Outdoor science parks and experiences – increasing community participation and building new society partnerships

Outdoor science parks and experiences – increasing community participation and building new society partnerships

Author: Ronen Mir – Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel

Mikko Myllykoski – Heureka, Finland
Elaine Reynoso – Universum, Mexico
Graham Walker – Australian National University

The implementation of Outdoor Science Parks and Outdoor Experiences by Science Centers has recently evolved to enable strategic society partnerships. These allow Science Centers to extend their outreach to new and often underserved audiences.

Experts from Science Centers across the Globe will describe their Outdoor Science Experiences projects and the effect they have on developing Society partnerships.

The Clore Garden of Science, Noble Energy Science Park in Israel will be described, and Science Parks in Toronto as well.

Galilei park in Finland will be described in general (northern conditions), and then about a very specific citizen science project performed last summer. It relates to the Innocence Project and to the psychology of the eyewitness.

Science Circus Africa – Science Shows, DIY travelling exhibits and outdoor displays implemented with several African nations will be described.

The expansion project of Universum in Mexico will be described, including outdoor exhibits and activities for passers-by and dissadvantaged audiance. The Ecological path highlighting unique ecosystem embeded in Lava rock will be shown.

This session is targeted at those who wish to consider the advantages and different viewpoints of Outdoor Science Parks for their Centers. Initial assessment results will also be shown.

Question raised include:

  • Synthesis and analysis of what outdoor settings can deliver.


  • The relative value and cost of indoor versus outdoor exhibits and activities.


  • Using Outdoor Science Parks to set up strategic sector partnerships


  • Innovative educational programs in outdoor science park settings.


  • How do outdoor science parks allow science centers to extend their reach to underserved audiences?

The motivation for developing Outdoor Science Parks is presented. The significance of being outdoors and the choice of themes and exhibit ideas suited for the outdoors are discussed. Since Outdoor Science Parksand Experiences do not require buildings, their implementation may be speedy and economical and appeal to underrepresented audiences.

The author has not yet submitted a copy of the full paper.

Presentation type: Roundtable discussion
Theme: Society
Area of interest: Comparing science communication across cultures