Museums can be a Lab for Children's Learning | Jane Werner | TEDxPittsburghWomen
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Museums can be a Lab for Children's Learning | Jane Werner | TEDxPittsburghWomen

Children spend the majority of their time in informal learning environments. How can informal learning be deigned to unlock joy and curiosity? By designing experiences that help children question their model of the world within a museum that have a direct input back into classroom environments. Jane Werner’s 37 years of museum experience includes 28 years at The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. Werner leads the team responsible for all aspects of the Museum’s mission and vision, exhibits, public programming, funding and operations. The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh expanded in November 2004 after the completion of a $29M capital campaign. Attendance grew from 80,000 to currently 310,000. The project was the recipient of the 2006 American Institute of Architects National Award and National Trust for Historic Preservation Award. The Museum received the 2009 National Medal from the Institute of Museum and Library Services for its work in the community and in 2011 the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh was named one of the top ten children’s museums by Parents Magazine. Under Werner’s leadership and in partnership with the Warhol Museum, the Children’s Museum reopened the closed New Hazlett Theater, raising over $2million and creating a separate 501c3 organization. In 2012, the Museum opened Buhl Community Park, a $6.1million public park in front of the museum. The museum’s latest innovation is Museum Lab, which opened in April 2019, as a learning environment for older kids. With the completion of Museum Lab the museum has created the largest cultural campus for children in the United States. In 2013, the museum was cited by AAM Press in the book Magnetic as one of six museums with powerful internal alignment and a compelling vision allowing it to attract the critical resources for success. Prior to her tenure at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, Werner worked for the Franklin Institute, Carnegie Science Center and Buhl Science Center. She ran her own exhibit design firm whose clients included the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania, Franklin Institute and Scientific Discovery Museum. Jane is past president of the Association of Children’s Museums, Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council Board and New Hazlett Theater. She is on the boards of the Maker Education Initiative, Carnegie Mellon University’s Studio for Creative Inquiry, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Design Committee, Remake Learning Council, Fred Rogers’ Center and Benedum Foundation. She’s also served on the American Institute of Architects and Rudy Bruner Design Award national juries. She holds an appointment at CMU’s Studio for Creative Inquiry and Art department, attended the Getty Leadership Institute and is a graduate of Syracuse University. Jane received ASTC’s 2007 Leading Edge Award for Experienced Leadership in the field, 2012 YWCA Woman in the Arts Leadership Award and was named a 2013 Pittsburgh Businesswoman Leader. She is a Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx