ASP2021: A Virtual Conference
3:10 PM - 4:00 PM: Concurrent Session 4C: 3:10 pm PST (6:10 pm EST) - Oral Presentations
Using Informal Science Education to Address Climate Change
Conference Strand: Addressing Climate/Environmental Science & Preserving Dark Skies
Ka Chun Yu, Denver Museum of Nature & Science
Abstract of Session/Presentation: Astronomers have begun to play a more important role in communicating climate change to their students and the public. They follow the lead of earth scientists, who have developed many educational efforts for the formal classroom. Yet, informal science education is perhaps even more critical than schooling for enhancing adult science literacy. I will review some of the ways that climate change education has appeared in museums and other informal settings, including the use of visualization technologies like planetariums that were developed for astronomy instruction. I will also show how cutting-edge informal science education goes far beyond traditional exhibits and programs, by targeting efforts at the community level instead of towards the individual, and by using a host of different types of active learning experiences, including deliberative forums, community science projects, and other engagement strategies. These can lead not just to a greater understanding of climate science, but can have significant, concrete impacts on the ability of communities to prepare for, mitigate, and adapt to climate change.