Lives of Museum Junkies

The Story of America’s Hands-On Education Movement

Lives of Museum Junkies Book

Peer into the political and educational climate of the 1960s to discover factors that propelled the hands-on education movement into prominence. Follow the missteps and breakthroughs of Marilynne Eichinger and 11 other naive but dedicated museum directors, board volunteers, and National Science Foundation managers as they strove to change the way science was taught. Their oft humorous stories are revealed with candor and clarity. Responding to the latest research in learning and child development, they created engaging, self-teaching displays that impacted the landscape of 2,900 centers worldwide while serving 98 million people in the U.S.

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“Marilynne Eichinger has created a very worthwhile contribution to her thorough analysis of science museums. Her book will bring added interest to museums and what they can offer now and in the future.”
– Jean Auel, author Earth’s children series

“Marilynne shares the experiences and insights of many who shaped the field, along with her personal reflections. Her engaging book will help you see science museums in a new light.”
– David Ucko, Museums+More LLC

“The book is very well written and easy to enjoy. This topic requires a “storytelling” approach, and it has been captured well. Those recognized in the chapters should be honored for your treatment of their many accomplishments. The book concludes with a value- able perspective on the future of museums. That future will be a function of the leaders who take to heart the many “lessons” that are offered.”
– Bud Rock, Executive Director Association of Science and Technology Museums

“This great read tells the story of the beginning of science museums through the eyes of early pioneer Marilynne Eichinger. She includes lessons from her life and the lives of other pioneers in museums of experience. Recommended for those who care about museums, libraries, and society today.”
– Ginnie Cooper, Past director of Washington D.C., Brooklyn, and Portland Library systems

“People interested in museums as real educational environments, parents interested in their children’s education, and people seeking to find themselves in a positive way could all benefit from reading this book. I love the way the bios of major contributors are interspersed through-out—most thoughtful. A terrific story!”
– Ronald C. Rosenberg. Professor, Associate Dean Emeritus, Michigan State University

“Marilynne Eichinger has embraced the past to give a lively behind-the-scenes description of the evolution of interactive science museums and why these science playgrounds should be part of your life.”
– Michelle Marquart, Past VP Marketing, Oregon Coast Aquarium; General Manager, Mount Hood Railroad.


About the Author:DSC05244

Marilynne Eichinger, entrepreneur, founder, and developer of institutions promoting science education shares her experiences in writings as well as art. She served as founder and past president of Impression Five Science Museum in Lansing, Michigan, president and builder of the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry in Portland. Marilynne went on to found and publish the Museum Tour Gift Catalog to encourage hands-on learning in the home.

More about Marilynne Eichinger


Over the Peanut Fence is scheduled for release in 2017. It is a comprehensive look at the problem of youth homelessness. Interviews with street kids and those who work in agencies tell tales of the work being done to impact the growing crisis facing American cities.

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