about

Community Collaboration Project

Co-Created Mission

“DMNS collaborates with communities to support and create diverse and meaningful experiences around exploration of the natural world, both beyond and within the Museum’s walls.”

We want to thank you so much for participation with the Denver Museum of Nature & Science on this incredible journey. The Community Collaboration Summit was a transformative day for the Museum, and we have all of you to thank for that!

We wanted to follow up with all of you after the Summit, below is a pamphlet which outlines our journey to the Summit and a video with the highlights of the day. We are grateful for every moment of conversation, thought, and participation from all of you along the way! Our new, co-created mission statement and all the information we learned throughout this process will serve as our guide post as we move forward – the journey is not over!

In the coming year, there will be more opportunities to stay involved with us, your feedback, ideas, and engagement are what will propel us into the future. Stay tuned on our webpage for more updates, and we look forward to seeing you soon!

Community Connections

Summer in Colorado is glorious. From long days of sunshine, blossoming gardens, and outdoor adventures to community fairs and festivals, neighborhoods throughout the state are humming with activity. This June, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science kicked off the season by celebrating community at Denver PrideFest.

Our staff affinity group, titled the LGBTQ-Rexes and Allysauruses, invited Museum staff and volunteers to march together in this year’s Pride Parade. The Museum has participated in Denver PrideFest celebrations in different ways over the years, but this June was our first time representing the Museum in the parade. With a DMNS banner leading our group, Museum staff, volunteers, and their family and friends joined the colorful wave of marchers from Cheesman Park down Colfax. Our outreach van, decked in stegosaurus plates, drove alongside the team while one staff member rocked an inflatable T-Rex costume to proudly announce the Museum’s presence. Dressed in our colorful dino T-shirts, a T-Rex skeleton on a rainbow background, we handed out airplane gliders and temporary tattoos to the cheering crowd as we made our way to Civic Center Park to meet up with colleagues at our booth in the family interactive area.

The Museum has been an in-kind sponsor of Denver PrideFest for the last several years and this summer we made our family booth more interactive than ever. Families and Pride-goers of all ages joined Museum staff to make their own bubble wands in our bubble bonanza area, figured out which skull belonged to which Colorado mammal in our animal section, and tested their taste buds at our genetics of taste table. We heard feedback from festival attendees that people were thrilled to see the Museum marching and celebrating alongside the community. The Museum LGBTQ Core Team continues to find opportunities for the Museum to stay engaged and involved with the community. We’re excited to join more community fun across Colorado throughout the summer.

Co-Visioning Summit

Genetics of Taste Lab

NIH SEPA Community Advisory Board “More than just a taste of Citizen Science”

The Denver Museum of Nature & Science was recently awarded $1 million from the National Institutes of Health’s Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA). The award funds citizen science scoped research about taste and learning research on public participation in science research.

This is one of the largest research grants the Museum has received.

The More than just a taste of citizen science project will investigate the role that degree of participation has on:

  • The accessibility to potential participants.
  • The learning experience of public participation in science research.
  • The impact of participation on scientific rigor.

Purpose

The purpose of the Community Advisory Board is to identify potential strategies that encourage underserved communities to participate as public partners in scientific research. We will plan community events where the board can meet community leaders, learn more about Latino interests and start the vital communication process with our target audiences.

The goal is to address critical barriers in the field that prevent Latino Communities from participating as volunteers and citizen scientists, and establish best practices for the use of citizen science in the context of human health based research. We explicitly examine whether our actual efforts encourage members of communities underrepresented in STEM to see themselves as people who can contribute to the scientific community and who belong in the scientific community. We are looking for a path to build connections and to share successful stories in the Latino Communities we serve.

The Community Advisory Board provide guidance that helps citizen scientists and enrollees in the Genetics of Taste Lab see themselves more represented and aligned with the Denver Metro Area demographics.  Also, we study the possibility for partnerships to make favorable connections in Latino Communities.

