Submit to the 2017 Competition

Submission Deadline: 
Jan. 31, 2017

Sample Submission




Email: Claudia Ocello

EdCom Award for Innovation in Museum Education

The EdCom Award for Innovation in Museum Education recognizes, encourages, and celebrates innovation in museum education. The award goes to either an individual or team in conjunction with a program, resource, or media piece, and could include a museum program done in the community outside the museum walls. We define innovation as a new technology, practice, or methodology, or repurposing of an old or existing method or practice. Programs/projects that clearly address one or more of the challenges cited in the Center for the Future of Museums' "Building the Future of Education: Museums and the Learning Ecosystem" and/or respond to broad trends in education and museum education (either in the K-12 world or learning for adults, seniors, and pre-K audiences) will be given special consideration.


  • Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site, Philadelphia, PA
    For Returning Citizens Tour Guide Project

    Unique and innovative approach to interpretation that is real and revealing” are words judges used to describe this year’s winner, Returning Citizens Tour Guide. Initiated in 2015 and launched in 2016, the program seeks to develop empathy in visitors while also humanizing mass incarceration by providing job opportunities for a disenfranchised population (i.e. recently incarcerated people) to give tours of the historic site. In challenging the idea of the docent-led tour by forging an authentic pathway for empathy and advocacy, the program seeks to move visitors toward action.  Judges viewed the innovation in the program as the challenge to leverage the stories and presence of the diverse audiences in communities and to chart the course for museums to be an agent of change for equity in interpretation while also offering opportunities to create dialogue that focuses on empathy and advocacy.


  • Accokeek Foundation, Accokeek, MD
    for Eco-Explorers: Colonial Time Warp

    This field trip program uses the context of colonial history to teach current-day environmental literacy. The program immerses students in an exciting role-playing scenario where students engage in a mission to save the earth and change the course of history, connecting history to the present in useful. Relevant, and personal ways. Accokeek Foundation undertook this program revamp after their field trip program faced a significant decline. Judges felt the program demonstrated how museums are essential institutions; fostered cross-disciplinary approaches that favor critical thinking and user-centered decision-making; shifted hiring and training practices that now foster a culture of innovation at the site; and is scalable and replicable across the museum Landscape.