The International Symposium of Science Museums


Renegade Tours

During winter of 2018, Museum Hack team members Michael Alexis and Hayley Milliman took a trip to South Korea to catch a Korean zombie flick, enjoy some Korean barbeque, and speak at ISSM 2018 in Daejeon.

Michael and Hayley had an amazing time meeting conference attendees at the National Science Museum in Daejeon, as well as spreading the good word: museums are f***ing awesome. Here’s a peek into their trip!

One of Many

The National Science Museum in Daejeon is one of several museums across Korea that bears the same name. The museum in Daejeon, however, is the largest, featuring a world-class planetarium, exhibit halls that highlight Korean culture and history, dinosaurs, and nature and natural science.

A tiger exhibit at the National Science Museum in Daejeon, Korea.
Source: Hayley Milliman

The International Symposium of Science Museums is a yearly conference that’s been held in Daejeon since 2011. Every year, attendees from across Korea and panelists from around the world converge on the science museum’s campus to talk about the future of museums.

Hayley and Michael joined the panelists to present two workshops. Hayley talked to a small group about Museum Hack’s approach to using social media to attract visitors, while Michael presented on the main stage about Museum Hack’s philosophy on creating engaging tours.

Working with a small group, Hayley taught the three elements of a strong Museum Hack post:

  • Engaging copy
  • An eye-catching photo
  • A strong call to action

Attendees worked with Hayley to analyze posts in their social media feed that fit these characteristics and built out a week’s worth of posts for their own institutions.

During Michael’s talk, attendees learned about Museum Hack’s unique history, as well as our philosophy that guests need to be entertained before they can be educated. Michael walked them through Museum Hack’s approach to telling stories that will resonate with guests… not leave them feeling alienated and frustrated.

Museum Hack’s Michael Alexis presenting on why we believe museums are f***ing awesome.
Source: Hayley Milliman

A Peek Into Korean History

One of the best parts of visiting the National Science Museum was getting to learn about Korea’s diverse history.

In addition to exhibits on the history of technology, the National Science Museum in Daejeon has a number of wonderful artifacts that celebrate Korean innovation… from the country’s earliest days all the way up to today!

A Korean pulley machine.
Source: Hayley Milliman

The pulley machine featured in the above photo, for instance, was used to build Hwaseong Fortress in Suwon. Made up of four fixed and movable pulleys, as well as two wheels and axles, this machine enabled workers to create a beautiful, long-lasting structure.

It was really interesting to get this peek into Korean history!

An Eye to the Future

One of the main themes at ISSM 2018 was looking to the future – what will museums in Korea look like later in 2019? What about in the years to come? How can they continue to push the boundaries of what it means to create an educational and entertaining exhibit?

We’d like to humbly thank the organizers of ISSM for having Hayley and Michael attend! We had a great time and learned so much!

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