Selection Process

Experienced experts in  Latino Communities, in the areas of  health, education and recreational fields whose interest and support are important and who can contribute their time, knowledge and expertise to benefit the project and make it more inclusive and diverse.

Members should be active in the community, with strong community networks and a sound understanding of local issues. Members may be individuals, or groups and may include, for instance,   representatives from key community-based organizations that serve families such as:

  • Youth Latino Advocates
  • Women’s Organizations
  • Representation from Latino Social organizations
  • Education
  • Sports and Recreation
  • Churches

Members

  • Julianna Ramirez, American Diabetes Association
  • Ruth González, Aurora Public Schools
  • Myrna Morales, Padres & Jóvenes Unidos
  • Curtis Gardner, Colorado Rapids Youth Soccer
  • Marina La Grave, Latin American Center for Arts, Science & Education

Activities

Engaging communities in their communities!

Colorado Rapids Youth Outreach Program Jamboree:

22 Soccer Teams Participated

  • 250 People RSVP

The activity was part of the Youth Outreach Program that the Colorado Rapids Youth Soccer has.  This Outreach Program provides underserved youth with soccer opportunities through clinics, leagues, and scholarships. They serve thousands of students in low-income Denver and Greeley communities. Their     in-house divisions are teams within their free Soccer for Success after school program. The schools they work with compete on weekends during spring and fall seasons. They target low-income areas based on the percentage of students who qualify for free or reduced school lunches. 70% participation are from Latinos.

This Jamboree is part of 8 soccer community events that the Rapids Youth Soccer have throughout the year.

The Genetics of Taste Lab participated with the Taste Vs Flavor Challenge. We interacted with more than 75 kids, parents, coaches and staff. It was a positive, fun activity that gave us the opportunity to engage with diverse communities.

LGBTQ Community

The Denver Museum of Nature & Science has hosted family days for the LGBTQ community since 2014. Initially, the Museum held a focus group with members of the LGBTQ community to determine what a successful family day would include. It didn’t take long for community members to express their desire for more.

We soon realized that opportunities to expand beyond a single family day were endless and wanted to ensure that whatever we offered would be meaningful to the LGBTQ community. The Museum was thrilled when several organizations within the community responded to invitations to collaborate on the design and creation of new and different programs.  

Before we jumped into planning however, the Museum wanted to take the time to develop relationships with interested organizations to discuss what their challenges and priorities were and identify ways we could work together.

During the initial meetings, several themes emerged that serve as guideposts for the relationships the Museum enjoys with these organizations and for the development of future programs:

  • Partnership: This is a collaborative process and partnerships will be built on trust and mutual respect.
  • Connectedness: We will use a team approach keeping the LGBTQ community at the center of our work together.
  • Accessible: We will connect with people where they are and change the expectation that a Museum experience has to occur at the Museum, and experiences will be fun and memorable.

The organizations helped identify several desired outcomes for the Museum’s work with and for the LGBTQ community, including that the Museum:

  • Remains a comfortable and safe space for social interaction
  • Visibly express its commitment to inclusivity (“Walk the Talk”)
  • Emphasize that the children are our future
  • Provide LGBTQ content
  • Reflect personal educational values of LGBTQ community members
  • Be young at heart

To help achieve these outcomes, LGBTQ organizations are invited to participate to the level of their comfort as their schedules permit. The Museum recognizes that not every organization can participate at the same level and that the ability to participate at all is seasonal and dependent upon the priorities of each individual organization. Whether helping develop content for an event or spreading the word, any and all levels of participation are welcome as the Museum works with the LGBTQ community to ensure it is a welcoming place for everyone and that it is connecting with members of the LGBTQ community in convenient, relevant ways. 

For more information, please contact

Eric Godoy : [email protected]

Community Updates

Check back soon for an update on Space Odyssey Reimagined!

Taking Flight

Here's how we did it!

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