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December 3-5

Embracing the Future: Astronomy Teaching and Public Engagement

ASP2020: A Virtual Conference

ASP2020: A Virtual Conference
Preliminary Schedule

Click here for the Schedule-at-a-Glance
Inclusion in an Astronomy-Oriented Lesson Series
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) skills are becoming more and more important within society and for employment. It is essential that children are given opportunities to develop these skills, and develop a sense of themselves as someone who does science. However, studies show that STEM activities are in many cases not inclusive. Especially girls and children from underrepresented minorities do not see themselves represented in STEM-related professions, and might therefore feel like they do not belong in STEM.

In this project, 65 children from two schools from underprivileged neighbourhoods in The Netherlands participated in the lesson series 'Travel to a Black Hole'. This lesson series was developed during three co-creation sessions with experts on education, science communication, diversity and inclusion of women and URM's in STEM. The lesson series aims to be inclusive for all children, by using different role models to highlight diversity, emphasizing the talents of children themselves, and including elements of inquiry-based and design-based learning to foster active learning. Through questionnaires, classroom observations and interviews we assessed the impact of the lesson series on the development of children's perceptions, attitudes and sense of belonging in space science.

The results indicate that children's' interest in space science was sparked and that after the lesson series, they viewed the space science workforce as more diverse. In this contribution, we will present this newly developed lesson series and share the results from our study to inform fellow educators and institutions.
Conference Strand: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Social Justice