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Paper: Bringing the Universe Down to Earth for Fifteen Years
Volume: 533, ASP 2021: Sharing Best Practices – AstronomyTeaching and Public Engagement
Page: 140
Authors: Eyermann, S.; Mitchell, S. E.
Abstract: The NASA Goddard Astrophysics Education Team focuses on meeting educator needs for out-of-school time science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) resources through their successful informal education curricula and professional development efforts. Founded in 2006, our Afterschool Universe (AU) hands-on astronomy curriculum is targeted at middle-school-aged children in a variety of out-of-school time settings. It is designed for the traditional format of an adult guiding children through activities. The overarching goals of AU are to increase participant comfort and engagement with STEM and to increase awareness and understanding about concepts in astronomy. The AU team has been recognized within NASA for their efforts and the program has been included in external recommendations and reports as an exemplary space science curriculum. In this session, we will look back at fifteen years of AU curriculum and professional development efforts, discussing the reach and impact of AU. We will also share a few of our lessons learned from training hundreds of educators and partnering with informal education organizations and networks across the country.
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