NAMES President and Board of Directors (2018-2020)

Last month, NAMES 2018, the network's 6th Biennial Conference, took place over the course of three days. Featuring Pre-Conference Workshops for the first time, in addition to carefully selected content under the overarching theme of "360°: See It All!", the conference was another successful step on the network's path towards Networking for a Better Future; the ultimate goal of NAMES.

During the conference, NAMES Biennial Report 2016-2018 (Planting Seeds) was introduced; the report covers the network’s development and milestones over the past couple of years. NAMES 2018 was followed by the network's 6th General Assembly Meeting (GAM) where the network's Full Members convened to review the network's progress and discuss its future.

The GAM also elected NAMES President and Board of Directors for the term 2018-2020:

Our projects
Pre-Conference Workshops

In response to NAMES Full Members' demand for capacity building opportunities, for the first time, NAMES 2018 Conference was preceded by Two Pre-conference Workshops that focused on specific areas critical to the growth of science centers and museums. Special thanks goes to NAMES Sustaining Members, Hüttinger Interactive Exhibitions and TalentS|KCA, for providing the content and training of the two pre-conference workshops; one focusing on exhibits development, and the other about streamlining content and strategy to attract visitors.

The Mijbil Almutawa Award 2018

During the Opening Ceremony of NAMES 2018 Conference, the winner of the Mijbil Almurtawa Award Program (MAAP) 2018, Khulood AlKhoori—Educational Program Officer, Children's City, Dubai Municipality, UAE—was presented with a certificate and trophy commemorating her win. Ms. Khoori's award was a full grant to participate in the NAMES 2018 conference and benefit from one of the specialized pre-conference workshops.

To learn more about the MAAP, Click here.

Mark Your Calendar
29 Nov. - 2 Dec. 2018
XII Festival nauke – Science & You
10 Dec. 2018
Science meets…
20 Dec. 2018
ASTC 2019: Call for Proposals Deadline
7 Jan. 2019
EUSEA19: Call for Proposals Deadline
9-13 Jan. 2019
Tieteen päivät (Science Forum)
Letter from
NAMES President

Dear Inspirers,

I would like to thank every individual, entity, and network that worked with us to make the year 2018 a success for NAMES, and hence, the science centers sector around the world. The past year has been filled with great achievements and new products for our members and partners; we look forward to doing much more in the next months.

Looking back at NAMES and how it flourished beautifully during the past twelve years makes us proud and full of energy, enthusiasm, and dedication; to continue our journey in popularizing science throughout the region using the latest strategies and methodologies. We have been lucky in NAMES to have great minds leading our network since its birth, bringing it to being recognized regionally and internationally.

We are grateful for Hoda Elmikaty, Mijbil Almutawa, and Sawsan Dalaq. Each of these inspiring role models has added significant value to this developing network that cannot be summarized in one letter. Hoda and Mijbil founded the network, made it well recognized, and developed its strategy for Sawsan to then “institutionalize” it, helping make our steps forward more organized.

As a result of this institutionalization, our superwomen, Maissa Azab and Rehab Elawamry, have risen to the top and made all members’ lives easy. I truly cannot imagine stepping in for the role of President without these two great ladies being there. So, thank you both for everything you have done so far, and sorry for the headache I am going to cause you the next two years!

Our network has worked on a variety of products the past year that will see the light during the upcoming few months, aiming for more interaction between members and our fellow networks. We are trying to create a culture of knowledge sharing and mentorship that we believe is achievable and beneficial to all. The culture of “What can I give?” and not just “what do I get?”.

I hope you all can see how important this is and join us to make this dream a reality.

Thank you all for being part of our family, and please stay tuned to learn about our current and upcoming programs/products.

Kind Regards,
Abdulaziz A. Alhegelan



NAMES 2018: Thank you all!

Hosted by the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (BA) Planetarium Science Center (PSC), NAMES 2018 welcomed more than 100 participants from 20 countries, including 58 session speakers, and 12 Exhibitors.

Under the overarching theme of "360°: See It All!", the 3-day conference included panel discussions and interactive workshops that shed light on the various aspects of work in science centers and museums from all angles, functions, and contexts, to be contemporary to where the world is now while we create, connect, and commit.

The conference also featured outsanding keynote speeches by Dr. Islam Hussein, Egyptian-American Virologist and Science Communicator, and Dr. Graham Walker, Academic Program Coordinator at the Australian National University, and Science Show Performer and Consultant.

NAMES thanks all participants, speakers, and exhibitors for their valuable time and effort while participating in NAMES 2018 and sharing their much valued thoughts and experiences. It was truly inspirational and a great pleasure meeting everyone and we look forward to meeting all again at NAMES 2020!

NAMES Members Celebrate the ISCSMD 2018

On 10 November 2018, NAMES Members celebrated the 3rd annual International Science Center and Science Museum Day (ISCSMD). Under the theme of “Science, a Human Right”, the Science Centers and Science Museums are developing several activities, events, and workshops supporting the right for all citizens to participate in and benefit from science, it will serve to spark a global discussion on ways to improve access to science and to the benefits of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Launched in 2016 in collaboration with the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and regional networks of science centers and museums, this annual global event showcases the collective impact and reach of vibrant, community-based hubs for science exploration and discovery.

NAMES Biennial Report (2016-2018)

NAMES Secretariat Office invites you to read its Biennial Report for 2016-2018, available in both English and Arabic, covering the network’s development and milestones over the past couple of years.

The last two years were about Planting Seeds for expansion. NAMES has been working to enable its members with ever-growing support systems, which provide exposure and learning opportunities: from the Biennial Conference, the EMME Summer School, the Mijbil Almutawa Award Program, and Pre-Conference Workshops, to focused learning resources currently being developed, fulfilling the Network’s purpose of maximizing on knowledge and experiences available within the region for the benefit of the entire regional science communication field, particularly within the NAMES family.

Success Story

Re-envisioning How Science Museums Connect with Marginalized Communities

Committed to the notion that science museums are spaces for everyone, but concerned that visitor engagement did not reflect community demographics, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas, Texas, USA, launched an initiative to address disparity. Aligned with institutional goals to engage historically marginalized communities and supported by an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) grant, a collaboration between Evaluation, Volunteer Services, and museum leadership was forged.

Drawing upon the principles and methodologies of anthropology, a Rapid Ethnographic Perspective (RAP) protocol was put into place. Designed to understand how science museums are contextualized in unconnected communities, RAP is a methodology and approach to community-based research that facilitates quick assessment to produce rapid results. RAP does this by strategically building community alliances that are predicated on shared goals, reciprocal exchanges, and cultural integrity.

Click on the button to read the full success story.

­NAMES Secretariat Office
Bibliotheca Alexandrina, P.O. Box 138, Chatby, Alexandria 21526, EGYPT
Tel.: +(203) 4839999; Ext.: 2723

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