Project A.S.T.R.O. (“Astronomers in the Schools” Teaching Resource Org.)

January 1st, 1993 - March 31st, 1996 | PROJECT

Project A.S.T.R.O. is a program to bring both amateur and professional astronomers into the schools to assist fourth through ninth grade teachers in the classroom, with day and evening observing activities, with individual student projects, and with inspiration to provide a greater appreciation of science and lead students to science and engineering careers. Amateurs are a largely untapped resource for science education and this project will explore the impact their enthusiasm and experience can have in providing significant assistance to teachers and students in grades where crucial science attitudes are formed. The California-based pilot program will -- after the development of appropriate protocols and materials -- use 40 astronomers and 40 teachers to test the effectiveness of astronomers (especially amateur astronomers) as school resource agents. The project has four related components: 1) the assessment of existing programs of this type and of materials to help both the visiting scientists and the teachers; 2) workshops to train the astronomers, prepare the teachers, and continue developing activities and resources; 3) school visits and other activities by astronomers for a full school year; and 4) the production of a loose-leaf Teachers' Resource Notebook and a How-to-Manual for bringing astronomy to the schools. Formative and summative evaluation by those involved and a professional evaluator will be a key component of each phase. A set of guidelines for the national dissemination of the project will also be developed.

Project Website(s)

(no project website provided)

Team Members

Andrew Fraknoi, Principal Investigator, Astronomical Society of the Pacific


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: ISE/AISL
Award Number: 9253156
Funding Amount: 650285


Audience: Educators | Teachers | Elementary School Children (6-10) | Middle School Children (11-13) | Museum | ISE Professionals | Scientists | Youth | Teen (up to 17)
Discipline: Engineering | Space science
Resource Type: Project Descriptions
Environment Type: Informal | Formal Connections | K-12 Programs | Professional Development | Conferences | Networks | Professional Development and Workshops