My Sky Tonight: Summative Evaluation
This is the summative evaluation for the My Sky Tonight: Early Childhood Pathways to Astronomy is a National Science Foundation funded Full-Scale Development project that was designed to support informal science education practitioner’s ability to provide astronomy learning for young children ages 3-5 years. Based on prior research and assessment of the field, the project team identified that many informal educators lack the astronomy content, interpretive strategies, and confidence they need to effectively engage audiences of families with preschool-aged children. Three mechanisms were identified to address this need: 1) An Early Astronomy Toolkit for ISE practitioners that focused on what children observe on an everyday basis, 2) Professional Development Workshops to train practitioners to effectively use toolkit activities and materials, and 3) A Community of Practice to support capacity-building among educators in this area. Taken together, these deliverables formed a coherent approach to how early childhood astronomy can be characterized and delivered by Informal Science Educators. Appendix includes interview protocol.