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Virtual Planetary and Space Science for Girls

Presentation #412.01 in the session “Education and Public Engagement I: Public Engagement and Citizen Science”.

Published onJan 11, 2021
Virtual Planetary and Space Science for Girls

Reaching For The Stars: NASA Science for Girl Scouts (RFTS) engages Girl Scouts (GS) in planetary and space science through badge programs, themed events, trainings, astronomy clubs and summer camps; disseminates STEM education-related resources; and fosters interaction between GS and Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). RFTS responded quickly to the realities of the global COVID-19 pandemic with virtual workshops and interactive presentations, and online support for council staff, GS troop leaders and GS as early as late March 2020.

Space Exploration: Mars to the Stars were newly created webcasts hosted by high school-aged GS and open to all girls, not just registered GS. Attended by 2200+ girls around the world, events featured SMEs and hands-on activities. The Great Space Challenge was introduced and encouraged girls to engage with more space science (SS) activities at home and be eligible for a fun patch. Webcast participants submitted hundreds of questions, which were answered live and in writing via the platform by SMEs. Webcasts were archived and watched by 500 and counting.

Space Science at Virtual Camps webcast was created for GS Council staff and volunteers. RFTS delivered SS content and modeled best practices, leading participants through camp style activities in virtual modality.

A 4-part webinar series was created as a substitute for GS Astronomy Adventure Destination Camp, comprised of live-stream remote observing from University of Oregon’s Pine Mountain Observatory, Near Peer Coaching, Image Data Literacy, and virtual experiences with outreach activities. Monthly GS Astronomy Club collective leadership video meetings were revamped to assist 31 clubs, led by both Girl Scouts and adult volunteers, pivot to virtual meetings.

GS at Home provided a platform for RFTS to disseminate SS badge content and resources to troop leaders, girls, and families at home. GS is an out-of-school time leadership development organization that engages girls in grades K-12 in a variety of programs, including STEM. The delivery model for GS is undergoing revision to accommodate any social distancing measures.

This session will emphasize best practices, lessons learned, and evaluation data of these virtual endeavors developed and delivered in response to the necessity of virtual informal education.

Funded by NASA:NNX16AB90A.

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