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ASP2021: A Virtual Conference

ASP2021: A Virtual Conference
Preliminary Schedule

Click here for the Schedule-at-a-Glance

    9:45 AM - 10:35 AM: Concurrent Session 5C: 9:45 am PST (12:45 pm EST)
    The Pleiades and Cross-Cultural Connections in Museums
    Conference Strand: Doing Public Engagement in Informal Settings
    Isabel Hawkins, Exploratorium
    Abstract of Session/Presentation: The Sun, Moon, planets, and stars have accompanied sky watchers over millennia. The Pleiades star cluster is tied to worldviews, astronomy, calendaring, weather prediction, rituals connected with death, traditional agriculture, and the weaving arts for myriad cultures on Earth. The focus of this session will highlight the traditional knowledge of Indigenous people in Polynesia, Mesoamerica, and the Andes, where the Pleiades cluster continues to be a source of knowledge, both culturally and scientifically. The session will share emerging results of collaborative research conducted with Māori, Maya, and Quechua communities during a Fulbright US Global Scholar Fellowship. The goals of the fellowship include documenting, preserving, and disseminating local knowledge about the Pleiades in a cross-cultural context. The work is conducted through sustained relationships with indigenous elders, young adults, and academics, as well as with other scholars and students in New Zealand, Guatemala, and Peru. Results are being shared broadly to benefit the host communities and to inform the work of informal science educators in museums and other settings. During the session, participants will learn about cross-cultural connections of the Pleiades cluster along three themes: traditional agriculture, the weaving arts, and rituals connected with death and ancestors. The session will also showcase examples of how these themes have been applied to curate unique experiences for the general public in museum settings. After a questions and answers opportunity, participants will be invited to engage in guided, small-group discussions to envision ideas for further engagement of visitors in museums and other organizations of informal STEM learning. The session will culminate with participants sharing their program design strategies emerging from the discussions.