Lenses on the Sky
The purpose of the Lenses on the Sky project is to create diverse skywatching-related experiences for youth across Oregon with a special focus on underserved Hispanic, African American, Native American, and rural communities. The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) will create and implement the project in collaboration with Portland’s Rose City Astronomers amateur astronomy club, Rosa Parks Elementary School in Portland, the Libraries of Eastern Oregon (LEO), and ScienceWorks Hands-On Museum in southern Oregon. The goals of the project are for participants to 1) understand the “big idea” that “humans have used observational tools and techniques across culture and time to understand space phenomena”, 2) recognize the relevance, value, and scientific achievements of NASA missions, and 3) be inspired to learn more about topics related to space science, STEM careers, and NASA. Audiences will explore these topics through three main “lenses” or frames: a NASA lens, a tools lens, and a cultural lens. The project will result in 1) a small, permanent, bilingual (Spanish/English) exhibition in OMSI’s free, public spaces adjacent to its planetarium, 2) three observational astronomy events held in Portland, Southern Oregon, and Eastern Oregon, 3) hands-on activities conducted at partner museums/libraries and shared with other educational institutions, 4) an Educator's Guide including lesson plans aligned with Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), and 5) over 150 email communications to hundreds of recipients featuring space news updates.
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