Job opportunity with the Association of Science-Technology Centers

Kim Petrie
June 3, 2016

ASTC is a global organization providing collective voice, professional support, and programming opportunities for science centers, museums, and related institutions, whose innovative approaches to science learning inspire people of all ages about the wonders and meaning of science in their lives. Through strategic alliances and global partnerships, ASTC strives to increase awareness of the valuable contributions its members make to their communities and the field of informal Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) learning. ASTC supports the informal STEM learning field through the annual ASTC conference, online communities of practice, and a portfolio of programs and projects funded by federal agencies and corporate foundations.

Position: Framework Design Manager
Position Type: full time, temporary (one-year employment)
Job Location: ASTC, Washington, DC
The Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) invites applications for a full-time, 12-month, fixed term project design manager position. 

ASTC has partnered with the Pacific Science Center, University of Washington Museology Department, Oregon State University’s Center for Research on Lifelong STEM Learning, and the Lifelong Learning Group of COSI Columbus to develop a Professional Framework for the field of informal STEM learning (ISL). The project addresses two current and pressing issues: (1) Ensuring that professionals working in science center and museum settings have the necessary knowledge and skills to apply the substantial and growing evidence base in ISL, and (2) Understanding and supporting the needs of the full range of ISL professionals during their basic education at particular points throughout their careers. This project is funded by an existing collaborative grant from the National Science Foundation's Advancing Informal STEM Learning program (DRL Award #1515315).

The project seeks a design manager for a 12-month period to manage the creation of a web-based version of an ISL Professional Framework for testing and field use by staff at US science centers and museums. This person will be administratively based and physically located in the Professional Development department at ASTC's Washington, DC, office, and will collaborate remotely with staff at the other partner organizations. The main deliverable involves designing/developing a beta version of a web-based professional learning Framework using qualitative and quantitative data derived from empirical analyses of actual practices of staff at science centers. Early work on data collection, verification and preliminary model construction is well underway. The project now seeks a creative manager with user-based design experience and an understanding of informal science learning to transform the preliminary model and related data into an interactive web format for access by the broader ISL field.

Project goals

1. Articulate the skills, knowledge, and dispositions needed by ISL professionals in adapting research to practice at critical points along their career pathway;

2. Increase understanding of the degree to which these attributes are valued by ISL professionals and their institutions;

3. Advance what is known about effective approaches to supporting ISL professional learning and their impact on public engagement in STEM; and

4. Identify gaps in professional development and support opportunities for ISL professionals, and develop an agenda for advancing a system of coherent professional learning and growth.

The applicant will contribute to the project as outlined below:

  • Integrate data from surveys and interviews into a Professional Learning Framework for science center and museum practitioners;
  • Identify and collaborate with a technical vender to design a web-based, beta version of this Professional Learning Framework;
  • Collaborate with the project team to engage the science center and museum field through interactive engagement with the Framework;
  • Document feedback and input from users to provide directions for future development of the Framework

All duties and deliverables will begin by September 1, 2016 and end no later than September 1, 2017.

Requirements
Applicant must be available to work onsite at the ASTC office.

Qualifications

  • Strong organizational and time management skills with exceptional attention to detail and the ability to set and meet a project-specific timeline;
  • Ability to work both independently without close oversight, but also a team player who will productively engage with others within and outside ASTC;
  • Familiarity with the informal learning field, especially at science centers and museums;
  • Understanding of professional development and training practices for adults;
  • Ability to work with a technical consultant to represent the professional learning Framework in an interactive, web-based medium;
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills;
  • Bachelor’s degree required, Master’s or ongoing graduate study preferred; relevant experience considered with appropriate documentation.

Compensation and Benefits
Salary range $60,000 to $65,000 for one year, commensurate with experience. ASTC offers employees a comprehensive benefits package including health, dental, disability and life insurance and an employer funded retirement plan. ASTC is an equal opportunity employer. This position is initially funded until September, 2017. Continuation of the project will be contingent upon the availability of future funding.
Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. This position is open until filled.

Email a cover letter and resume to: Margaret Glass, Director, Professional Development, ASTC: mglass@astc.org.