ESE 528: EnvEd Mthds-Exhibit Developmt

2010-05-25 -

Meeting time/location changed.


68812 (for web registration)




Cynthia Thomashow






Summer 2010

Meeting Schedule:

Mon 5/31 (9:00AM-4:59PM)
Tue 6/1 (9:00AM-6:59PM)
Wed 6/2 (9:00AM-4:59PM)
Tue 6/8 - 6/9 (9:00AM-4:59PM)


Competency Areas: EE – EE Methods Req Alt; CB, Cert, EAO, IND & RMC – Elective
Restricted to ES Environmental Education students from April 14 – 28. Open to all students on April 29.
Please Note: Attendance at pre-trip meetings is mandatory. Enrolled students who fail to drop the course by noon, 2 weeks before the first pre-trip meeting or who fail to attend the pre-trip meeting will be held financially responsible for the cost of the trip and will forfeit their seat in the class. Students on the waitlist are strongly encouraged to attend the first class.

Interpreters and exhibit developers are a blend of teacher and artist, while making the natural and cultural world relevant to all. Stimulated by our readings, discussions, exercises and visits to existing interpretive programs, each student will craft an interpretive plan and a prototype in a medium that inspires.

Museums, zoos and nature centers have not been immune to pressure to raise environmental literacy. Many zoos/museums are pushing the boundaries of the traditional diorama or static exhibit to tackle contemporary social and environmental concerns through interactive and experiential interpretation. The new generation of environmental interpretation and exhibit design tends to contain more political, economic, social and public policy-oriented thought than ever before. Just how far to push this envelope educationally and still ‘entertain’ the audience of leisure seekers is a continual concern for these institutions.

This class will cover methodologies in public education through a study of interpretation and exhibit development during this intensive with a trip to Boston to observe examples of development strategies. The class will visit four different interpretive institutions in the Boston area, including the Aquarium, Zoo New England, the Boston Nature Center and the Museum of Science. The interpretation in these institutions, while engaging and provocative, directly challenges the audience to relate their personal lifestyle choices to the impact on environmental issues, habitat loss and endangered species. We will study their process for deciding on and designing, researching and evaluating the effectiveness of these cutting-edge exhibits. Cost – approximately $200 (travel, food and lodging, admission).