Responding Obstacles that Impact on Strategy of Enhancing Museum Management in a Midsize Science Museum
Thailand has long sought to develop national competitiveness through science education. However, there is still a clear imbalance in academic achievements of Thai students. This is particularly apparent in science education among youths under 15 years old. Informal education, particularly through science centers and science museums, can play an important role in bridging such a knowledge gap. There is, therefore, a clear need for coherent strategies and plans to address this educational disparity, covering a broad range of issues from resources and workforce allocation to teaching standards.
The Strategy on Human Capital Development and Strengthening of National Strategy (2018-2037) aims to develop Thai people of all ages in a multidimensional manner to become good, skillful, and quality citizens. Particular emphasis is placed on improving the learning process to prepare young people for changes in the 21st century. Science centers and science museums have a pivotal role in enhancing multidisciplinary learning which develops creativity, necessary skills and positive attitudes among children.
Science centers and science museums are important platforms where children see something new that will spark their curiosity and see fascinating things to learn from. Moreover, they offer an opportunity to expose children to experiences and explore new things in a rich and educational environment with interactive exhibits and hands-on activities.
National Science Museum Thailand (NSM) is one of 47 science centers in the country. NSM aims to promote inspiration and awareness of science by educating with knowledge assets such as exhibitions and activities both onsite and online. Our vision is “to be a leading life-long learning resource on science, technology and innovation of ASEAN”. This vision is reflected in a three-years strategy (2019 – 2021) which aims to (1) enhance the quality of museum management in science, technology, and innovation; (2) develop a variety of exhibitions and activities; (3) improve human capacity to have more knowledge in a wide range of expertise; and (4) be a place where everyone can relax, travel and learn on holiday.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused an unprecedent interruption to the museum’s operations and services for over half of the period of our strategy implementation. In my purposed presentation, I will discuss how we strive to deliver services and maintain the goals laid out in our strategy during this difficult period. I will also show the results of the implementation of our strategy in terms of performance indicators from the external assessor. In addition, I will discuss how we respond to the lockdown policy due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC)