I am Leaving AMNH to Pursue Innovation Opportunities in Informal Learning Spaces

At the end of June I will be leaving my current role as the Associate Director of Digital Learning in the Education department at the American Museum of Natural History. I have learned and grown so much in the past nearly six years, and am ready to apply my new skills at a higher level of leadership.

I was brought to the Museum in 2012 to fulfill a particular role, one which evolved multiple times over the years, and I am very proud of all we accomplished together. In the big picture, I had the privilege of:

  • Developing and overseeing a new Digital Youth Learning Strategy. (Our after school department has now integrated digital learning throughout its programs, infrastructure, and staff capacity.)
  • Designing and implementing a new slate of youth courses across the disciplines that are now in regular rotation.
  • Innovating prototype development and evaluation for new visitor-facing, science visualization interactives. (New assets are currently being developed through a user-centric development process with a focus on visitor-centric prototyping.)
  • Co-leading the design process for a new science data visualization space in our upcoming Gilder Center, leveraging cutting-edge research from our Museum scientists within innovative, youth-focused after school programming.
  • Leading evaluations of emerging media (AR, VR, gesture-based, and more) and visitor interactions to inform both short term and long term efforts to increase visitor engagement and learning.
  • Overseeing the development of nine analog and mobile games that playfully address topics as wide-ranging as gut microbes, killer snails, astrophysics, and the sixth extinction.

For more details about the work described above, click here.

I am excited for what comes next. In general, I plan to lead innovations in informal learning spaces, helping young people identify and pursue their passions and adults learn with greater engagement, expanding the capacity of organizations to impact the quality of life of the people they serve.

Specifically, I’m now looking for a director-level position in education or visitor/public engagement at a museum or other civic and cultural institution. I am also exploring opportunities within design firms. I will be consulting on projects and offering trainings on: digital learning, games-based learning, youth development, designing for augmented reality and virtual reality, user-based design practices, and prototyping & evaluation. Finally, I will soon be on a national speaking tour for my upcoming book Seltzertopia.

It has been a true honor to work at such an important and venerable institution. As a New Yorker, I grew up visiting the Museum. I tried to channel the same sense of curiosity and exploration I once had as a toddler into every new project and unmarked doorway I explored.

Working at the Museum is exceptional because the people who work here are exceptional, each in their own distinct way, with each recognizing how they can complement, rather than compete with, one another. I hope I can take the same rich sense of collaboration into the paths before me, and will treasure the relationships I’ve built along the way (many documented in my Caught in Time Photo Booth series).

To everyone I have worked with in these past few years, both inside and outside the Museum, thank you. My life has been all the richer because of all we worked towards and achieved together.

A collection

2 Comments

  1. Best of luck Barry I have very much enjoyed reading about your work and your generous sharing. Hope to follow your new adventures!

  2. Wow! All the best in your next adventures in Museum work/education, Barry. Your collaborative approach has been an inspiration to me.

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