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ASP2018: Plenary Sessions Schedule

Tuesday September 11

Morning Session I | 8:45 am – 9:45 am

Broadening Participation Using Media and Educational Outreach

Rita Karl and Dr. Alicia Santiago producers of the Emmy Award-winning SciGirls program will talk about how the multimedia project excites and engages upper-grade and middle-school tweens in STEM. SciGirls is a multiplatform STEM education project produced by Twin Cities PBS (tpt), that combines a PBS television series, digital content on PBS and PBS Learning Media, and direct community outreach to drive STEM curiosity and learning. SciGirls also empowers educators to create a more inclusive and gender-equitable STEM environment that inspires, engages, and retains ALL girls in STEM. Rita and Alicia will also share how SciGirls is reaching and engaging with the Hispanic community. SciGirls is addressing multiple STEM barriers that Hispanic girls face and helping them create positive identities with STEM through media, outreach and role models.


Morning Session II | 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Let Their Imaginations Roam: Children’s Books in Astronomy

Linda Shore


Young children are innately fascinated about the natural world, including being curious about the sky above them. Increasingly, museum educators, youth leaders, librarians, and amateur astronomers are seeking materials, activities, and resources to help them reach their very youngest audiences. One way to reach children is through literature and there are a number of excellent astronomy-focused books currently on the market. In this interactive session, authors of several popular children’s astronomy books will share their work. Have you ever wanted to use astronomy storybooks your outreach efforts and need some good ideas? Have you considered writing children’s astronomy books and want to know where to start? Then this session is for you!

Afternoon Session | 2:45 pm – 3:45 pm

Barriers to Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity in Astronomy

Astronomy, like many other sciences, has struggled to engage and include traditionally underrepresented groups such as underrepresented minorities (URMs), women, members of the LGBTQ+ community, disabled persons, and others. The reasons for this struggle are many and various, but three important, well-known, well studied issues are: Stereotype Threat, Imposter Syndrome, and Implicit Bias. These issues can arise in a variety of settings: in the classroom, in research settings, in mentor/adviser relations, and in community outreach.

This highly interactive session will help participants learn about these three topics and how they manifest themselves in their work engaging various constituencies in appreciating, studying, and practicing astronomy.



Wednesday September 12

Morning Session | 8:30 am – 9:30 am

Instantiating Inclusion: Results from STEM Environments in which Women of Color Thrive

Apriel Hodari

From a study of out-performing STEM departments in the United States and United Kingdom in which women of color are thriving, I will present common approaches across these departments that promote inclusive environments. My team takes seriously the Advance HE criteria on gender and race, so our findings address inclusivity by class, gender identity, sexual orientation, family structure and family/community culture. I invite you to consider how the practices we’ve identified might help you address issues of inclusion in your own setting


Afternoon Session | 1:45 pm – 2:45 pm

Preschool Science: Reaching Our Youngest Astronomers

Suzanne Gurton

Young children are often described as natural scientists, but what can they understand the complex science of astronomy? While preschoolers are not yet capable of intricate reasoning about astrophysics, they are enthusiastic observers of the world around them, such as the changes they see in the day and night sky. How can we build on children’s natural curiosity about the Sun, Moon, and stars to promote early engagement in science? Panelists will discuss their work in connecting young children with science, and the joys and challenges of introducing astronomy to this young age group.



Thursday September 13

Morning Session | 8:30 am – 9:30 am

Communicating Science to Diverse Audiences Through Digital and Social Media Platforms

Rachel Freed

Reaching diverse and global audiences is becoming standard practice in 21st century education, and is therefore a responsibility of the profession. The means to accomplish this are numerous and growing rapidly, and in this session we will hear from speakers who have been pushing the boundaries in communicating cutting-edge astronomy and science to the public world-wide through state-of-the-art technologies and media platforms.

In this session, the panelists will share their programs about incorporating the latest science and astronomical data into engaging videos, radio shows, podcasts and full-dome data-visualization planetarium shows – and how they have been making science accessible to the public through these avenues for many years.