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At its annual conference in Toronto on Sept. 21-24, the Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC), the professional association for science centers and museums, awarded Arizona State University researcher Paul Martin the 2019 Roy. L. Shafer Leading Edge Award for Leadership in the Field (non-CEO). Martin is co-director of the Center for Innovation in Informal STEM Learning and a research professional in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society.
His exemplary leadership during the past three years has helped reinvigorate and expand the impact of the long-running National Informal STEM Education Network through his role as principal investigator of the new Space and Earth Informal STEM Education (SEISE) project. SEISE leverages and expands the NISE Network to include many new participants and viability for another decade, ensuring its continued impact on the missions and activities of hundreds of ASTC-member organizations and their local community and scientific collaborators.
The SEISE project, funded by NASA and using the NISE Network structure, has sent tool kits to as many as 350 museums and science centers and a small footprint exhibition to 52 museums, and developed online training programs for distribution across the entire network to educate the public on various aspects of earth and space science.
“Given the number of institutions supported by NISE Net and the number of visitors and the meaning of these institutions to their communities, Paul’s achievement in sustaining the network through SEISE is a tremendous one, worthy of the Shafer Leading Edge Award,” said David Guston, foundation professor and director for the School for the Future of Innovation in Society.
Prior to joining ASU, Paul held leadership positions at the Science Museum of Minnesota; the Minnesota Historical Society; the Field Museum of Natural History; Museum Content Builders, Inc.; and Jim Henson Productions, Inc.