Multiverse Blog

Lindsay Bartolone
/ Categories: In-Focus, Helio Forum

Reflections on Supporting NASA in Working with Informal Educators

[This is one of a series of blog posts about our six-year involvement leading the NASA Heliophysics Science Education and Public Outreach Forum. ]

For the past six years, I have been a part of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD) Education and Public Outreach (EPO) Forums. These forums were created to support NASA mission education teams in producing effective and efficient programs and materials for their audiences. In order to help NASA’s SMD EPO professionals develop the most effective programs possible, the Informal Education Working Group, which I chair, convened a literature review to gather the best practices from research, and to point our community members to professional organizations and resources that can guide their development of programs and activities for informal audiences.  We also conducted a national survey of informal educators to determine their needs for professional development sessions and materials.

We designed the survey to answer the following questions:

  1. How, when, where, and for how long do informal educators prefer to receive STEM content professional development?
  2. What are the professional development and material resources that informal educators prefer that could be provided by current and future NASA SMD E/PO efforts?

A summary of references from the literature review is available to the public here.

The full text of the national survey report can be found here along with summary slides and some recommendations from the Informal Education Working Group. 

If you intend to develop professional development programs for informal educators, you will find a trove of useful resources when you check out the reports and references!

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