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Novel and Well-Vetted PUNCH Outreach Products and Activities to Use at Your Eclipse Events

Presentation #115.07 in the session Community Science and Public Engagement in Planetary Science, Astronomy, and Solar Eclipses (Oral Presentation)

Published onOct 23, 2023
Novel and Well-Vetted PUNCH Outreach Products and Activities to Use at Your Eclipse Events

The upcoming eclipses on October 14 and April 8 are excellent opportunities to focus the public’s attention on space science and provide the chance to engage communities across the United States in learning about the Sun and our solar system. The multi-institutional NASA PUNCH Public Engagement team has developed a well-vetted, multicultural, multisensory suite of activities to help empower you to meet these opportunities using our Ancient and Modern Sun-watching theme.

The PUNCH Outreach effort is embedded in the PUNCH mission which is designed to study the Sun’s outer corona and the “solar wind” features that sweep through our solar system. PUNCH Outreach products include indoor and outdoor tabletop activities that are fun-to-facilitate and easy-to-deploy. These novel activities engage youth and families in hands-on participation and discussions that highlight the Sun, the solar corona, an “eclipse” petroglyph in Chaco Canyon, and the diverse people and skills that make any NASA mission successful. One specific example is our 3-Hole PUNCH Pinhole Projector (available in both Spanish and English). Field testing has revealed that inquiry-based facilitation makes this simple device a powerful learning companion to solar protection (“eclipse”) glasses for “anytime” solar observing, with or without an eclipse.

The PUNCH Outreach team is strongly committed to a multi-step evaluation process and thus the evaluator (lead author) is a team member who has been closely attentive to activity conceptualization, development, and field testing from the start of our project. During the last two years, each new product or activity has been tried and evaluated by diverse event participants and key collaborators all over the United States. The team has used this iterative feedback to improve our product and activity designs.

PUNCH Outreach products are available with a facilitator guide and either printable resources or links to obtain resources. There are also “on-line only” activity options. Learn more at https://punch.space.swri.edu/punch_outreach_products.php

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