NASA’s Universe of Learning: A multi-mission approach to engaging informal learners in astrophysics
16:30 - 16:45
Co-authors: Denise Smith, Emma Marcucci, Gordon Squires, Kathleen Lestition, Travis Schriner, Colleen Manning, Jai Jeter, Mitch Watkins, and the NASA’s Universe of Learning team.
The NASA Science Mission Directorate’s Science Activation program, established in 2016, is a new approach to help learners engage with NASA science, shifting away from the former mission-by-mission approach to education and public outreach. Competitively-selected teams form a cooperative network to connect NASA’s science, data, and science experts with learners of all ages in a way that activates minds and promotes a deeper understanding of our world and beyond. NASA’s Universe of Learning (NASA’s UoL), a Science Activation program, creates astrophysics-themed data tools, multimedia experiences, community programs, and professional learning experiences for informal educators and self-directed learners. NASA’s UoL is a partnership between the Space Telescope Science Institute, Caltech/IPAC, Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian, and the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, with external evaluation from the Goodman Research Group. The partners work together to use NASA Astrophysics mission data, experts, and discoveries to engage audiences in learning about the universe. Our resources and learning experiences are tied to major themes in modern astrophysics, best practices in informal education, and audience needs. In this presentation, I will give an overview of how NASA’s UoL is working to meet the needs of learners and science experts in today’s world; describe our multi-mission, multi-wavelength approach; and highlight resources developed by the program, including JWST resources you can use in your programming and education efforts.