Cosmos and the Curriculum: Observatory Public Programming and the K-12 School System




Niebergall, Charmaine

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Children can be inspired at a young age when they go on local school field trips, including local national historic sites, science museums, and active scientific research facilities. This project’s client, the Friends of the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory (FDAO), was founded to reinvigorate the Centre of the Universe Visitor Centre and its publicly accessible programming at the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory site, located near Victoria, BC Canada. Their mission is to inspire visitors by expanding their understanding of their place in the universe and making Canada’s historic Dominion Astrophysical Observatory and the Centre of the Universe sites of learning, creativity, and community. This project sought to identify ways that the FDAO could engage with K-12 school aged children at the observatory in alignment with the BC curriculum. Four key-informant, semi-structured interviews were conducted as well as a literature review. This resulted in identifying smart practices and ultimately in providing options and recommendations to the FDAO. The findings in this report are a way to assist the FDAO in meeting its mission.



Space science, K-12 education, Space science public programming, public programming, science museums, space centres, planetarium, observatory, non profit, charity, volunteers, nonprofit, science centres, smart practices, community based research, Children, Students