Why are some organizations able to thrive and grow while others are in a seemingly constant struggle to survive? One reason is an intentional focus on sustainability. Last year OSU Extension Community Development professionals focused efforts on COSI, an organization dedicated to fun, hands-on science exploration since 1964. Of particular interest was the science museum visitors’ “willingness-to-pay” for the products and services offered by the 50-year-old organization.
The project compared COSI’s existing fee structure with other similar organizations taking into account location, visitor profile and museum services. It also analyzed potential changes to the COSI fee structure using survey data from non-member visitors to COSI.
In the end, the effort yielded recommendations to the organization that were informed by research-based data; data of critical importance for informing strategies for continued organizational growth and sustainability. View the “Willingness to Pay Study.”
For more information, please contact Nancy Bowen (Associate Professor and Extension Field Specialist, Community Economics) or David Civittolo (Associate Professor and Extension Field Specialist, Community Economics).
What do you get when you partner The Ohio State University and COSI (the large science center in Columbus)? A complex and far-reaching relationship involving a variety of unique endeavors.
Take, for example, the OSUExtension@COSI office. This is a collaborative effort that better informs the field of museums and cultural institutions in how they do their work.
Another one of the current efforts involves celebrating the many ways that the University and COSI collaborate. The first of these events, held on March 21, was a symposium on the research conducted by OSU researchers at COSI. The symposium shared insights from researchers involved in a wide array of research efforts such as: Labs in Life (research labs behind clear glass walls where real studies are being conducted using COSI visitors), hallway data collection, and using COSI for recruiting participants. OSUE’s unique embedded researcher/outreach specialist role was also presented. Click here to view photos from the first research symposium and poster reception.
Future symposia include various aspects of communication of science to the public efforts, public media and collaborations between formal and informal institutions.
(Submitted by Joe Heimlich, Professor and Extension Specialist, OSUExtension@COSI)