Saturday, June 12, 2010

Is planning for the Arizona Centennial Museum running amuck?

As described in a prior posting, State government recently transferred the Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum to the Arizona Historical Society. The building currently occupied by the mineral museum will become the 5C Centennial Museum which will be managed by the Historical Society.

The law implementing the transfer states that the Centennial Museum will “house” the mineral museum, indicating that a smaller mineral museum will remain intact within a portion of the building. Early indications suggest that 5C planners do not intend to comply with that provision, and will mingle 5C displays throughout the building.

The 5C planners apparently also intend to eliminate the many educational earth science displays currently in the mineral museum. The sole source contractor for the 5G museum recently distributed a document entitled:

Arizona Centennial Project
Interpretative Content Interviews – Questionnaire
May 20, 2010

There were apparently 5 different questionnaires, one for each of the Cs (cotton, citrus, climate, copper, and cows). The copper (not mineral) questionnaire states that it is a follow up to interviews conducted by the contractor on March 11 & 12 “for the purpose of identifying communication goals of the Arizona Centennial Museum”.

There are a total of eight questions that inquire about the “emotional connection” to mining, the contributions of mining to “Arizona society”, and Arizona’s “way of life”. They also ask about environmental protection, community action, and economic activity. The questions suggest the 5C museum will be a social studies museum.

The contractor and the Centennial Commission appear to have absolutely no interest in the K-12 earth science education currently provided by the mineral museum. While social topics may have value, they are abundantly covered in many other Arizona museums. The mineral museum is the only Arizona museum providing earth science education enabling teachers to comply with state mandated earth science education standards.

Therefore, it appears, at this point, that the 5C Centennial Museum will seriously damage K-12 education.


Copper Questionnaire
The following questionnaire is a follow-up to interviews conducted on March 11 & 12, 2010 for the purpose of identifying communication goals of the Arizona Centennial Exhibition. The information provided will be used to develop preliminary interpretive outline for topics and messages to be part of an initial planning package.

Overall Goals
1. What do you think are the three most important things you want visitors to know about the Mining industry in Arizona?
2. What do you think are the three best ways visitors could emotionally connect to the Mining story in Arizona?
3. What three things would you hope visitors might do as a result of visiting this exhibition?

Main Themes

1. Formation of Arizona: What do you think are the main contributions the Mining industry has made to the formation of Arizona as a state and a society?

2. Land and its Stewardship : How do you think the Mining industry contributes to the protection and stewardship of Arizona’s environment?

3. Entrepreneurship: What do you think are the best historic and contemporary examples of entrepreneurship in the Mining industry?

4. Contributions to Society: What do you think are the Mining industry’s most significant current contributions to Arizona’s way of life?

5. Better Future: In what ways do you think the Mining industry as an economic activity is creating a better future for Arizona and the rest of the country?

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