19 March 2015

The Association of Science-technology Centers

Dear UNAI friends,

 We are pleased to welcome the Association of Science-technology Centers (ASTC) as a new partner. ASTC has a long standing relationship with several UN entities: they cooperated with UNESCO to enhance professional capacity of museum and science center professionals in the southern part of Africa, they have also supported the Rio+20 Earth Summit by organizing about 250 events worldwide on the science of sustainability.

We are convinced that ASTC will uphold the principles of UNAI and take concrete steps to strengthen its ties with the United Nations and with the UNAI community.


Please watch the ASTC On Air new series in which they will interview fascinating individuals outside the museum field who are doing work that is relevant and interesting to informal science and museum professionals.

In the first edition, they will speak with Rane Johnson-Stempson, principal research director at Microsoft. Johnson-Stempson just completed a study on how girls perceive the effort necessary to get them into or to stay in STEM studies and/or careers. While some of the results are not yet published, they are surprising and may affect the way we tackle these challenges in the future at our institutions. These results are particularly relevant given that access for girls to STEM fields, and in particular computer science, is a prominent concern for ASTC and its members.

Johnson-Stempson is passionate about STEM education. Her current projects focus on teaching computer programming to middle and high school girls, as well as how technology can help end human trafficking. She works with the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), the Anita Borg Institute, the American Association of University Women, the Computer Research Association's Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research (CRA-W), Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Women in Engineering, Association for Computer Machinery (ACM) Women in Computing, and various research efforts to increase the number of women in STEM fields. In addition, she has been selected to serve on White House committees on using technology to end human trafficking and reaching youth from underrepresented minorities in STEM.