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Welcome to The Portal to the Public Network


The Portal to the Public (PoP) approach helps organizations connect public audiences with current science in their own communities through conversations with local scientists. Led by Pacific Science Center in Seattle, Washington, the PoP Network provides strategies and resources to build local communities of scientists and educators who are dedicated to public engagement with current science. Learn more about joining the Portal to the Public Network.

Latest News

Updated resources are coming!

It’s only been 6 years since the Portal to the Public Implementation Manual was first published, but a lot has changed since then! The Network has expanded to 60 institutions, members now come from not just science centers but universities, botanical gardens, research groups, and zoos/aquariums, and the field of science communication continues to grow and evolve in exciting directions. To reflect all this change, we’re working on updating our Implementation Manual and associated resources to make Portal to the Public implementation stronger for existing and future organizations. Updates will include: new professional development for scientists, updated case studies and “lessons learned,”, new resources for universities, additional resources on PoP program sustainability, and more!

Our expected completion date is this winter. The Implementation Manual will be distributed to current member sites and available for purchase on this site. Feedback on the process is always welcome. We can’t wait to share it with you!

PoP project receives new NSF award 
We’re excited to announce that a team of PoPNet sites and PoPNet leadership have received a National Science Foundation Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) award for a project called Grounding Institutional Partnerships in Structures for Broader Impacts Design. This project will build on the work done across Portal to the Public to construct a model for institutional-level commitments between universities and informal learning institutions regarding the effective involvement of scientist/engineers in education-based Broader Impacts activities.

The award is a collaborative effort of three pairs of universities and informal learning institutions:

  1. Pacific Science Center and University of Washington, Bothell
  2. Sciencenter (in Ithaca, NY) and Cornell University
  3. Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery and University of Wisconsin, Madison

Oregon State University’s Center for Research on Lifelong STEM Learning will serve as our research partner on the project. The project will begin in Fall 2017.

National Science Foundation

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation. Any opinions, findings, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of NSF.

Institute of Museum and Library Services

This project has been made possible by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Pacific Science Center

The Portal to the Public Network is facilitated by Pacific Science Center.