GSA Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, USA - 2019

Paper No. 228-12
Presentation Time: 4:30 PM


STONEBURG, Brittney E.1, DOOLEY Jr., Alton C.2, DOOLEY, Brett S.3, MCDONALD, Andrew T.2 and COLLINS, Leya2, (1)Western Science Center, 2345 Searl Parkway, Hemet, CA 92543; California State University, Fullerton, Fullerton, CA 92831, (2)Western Science Center, 2345 Searl Parkway, Hemet, CA 92543, (3)Geology program, Northern Virginia Community College, Annadale, VA 22652

While museums often focus on increasing their on-site visitation, off-site visitation can be an ideal way for smaller museums to expand their programming while on tighter budgets. Over the past three years, the Western Science Center, a natural history museum in Hemet, CA, has greatly increased its off-site visitation. In 2015, the museum’s offsite outreach numbers were effectively zero; in 2018, it had increased to 20,000 people. This is the result of a concentrated effort by the institution to prioritize outreach that takes place outside of the museum building - thus furthering its mission to educate the region about local geology and paleontology, regardless of where these interactions take place. WSC has set up interactive off-site exhibit spaces at any event where people congregate - from comic book conventions, air shows, and more. By offering a hands-on experience through 3D prints and resin casts, partnering with other museums (such as the Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology), and making off-site outreach a specific budget item, the Western Science Center has made demonstrable progress in increasing off-site visitation that can utilized by other institutions.