AAS 207th Meeting, 8-12 January 2006
Session 156 Education and Public Outreach for NASA's Universe
Special Session, Wednesday, 2:00-3:30pm, January 11, 2006, Ballroom/Salon 2

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[156.02] Enlarging the STEM pipeline working with youth-serving organizations

I. Porro (MIT)

The After-School Astronomy Project (ASAP) is a comprehensive initiative to promote the pursuit of science learning among underrepresented youth. To this end ASAP specifically aims at building the capacity of urban community-based centers to deliver innovative science out-of-school programming to their youth. ASAP makes use of a modular curriculum consisting of a combination of hands-on activities and youth-led explorations of the night sky using MicroObservatory. Through project-based investigations students reinforce learning in astronomy and develop an understanding of science as inquiry, while also develop communication and computer skills. Through MicroObservatory students gain access to a network of educational telescopes, that they control over the Internet, software analysis tools and an online community of users. An integral part of ASAP is to provide professional development opportunities for after-school workers. This promotes a self-sustainable implementation of ASAP long-term and fosters the creation of a cadre of after-school professionals dedicated to facilitating science-based programs.

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