- To expose the visiting public to biological research
as it is happening and to provide an intimate and personalized
view of the nature and processes of biological research and
the people who do it.
- To promote voluntary and self-directed science education
in all audiences by providing rich and stimulating materials
and opportunities for their use
in and out of formal learning situations. To do this by letting visitors
explore, at their own pace, the “stuff” of
scientific research so they can better understand that
science is accessible and fun and that it is conducted
by people much like themselves.
- To develop, produce and disseminate the highest possible
quality materials about ongoing biological science
research at the National Zoo and Smithsonian Institution as rapidly and inexpensively
as possible. These materials include hands-on interactives, interactive
multimedia presentations, videos, flat graphic presentations,
teacher guides, student
activity books, a website, libraries, and objects accumulated by researchers
during the course of their work.
- To use ASG as a laboratory to develop an independent
qualitative assessment program (i.e. long-term evaluation)
that identifies the characteristics
of ASG that encourage exploration, self-directed learning and an appreciation
for the processes and nature of science. Subsequently, to use the results
of those assessments to develop and refine our program and develop a
model that can be applied in other institutions (e.g. museums and zoos).
- To strengthen and expand existing
linkages between ASG and centers of formal education (i.e.
teacher and student workshops,
fairs and curriculum-based teacher and student resource materials.
- To make resources relating to the most current Zoo and Smithsonian research
available to teachers, students and parents
for use in formal (i.e. curriculum-based)
and informal (i.e. self directed learning) education situations.
- To provide science education/interpretation training
opportunities for teachers and scientists so that they
may learn to communicate
all audiences and be better advocates for science.
- To promote the biological sciences education in underserved
audiences, especially among the North American Hispanic
community, and to
develop career opportunities
in biological research and biological science education in these