Wednesday, September 22, 2010

SAINT LOUIS SCIENCE CENTER ACCREDITATION EXTENDED FIVE YEARS



Museum continues to meet high standards set by American Association of Museums' Accreditation Program

ST. LOUIS - The American Association of Museums (AAM) has extended the Saint Louis Science Center's accreditation for another five years.

The Science Center was initially accredited in 1989, re-accredited in 1995 and 2009, and with the extension, the Science Center is now accredited for 15 years.

The Science Center is one of only 779 museums nationwide to hold that distinction, though there are an estimated 17,500 museums across the United States open to the public. Only 31 of the accredited museums are science museums.

The accreditation process is a thorough, lengthy process, including a rigorous review from a Visiting Committee of Science Center peers and the AAM Accreditation Commission. Under review are the collections stewardship, facilities and risk management, institutional planning, mission and more. The entire review process can take as long as three years to complete.

Among the experts reviewing the museum was Bonnie Styles, Ph.D., AAM Accreditation Commission Chair and Director of the Illinois State Museum.

"The Saint Louis Science Center continues to show a commitment to excellence," Styles said. "Setting high standards and continually working to improve, the museum remains in a prestigious group of museums in the U.S."

According to Styles, the Science Center's accreditation extension is due, in part, to the continued high level of stewardship and management of its collections. Receiving the original accreditation signifies both quality and accountability in all aspects of the museum.

"We're pleased and proud to have the unsolicited accreditation extension," said Doug King, President and CEO of the Science Center. "Having gone through the accreditation process several times, we understand what an honor it is to be accredited by the American Association of Museums."

In addition to the other exemplary aspects of the museum, the Accreditation Commission also commended the Science Center for its YES program.

"The museum is a national leader in developing long-term programs for inner city youth which incorporate community partners," Styles said. "We applaud the museum for its achievements."

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