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Project Descriptions

My Sky Tonight: Early Childhood Pathways to Astronomy

October 1, 2012 - September 30, 2017 | Public Programs

The Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP) and its collaborators are conducting a set of research and development activities focusing on early childhood astronomy in the first field-wide effort to increase the capacity of informal science education (ISE) institutions to effectively engage their youngest visitors (ages 3 - 5) in astronomy. Leading the project is an Action Research Group comprised of the ASP; experts in cognitive development, early childhood, and astronomy learning progressions from UC Santa Cruz, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and Penn State; and the Lawrence Hall of Science at UC Berkeley, Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose, and San Luis Obispo Children's Museum as sites for research, field testing, and implementation. The project will identify critical areas of focus for early childhood astronomy and will test the hypothesis that early astronomy learning is not only possible but may contribute to a more sophisticated understanding of the domain. A key question is: How can the ISE field scaffold children's early curiosity and ideas about astronomy to position them for greater understanding and interest in the topic? The results of the research and the materials that are created for educators will receive broad distribution nationally.


Funding Program: ISE/AISL
Award Number: 1217441
Funding Amount: 1783527


  • Astronomical Society of the Pacific
  • 2014 06 02 SuzyLaughing2014
    Principal Investigator
    Astronomical Society of the Pacific
  • 2014 07 24 Julia Plummer July 2013
    Co-Principal Investigator
    Pennsylvania State University
  • mc 12
    Co-Principal Investigator
    University of California, Santa Cruz
  • REVISE logo
    Co-Principal Investigator
    Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo
  • Discipline: Education and learning science | Space science
    Audience: Pre-K Children (0-5) | Educators/Teachers | Museum/ISE Professionals
    Environment Type: Public Programs | Museum and Science Center Programs

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