Workshop - Promoting diversity through astronomy education
10:00 - 11:00
Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) knowledge and skills are increasingly important for participation in 21st-century society as well as for employment. However, studies show that STEM activities may alienate girls and minorities from pursuing a career in STEM fields. One of the goals of the Dutch National Research Agenda is to make the student population majoring in science as diverse as the Dutch population by 2040. In this project, we aim to design inclusive STEM educational activities appealing to the diverse population of Dutch elementary school children ( 9-12 years old) based on cutting-edge research astronomy topics of gravity and light. These activities have been developed in co-creation sessions by researchers and professionals in astrophysics, physics, science communication, and science education. The activities will also be tested and reviewed by elementary school teachers and children, and peer-reviewed through IAU astroEDU. In this workshop, we ask the participants to be part of the co-creation process and think about concrete instructional strategies for astronomy projects to make them more diverse and inclusive. We will employ Gamestorming exercises to review some already developed materials and think of possible instructional strategies together. This workshop will help us to refine our designed materials and make them ready for the testing and implementation phase. Let’s work together on how to make astronomy activities in education as diverse, representative and inclusive as possible, with options to differentiate for different learning preferences, learning levels, interests and points of view of young learners.