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Informal Educators

The ASP serves informal educators from a variety of settings, such as museums, parks, nature centers, libraries, and after school programs. We provide engaging hands-on astronomy activities as well as professional development on how educators can most effectively communicate the excitement of astronomy to their audiences.

Astronomy from the Ground Up (AFGU) & Sky Rangers

AFGU provides informal science educators and interpreters with new and innovative ways to communicate astronomy. AFGU is a growing community of hundreds of educators from museums, science centers, nature centers, and parks around the U.S., who are actively enhancing and expanding their capacity to address astronomy topics for their visitors. The AFGU program also included Sky Rangers, which provided astronomy training and materials to park rangers and other outdoor educators and interpreters.

Here are some sample activities used by AFGU participants to get their audiences excited about astronomy:

My Sky Tonight

Through the NSF-funded My Sky Tonight program, we have created a set of research-based, science-rich astronomy activities that are engaging and developmentally appropriate for pre-K aged children, and trained hundreds of educators at museums, parks, and libraries across the U.S. on how to effectively engage their youngest visitors (ages 3 – 5) in astronomy.

Read more about this program and access all of the My Sky Tonight activities and resources.

Space & Earth Informal STEM Education (SEISE)

The ASP is a partner organization on the NISE Network's NASA-funded SEISE project, which is raising the capacity of museums and informal science educators to engage to engage the public in space and Earth sciences. SEISE is creating hands-on activity toolkits, small footprint exhibitions, and professional development opportunities for informal educators.

Big Astronomy

Big Astronomy: People, Places, Discoveries delivers a unique learning experience for planetarium visitors around the world by integrating virtual interactions with those living and working at Chilean observatories with curricular resources and a planetarium show. The ASP created toolkits of informal activities for amateur astronomers and museum educators released with the planetarium show in 2020. More information.