The multifaceted educational program extends the film into each corner of the museum and has inspired children to now want to be an engineer when they grow up.
MacGillivray Freeman Films (MFF) partnered with The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) on Dream Big: Engineering Our World to inspire children to pursue a career in engineering, and show the world how engineers impact all of our lives. The multifaceted educational program extends the film into each corner of the museum and has inspired children to now want to be an engineer when they grow up.
With the support of ASCE and museum partners, MFF created educational components that reach far beyond the theater to integrate museums, teachers, and professional engineering organizations. Discovery Place in Charlotte wrote the Educator Guide with K-12 lesson plans and MFF produced 11 accompanying educational videos.
Museums could make 2017 “The Year of Engineering!” with 50 hands-on engineering activities to use throughout the entire year. Additionally, three design challenges link directly to the film so that audiences can go straight from the theater to a maker space and construct the very bridge they see on screen. These were produced with Carnegie Science Center, St. Louis Science Center, Museum of Science, Boston, and Alchemy Studio.
ASCE asked professional engineers to review each element stamping their approval—ensuring that museums and educators received the best material possible.
DiscoverE, a coalition of 100+ engineering organizations and companies, hosted the entire educational program on their website for museums, ASCE’s 150,000 worldwide members, teachers and the general public to access. The site has even influenced teachers to book field trips after seeing the materials available.
To activate engineers across the country, the Dream Big Outreach Coordinator connected local engineers with museums to promote the film, volunteer at events, and even reach out to schools. At Pacific Science Center in Seattle, over 136 engineers volunteered during the Engineer IT program—a three-day engineering festival that attracted over 13,000 guests to the museum.
Before launching the program, MFF tested the materials to prove their success. In December 2016, Discovery Place hosted a pilot “Girls Night Out” event. With rave reviews from participants, and feedback on how to improve, MFF is collaborating with several theaters to hold more “Girls Night Outs.” This program has been a hit in many theaters like Saskatchewan Science Center, Carnegie Science Center, and Houston Museum of Natural Science.
An educational program this vast, detailed, and integrated was a first for MFF. “Talk about dreaming big!” said Mary Jane Dodge, executive producer of the film. “We have never produced such an extensive educational outreach program nor had a partner that brought so many resources to this effort. ASCE has access to thousands of engineers who are all crazy about Dream Big and want to work with their local museums. It’s a huge but amazing program to manage.” The key to the program’s success is collaboration with partners like ASCE and the museums that lent their expertise.
From early feedback, all of the materials have been engaging for visitors, but the most successful piece to draw in an audience is the Engineering Festival. Coinciding with Engineers Week in February, many theaters opened with a festival that incorporated all elements of the program. Local engineers, as well as the engineers featured in the film spoke at screenings and participated in the festival activities. Marlene Janetos, the Vice President of Communications and Visitor Services at the Museum of Discovery and Science in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, reported, “We’ve had great success working with local engineering groups, educators love the film, and the general public find it inspiring for the entire family. Bravo!”
The audience response to Dream Big has been in line with MFF and ASCE’s goals. After a screening in Denver, 4th grader Ashley wrote, “Now I really want to be an engineer and help the world. I can’t wait to grow up and Dream Big!”
For more information about the Dream Big educational program, contact:
MacGillivray Freeman Films