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Paper: Adapting Hands-on Family Learning to a Virtual Platform
Volume: 531, ASP2020: Embracing the Future: Astronomy Teaching and Public Engagement
Page: 68
Authors: Milotte, C. H.; Mitchell, S. E.
Abstract: Whole-family STEM learning programs don't have to end while we are all staying safely at home. This interactive session will give you an overview of the NASA Family Science Night (FSN) curriculum and how it has been adapted to function on virtual platforms as FSN @Home. Learn tips and tricks for engaging families online, the challenges we have faced during pilot testing, and options we have explored for giving families physical access to hands-on learning materials. FSN is a research-based astronomy curriculum that engages middle school students and their families in STEM topics in a comfortable out-of-school time setting. The main objectives of the program are to bring families together to collaborate on activities and to change attitudes about learning science by helping both students and their parents embrace the idea that anyone can “do science.” Highly engaging, hands-on learning activities provide opportunities for families to practice the process of “doing science” together at home, which can include many attempts and mistakes, and often leads to more questions rather than a single “right answer” — which is what makes science so much fun! FSN uses a hands-on approach to learning science and the FSN @Home adaptation requires that families have easy and safe access to activity materials. Materials are intentionally designed to be low-cost and reusable. The FSN @Home adaptation can be conducted using one of several options for delivering, lending, or giving away materials to facilitate hands-on whole-family learning in the home. After the session, our team is available to consult with prospective FSN @Home implementers as they decide how the program could be conducted in their community and prepare for events.
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