❮ Projects page The Franklin Institute

Spatial Analysis Project:

In addition to hosting ~900,000 annual visitors, TFI offers programming to impact communities that we may not otherwise reach, including:

  • The Philadelphia Science Festival—annual, ~70-event, nine-day community-wide celebration of STEM
  • Teacher professional development—programs for educators that serve students across the tristate area
  • Traveling Science Shows—interactive science programming presented at schools from Connecticut to Virginia
  • The Student Access Program—free field trips to 30,000 students from Title I schools

Traditionally, cultural center audiences are disproportionately White, middle-class, and highly-educated; however, TFI seeks to provide more equitable access to our mission. This project will help us better understand the geographic, demographic, and socioeconomic reach of our on- and off-site programs. This information has never been examined holistically, and this project will allow us to identify where gaps exist. This will help us strengthen our outreach efforts to promote more equal access to informal science education across the region.

Data available:

  • Demographic data collected during PSF about events, including information about a subset of participants’ zip codes, gender, and ethnicity
  • Professional development data from the past four years, including number of attendees from each school
  • Traveling Science Show data about locations (schools, camps, or afterschool sites) and number of attendees
  • Student Access Program free field trips school data
  • Museum attendee data, including zip codes, ethnicity, gender and income of our museum attendees and members, separated by on-site program (general admission, traveling exhibition, Science After Hours, Speaker Series, etc.).
  • We also imagine using publicly available data sets, including school demographic characteristics, IRS income data by zip code; and US Census data by zip code (age, gender, ethnicity, income, language).

Maps and Reports that will be created:

We hope the resulting map(s) will show the demographic, socioeconomic, and geographic characteristics of those whom we currently do and do not reach, categorized by the various types of programming that we offer. Additionally, the resulting products can help us understand priority areas and the best methods for targeting them, perhaps through developing a scoring mechanism for identifying communities with greatest need.

If a student has knowledge of the appropriate coding and software, we would appreciate interactive features to help us glean additional insights about various aspects of our programming and the audiences we reach.

How the maps and reports will be used:

We will use the maps and reports to both communicate to our various stakeholders about the communities and individuals we do and do not currently serve, and to inform our future planning so that we can more effectively reach high-priority populations. Specifically, this information will be used by senior staff, directors, and program leads to determine opportunities for additional outreach via the channels we already offer in communities that have great need, close proximity, and relatively little connection with The Franklin Institute. This information will also be helpful when composing federal grant applications and grants to foundations to fund new programmatic initiatives. We also hope the maps will be a springboard for conversations with community groups and leaders about effective methods for inclusive programming.

Organization https://www.fi.edu/
Shortlist year 2019
Category Education
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Summer 2019

Applications for the Summer 2019 session of the Azavea Summer of Maps fellowship program are now closed. Check out this post to learn about the selected projects and fellows!

Thank you!

Student applications are now closed and under review. The fellowship will begin shortly.