As a major cultural institution, the Hollywood Sci-Fi Museum understands its role as an institution for public learning in the community. In fact, education is at the heart of our origin story – we were founded to use the imagination and artistry of science fiction to open the doors to science, technology, engineering, math, history and art for people of all backgrounds and ages. Through our innovative programs, engaging exhibits and awesome artifacts, we can bring these subjects to life for the public in ways that no one else can. We can inspire a love for learning through our audience’s innate love for science fiction.
The Science Fiction / Science Continuum
The Hollywood Sci-Fi Museum believes that there is an intimate connection between science fiction and learning. Throughout its history, science has inspired science fiction and science fiction has inspired science. It is well documented that this “chicken-or-the-egg” dance has been ongoing since the birth of the first sci-fi story.
The Museum believes that this continuum of inspiration is fundamental to the learning process and spurs people of all ages to practice deep, basic critical thinking and creative skills – the skills vital to success in the 21st Century and also the skills that form the basis of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).
Leading the Way
With its programs, exhibits and artifacts, the Museum hopes to become a leader in STEM and Arts education, working to develop new models that use sci-fi not just as simple motivation for learning, but as a tool for rich learning experiences. Most institutions are satisfied with using sci-fi to kick-start learning, as if all that the genre has to offer is a wiz-bang hook to make STEM or creative writing more palatable to young people; that is not the approach we aspire to at all. The Hollywood Sci-Fi Museum is dedicated to figuring out the innate educational values of sci-fi and using those to develop new learning experiences. The Museum hopes to develop innovative learning techniques and contribute that information to the academic knowledge of how people learn best, putting these new and effective ideas into practice. The education department of the Museum will be an active hub of learning about learning.
Our Educational Foundation
Following the best practices of 21st Century learning, the Hollywood Sci-Fi Museum will found its educational offerings, and the design of its exhibits, on a learner-centered approach. Visitors will be given every opportunity to create, make, do, direct, share and participate in their learning experiences. We will draw from research-based methods to learning, as well as established guides such as the Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards. Programs and exhibits will incorporate effective, learner-centered pedagogy, from inquiry-based STEM techniques to play-based, hands-on styles and from project-based learning to open-ended creative experiences.
Science, technology, engineering and math are subjects naturally connected to sci-fi. At every point possible, the Museum will bridge the gap between fiction and real science. We will leverage stellar partnerships with NASA, the aerospace industry, biotech firms and other “real” science to present real-world STEM alongside the sci-fi. These connections can come in many forms, from developing mentorship relationships with students and STEM professionals, content expertise, real artifacts and even sponsoring the launch of educational projects into space, using the small, low-cost satellite platforms currently being developed in the commercial space industry. We aim to take STEM, and Museum learners, from the height of the stars to the depths of the oceans.
History and Culture
Science fiction has been a reflection of world history and product of human culture since before the Ancient Greeks. For example, the writings of H.G. Wells or George Orwell dissect their times while also pointing to future events. Through its programs and exhibits, the Museum will present science fiction as both a cultural recorder of history and as an influencer on it, inspiring a deeper understanding of who we are and where we came from.
Imagination and Art
At its core, science fiction is an intensely creative endeavor. The Museum will encourage its learners’ imagination at every opportunity, helping them to hone their creative skills and provide outlets for them. We know that creativity is fundamental to success in the 21st Century and we believe that the Museum has a huge role to play in helping to refine and strengthen the imaginations of its visitors, from young to old. We will give opportunities for learners to mirror the sci-fi development process, from creative writing to using cutting edge digital tools to draw and envision their ideas to filming and producing their own work. Through our vast Hollywood connections – the epicenter of America’s creative industry – we will create the greatest public imagination engine available.
The Museum also looks at sci-fi as art. From literature to illustration to film and beyond, the genre has produced some the most well-loved and important objects of art in the past 100 years. The Museum will present opportunities for its visitors to learn how to appreciate and interpret these pieces as much as any established art history curriculum does.
Our Learning Community
Like the Museum, the learners of the Hollywood Sci-Fi Museum are diverse and all ages. We will design programs and exhibits that appeal to many learning styles and abilities, giving all access to the Museum experience. Our visitors come first, whoever they may be, is developing what we have to offer.
Education is not just the realm of the young. We know that adults form an overwhelmingly large contingent of our visitors and we plan on serving their educational needs well. We recognize that we will need to develop learning experiences that address older audiences, as well as young. We also believe that offering multi-generational experiences that allow age groups to work together enhances the learning of all.
In addition, we see education as not just the purview of schools. While we will develop strong ties to schools around the world, we know the tremendous value that museums themselves bring to the overall infrastructure of learning. We are a unique educational resource that will develop its own unique learning experiences tailored to grab those looking to learn outside of the classroom walls. By some estimates, most people only spend about 5% of their lives in school; we will be there to facilitate learning in the other 95%.
Being located in the heart of one of the most diverse populations in the US, the Museum will work to pull together its audiences into a community. Our vision is both local, serving the needs of those immediately around us, and wide-ranging, reflecting the huge reach that sci-fi has for fans around the world. By focusing on community, we will become accessible to all, not an ivory tower. We feel that sci-fi already breaks down demographic barriers; the Museum and its educational offerings must reflect that.
A Few of Our Plans
In the coming year, the Museum will be developing plans to implement a full-service educational initiative that includes:
- Interactive Exhibitions
- Museum-based Learning Programs
- Project-based School Programs • Mentorship Programs
- Outreach Programming and a Mobile Museum Intiative
- Digital Learning Resources and an Online Education Hub for Adults and Students, Parents and Educators
- Learner Support through Awards, Contests and Internships
- Pathways for Publishing Best Practices in Education Developed by the Museum
Science Fiction Learning Center
A room filled with touchscreen computers, large screens and a database containing information, art and video from every science-fiction film, television series and book available. Information can be downloaded onto a guest’s flash drive, with certain copyright restrictions. Artists, visual-effects artists and historians will teach daily classes engaging people of all ages to learn more about various skills.
For STEAM and California Educational requirements, each grade will have its own unique program from kindergarten to high school and eventually into college classes. All tours will be interspersed between rooms, so students are introduced to a wide array of interests and education. This will fulfill their requirements, and give them a chance to explore each room on their own, giving them a chance to develop their own interests, skills and tastes in a truly fun learning environment. There will also be various language tours and a variety of specialty tours including for guests who are autistic, blind or hearing impaired.
If a guest wishes to learn about Special Effects Makeup, for example, he or she can look on the Museum’s website beforehand (or use the Museum’s App) and be given a map of where to go, which exhibits to visit and which videos to watch. The guest can continue his or her learning away from the Museum with more videos, photos and information accessible on the Museum’s website, which will also include links to other websites and schools.