The 2010 conference of the Association of Science and Technology Centers was held this year in Honolulu. Ahhh…. Hawaii! The beaches, the sunshine, the abundance of both single and double rainbows… sounds great, right? With the particularly poor turnout of attendees this year, many folks I spoke to wondered how great this conference really was. The exhibit hall was rather small with what seemed like a fraction of the exhibitors in past years, some sessions were spotty with attendees and there just weren’t the new faces and international showing that many were hoping would arrive.
Putting these observations aside, in a way the conference was great. The educational sessions were quite informative, the special programs and receptions were well planned, and the keynote speaker at the opening ceremony was one of the most impactful and inspiring hour-long speech I may have ever experienced. His name was Charles ‘Nainoa’ Thompson and he shared with the audience the story of the Polynesian Voyaging Society’s development and journeys to Tahiti and beyond using non-instrument wayfinding. This was a story of excitement, joy, loss, discovery, and dismay; but ultimately a story of inspiration – a powerful affirmation of the importance of informal education.Read more