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CASE: Community Ambassadors in Science Exploration PISEC Projects

The Philadelphia/Camden Informal Science Education Collaborative (PISEC) was formed in 1992 when four major Philadelphia informal science institutions—The Franklin Institute, the Philadelphia Zoo, The Academy of Natural Sciences, and The New Jersey State Aquarium—joined to conduct research and outreach projects in support of family science learning. CASE is the fourth project for PISEC. PISEC

Family Learning in Museums The Family Science Learning Project, from 1994 to 1998, was a research and development project funded by the National Science Foundation and Pew Charitable Trusts to find out how families learn science in informal settings. It led to the development of a new model for exhibit design based on 7 characteristics of Family-Friendly Exhibits.

The project publication, Family Learning in Museums: the PISEC Perspective, now a text for exhibit design, is available through the Association of Science-Technology Centers (

Community Connections, from 1995 to 1999, was the second project in this evolving series. Community Connections was an outreach program designed to diversify museum audiences and to introduce families to science museums and family science learning. The project reached 17,000 people from 8 community partner agencies working with African-American and Latino families. Working Together, the project handbook, is still widely used in the community. Working Together

FEST Families Exploring Science Together, FEST, began in 1999 and ran through 2003. FEST was an outreach project that served over 14,000 people from 11 community partner agencies, serving African-American, Latino, and Asian families. Families were invited to science workshops and Family Science Events at the museums and community partners offered orientations to prepare families to be a part of FEST.

The FEST publication, Staying Connected, offers families many opportunities to stay involved in science learning in fun, family oriented ways.

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