Portal to the Public is a program designed to assist informal science education (ISE) institutions as they seek to bring scientists and public audiences together in face-to-face interactions that promote appreciation and understanding of current scientific research and its application. The program’s hallmark is a flexible guiding framework that gives ISE institutions the ability to design and scale specific approaches and strategies to fit their own unique goals and impacts. Sites adopting the framework focus their efforts in relationships between staff and partnering scientists, professional development that prepares scientists to share their work and face-to-face public programs where scientists and public audiences interact. See our About and Resources pages for more information.
The Portal to the Public Network brings together a community of practice consisting of web-based resources and in-person meetings to support collaboration and innovation among ISE sites that have adopted the Portal to the Public guiding framework. Through grant funding, over the next three years, the Network will expand to include dozens of informal science education institutions across the country. The Network website will allow all established sites to easily communicate and collaborate with each other. Sites can share concrete resources such as professional development elements, sample marketing materials, program photos and evaluation findings allowing for growth and diversity of existing resources. See our Community and Join pages for more information.