The One Sky Institute (One Sky) was an NSF-funded Exploratory Pathways project aimed at developing a new strategy to broaden participation in informal science education. The program emerged from the current need to expand professional development to help increase and support a more diverse cadre of leaders in ISE. One Sky tested professional learning design strategies for mentoring program participants and engaging them in research and practice by developing equity-focused projects at their home institutions in order to: 1) build new knowledge about broadening participation and the barriers that exist to diversifying leadership in ISE and 2) build program participants’ capacity to design and implement transformative, knowledge-building broadening participation projects at their home institutions. The University of Washington led the development and piloting of the project in partnership with two researchers and three ISE leaders who served as program faculty.
One Sky was funded as a Pathways project for one year and received supplemental funding for an additional year to further develop and pilot additional curriculum and instruction and convene participants in person. The project identified three main participant outcomes:
- Outcome 1: Develop participants’ socio-historical understanding of broadening participation. This includes developing more critical perspectives in equity and broadening participation and expanding familiarity with research and practice.
- Outcome 2: Build participants’ social networks and social capital.
- Outcome 3: Build procedural know-how with respect to equity-focused project and proposal design.
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