The SkyTour Expansion Project

September 15th, 1996 - August 31st, 2000 | PROJECT

WHYY, Inc., in cooperation with the Franklin Institute Science Museum, is producing and implementing a radio-based science education program for families. Skytour is a live radio program designed to involve the public in observing astronomical phenomena and engaging in science activities related to the sciences of the sky. Each program centers on a particular science theme and includes short pre-produced pieces designed to capture listeners interest, a live orientation to the night sky with specific instructions to listeners about how to locate the phenomenon being discussed, and discussion with a guest astronomy expert. During the broadcast, listeners can call in to ask questions and to discuss their observations on-air. The program has been successfully piloted in Philadelphia. The current project will enable the applicants to increase the number of shows to six, two-hour shows each year of the project and to expand broadcast to at least three other areas. WHYY currently has definite commitments to participate in the project from four radio station/planetarium partners: New York City: WFUV and The Hayden Planetarium Pittsburgh: WDUQ and the Buhl Planetarium Raleigh-Durham: WUNC and The Morehead Planetarium Vermont: Vermont Public Radio and The Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium Outreach components of the project will include a newsletter, local sky parties organized on the evenings of the Skytour broadcasts, related hands-on science activities and workshops at each of the participating planetaria, and a Skytour World Wide Web site. The PI will be Derrick Pitts, Vice President and Chief Astronomer at the Franklin Institute. Neil Tickner, WHYY Special Projects Producer, will direct all production activities. Dale McCreedy, the project director for the Franklin Institute's National Science Partnership and Girls At the Center, and Minda Borun, the Franklin Institute's Director of Research, Evaluation and Planning, will both work with the project in their respective areas of expertise in outreach and evaluation. The project team will work closely with an advisory team of astronomers, informal science educators, and parents.

Project Website(s)

(no project website provided)

Team Members

Derrick Pitts, Principal Investigator, Franklin Institute


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: ISE/AISL
Award Number: 9626906
Funding Amount: 575707


Audience: Families
Discipline: Space science
Resource Type: Project Descriptions
Environment Type: Broadcast Media | Media and Technology