Space Public Outreach Team: Successful STEM Engagement on Complex Technical Topics
Angela Des Jardins, Montana State University, United States ; Joey Key, University of Washington Bothell, United States ; Kathryn Williamson, West Virginia University, United States ; Seth Kimbrell, Montana State University, United States ; Sophie De Saint-Georges, Green Bank Observatory, United States ; Jessica Page, University of Alabama Huntsville, United States ; Timothy Dolch, Hillsdale College, United States ; Tyson Littenberg, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, United States
JCMST Volume 39, Number 4, ISSN 0731-9258 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Waynesville, NC USA
It is the responsibility of today’s scientists, engineers, and educators to inspire and encourage our youth into technical careers that benefit our society. Too often, however, this responsibility is buried beneath daily job demands and the routines of teaching. Space Public Outreach Team (SPOT) programs leverage a train-the-trainer model to empower college students to make meaningful impacts in their local communities by engaging and inspiring younger students through science presentations. SPOT takes advantage of the excitement of space and the natural way college students serve as role models for children. The result is a win-win program for all involved. This paper describes the original Montana SPOT program, presents analyses demonstrating the success of SPOT, gives overviews of program adaptations in West Virginia and with the NANOGrav collaboration, describes how college student presenters are able to share complex topics, and discusses the importance of college student role models. We hope that our experiences with SPOT will help others implement similar strategies in their own communities.
Des Jardins, A., Key, J., Williamson, K., Kimbrell, S., De Saint-Georges, S., Page, J., Dolch, T. & Littenberg, T. (2020). Space Public Outreach Team: Successful STEM Engagement on Complex Technical Topics. Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching, 39(4), 339-359. Waynesville, NC USA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).
© 2020 Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE)