ASP2021: A Virtual Conference
2:05 PM - 2:55 PM: Concurrent Session 3D 2:05 pm PST (5:05 pm EST) - Oral Presentations
Assessing the Impact of Informal Education on Student Identity
Conference Strand: Doing Public Engagement in Informal Settings
Molly Finn, University of Virginia
Abstract of Session/Presentation: Dark Skies, Bright Kids is a primarily graduate student-run program based out of the University of Virginia Astronomy Department that seeks to enhance elementary science education in the surrounding community and throughout Virginia. Our goal is to foster the natural curiosity of children through fun, hands-on activities in an informal, social setting at weekly astronomy clubs and week-long summer camps. We also aim to assess the impact that our programs have on the student participants' sense of identity and their perceptions of astronomy and STEM fields in general. We do this through pre- and post-club surveys, daily feedback forms during club, and pre- and post-club Draw a Scientist Tests. We will discuss our method for developing these evaluation metrics, along with preliminary results.