The Indiana State Museum is a fun institution for school-aged kids and their families. From the prehistoric animals on the lower level, to the pendulum clock on the staircase, there are a lot of things to see and do. Like others museums around town, the Indiana State Museum offers a membership option for patrons who like to visit often.
Did you know that this membership can enable members to get admission to other facilities around Indiana, the country and the world? It may seem unlikely, but it’s true. The Indiana State Museum is part of the Association of Science-Technology Centers, or ASTC. Institutions that are part of ASTC are committed to bringing science to the community at large, and to inspire the people to continue to learn more about the world around them. ASTC understands that igniting an interest in science and STEM is an important, yet sometimes difficult task.
Part of what ASTC offers is a Passport Program. The Passport Program offers reciprocity for members of other participating ASTC museums. This means that if you are a member at one ASTC museum (say, the Indiana State Museum), you are able to gain free admission to hundreds of museums around the country and around the world. Not all members participate, but the list of participating museums is a long one. There are some rules about reciprocity, but overall, this program adds tremendous value to an already valuable membership.
Earlier this summer my family enjoyed Ice Age Giants and the new Penguins 3D film at the Indiana State Museum and IMAX theater. Recently, we embarked on a road trip to New York City and back, and found some ASTC facilities along the way.
How many did we find in along our 1700 mile round trip? We found about 15, and we were able to visit five museums in four of our days on the road. What did we see?
We visited the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, and saw explored a Brooklyn neighborhood made just for kids. We visited the Liberty Science Center and took in an amazing Rubik’s Cube exhibit. We visited Lancaster Science Factory, where we learned more about physics than you might suspect. We visited the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, where we saw the original puppets used in the Land of Make Believe on Mister Roger’s Neighborhood. We also visited the Carnegie Science Center, where we toured a submarine and so much more. It was an amazing road trip, and it was all possible due to our Indiana State Museum membership.
Getting a membership to our local museum not only gives us access to what it offers locally, but also what the Passport Program offers nationally and internationally. As we plan our next family trip, we are eager to explore more ASTC museums and science centers along the way.