Nature of Science, NOS, Ideas, Attitudes Toward Science, Public Science, Educational Field Trips, Learning Environments

The International Journal of Science in Society, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp.101-108. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 174.835KB).

Prof. Jeff Camhi

Professor Emeritus of Life Sciences, Institute of Life Sciences, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel

Camhi received his BA from Tufts and his PhD from Harvard, both in biology. He taught at Cornell for 15 years, then at the Hebrew University for 30 years. His biological field is the neural mechanisms of animal behavior, with a focus on insects. Ten years ago, he founded, and has since directed, the Nature Park & Galleries, a unique "open-campus museum" on the Hebrew University's science campus. This museum has developed several methods for engaging the general public in the findings and ideas of science. For the past 5 years, he has researched how American colleges and universities could enhance their sharing of academic ideas with the public. This has resulted in his recent book, A Dam in the River: Releasing the Flow of University Ideas.

Dr. Jeff Dodick

Asst. Prof., Science Teaching Center, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel

Dr. Dodick is an Assistant Professor in the Science Teaching Center at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel.

Dr. Dina Tsybulskiy

PhD Student, Center for Science Teaching, Hebrew University of Jeruslaem, Israel

Dr. Dina Tsybulsky was recently awarded her Ph.D. from the Center for Science Teaching at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel.