Skynet Junior Scholars - From Idea to Enactment
Tales from the Trenches III: Implementing SJS in Out-of-School Time Settings
The creators of Skynet Junior Scholars were ambitious to say the least when they set out to:- Develop online tools that enable middle school and high school aged youth to use robotic optical and radio telescopes to do astronomy- Create an inquiry-based curriculum that promotes critical thinking and scientific habits of mind- Proactively incorporate Principles of Universal Design in all SJS development tasks to ensure access by blind/low vision and deaf/hard of hearing youth- Prepare 180 adult youth leaders from diverse backgrounds including 4-H leaders, museum educators, amateur astronomers and teachers to facilitate SJS activities in a variety of settings.So, after three years of development, how is SJS actually working? In this paper we describe what it takes for a successful implementation of Skynet Junior Scholars, from the viewpoint of adult leaders in the trenches who work with youth at schools but in free-choice learning environments. What are the lessons learned in recruiting and engaging youth in observational astronomy projects when academic incentives like grades are no longer part of the equation? Stories and ideas will be presented from classroom teachers, informal educators and amateur astronomers who work with youth in this environment.Skynet Junior Scholars is supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Numbers 1223687, 1223235 and 1223345.
Heatherly, S. A., Elyea, C., Goodman, J., Gurton, S., Hoette, V. L., Holt, G., … Skynet Robotic Telescope Network, U. of N. C. (2016). Skynet Junior Scholars: From Idea to Enactment--Tales from the Trenches III. Implementing SJS in Out-of-School Time Sett
National Radio Astronomy Observatory | Madison Metro. School Dist. Planetarium | Howard Astronomical League | Clear Creek Middle School | University of Chicago Yerkes Observatory | Astronomical Society of the Pacific | O'Brien County Conservation Board