Who We Are

The Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC) is a nonprofit membership association that convenes organizations who share our vision of increasing understanding of and engagement with science and technology among all people. This community includes nearly 600 institutions that directly engage the public, those that support science centers and museums, and other organizations committed to engaging the public in science and technology. 

Graphic displaying the work of our members: support lifelong science learning, connect science and society, engage diverse communities, and partner to tackle global and local challenges.

Our members join us from all corners of science engagement: 

  • Science and technology centers and museums
  • Children’s museum
  • Natural history museums
  • Aquariums
  • Zoos
  • Botanical gardens
  • Planetariums
  • Universities
  • Government agencies
  • Membership associations
  • Architects
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Evaluation and research agencies
  • Companies and service providers
  • Consultants Emerging science center

… and more!

Membership Overview

ASTC currently has two types of institutional membership, as described in the association’s bylaws.

ASTC members are organizations, whether non-profit or for-profit, independent consultants to complex organizations. All staff, volunteers, and interns associated with a member organization are entitled to take advantage of the benefits. 

Members pay dues according to our tiered dues structure. We provide the entirety of our benefits to every member, regardless of dues contributed. For more information about dues, see science center and museum membership dues or allied membership dues

Benefits of membership include professional development programming, funding opportunities, conference discounts, online resources, and dedicated communications. Organizational membership accords full benefits to all individuals (including employees, interns, volunteers, board members) affiliated with an ASTC member. 

For ASTC members who are open to the public, the ASTC Passport Program is an opt-in reciprocal admissions program that allows your members to receive free general admission when they travel outside of your local region to other participating institutions around the world. To inquire about this specific member benefit, e-mail membership@astc.org

Key Membership Features and Benefits

ASTC champions public engagement with science and makes the case for the impact of science centers and museums. Belonging to the ASTC community strengthens our shared purpose to advocate for our field.

Our work as a membership association supports collective advocacy on all levels: We advocate for our members to national and international organizations and support local individual institutional case-making.

Our membership features are:

  • Networking and Belonging: Our online forums, Communities of Practice, and suite of member communications (including a blog, newsletter, and social media) forge connections across our community and the larger scientific, museum, and educational ecosystems.
  • Conference Registration and Booth Discounts: ASTC’s Annual Conference is one of the premier annual events for science-engagement professionals and leaders. Participation provides opportunities for learning, networking, and sales. Members receive discounts on conference registration and exhibit booths. 
  • State-of-the-Field Tools, Resources, and Opportunities: We create strategic opportunities, develop intellectual capital, and assemble resources to support our members in realizing their missions and engaging their communities. ASTC members have access to professional development, fellowship and training programs, and mini-grant programs to advance their work and their staff. 
  • Awards, Recognition, and Service: Working with our community, we help define and lift up excellence, tell the story of our field, and provide opportunities to help shape our priorities. Members are eligible for ASTC awards and recognition programs and can serve on the Board of Directors and ASTC committees. 
  • Passport Program: This popular program allows you to reward your members and invite them to take their curiosity with them as they travel to other participating institutions around the world. 

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