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  1. Ryan Wyatt
  2. http://visualizingscience.ryanwyatt.net/
  3. Senior Director of Morrison Planetarium and Science Visualization
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. California Academy of Sciences
  1. Renae Kerrigan
  2. Curator of Science & Planetarium Director
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Associated Universities Inc., Peoria Riverfront Museum
  1. Shannon Schmoll
  2. Director of Abrams Planetarium
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Michigan State University
  1. Tim Spuck
  2. https://www.linkedin.com/in/tim-spuck-aab7a73a
  3. Director of Education & Public Engagement
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. Associated Universities Inc.
  1. Tiffany Stone Wolbrecht
  2. Planetarium Lecturer
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Associated Universities Inc., Ward Beecher Planetarium, Big Astronomy
  1. Vivian White
  2. Director of Free Choice Learning
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Astronomical Society of the Pacific
Public
Choice

Big Astronomy in Chile through Dome+

NSF Awards: 1811436

2021 (see original presentation & discussion)

Informal / multi-age

 “Big Astronomy in Chile Through Dome+” is an NSF-funded project that brings together experts in astronomy and STEM education, resource development, and planetarium show production to share the story of the people and places that make big astronomy possible. Originally, a high-quality, bilingual planetarium show exploring remote telescopes and diverse people who work at observatories was to premiere at planetariums worldwide in 2020; instead, the project shifted to delivering a 360° streaming version of the program on YouTube. Educational kits created by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific for amateur astronomers and informal educators provide an opportunity for outreach that works in tandem with the planetarium show, with activities redesigned for socially-distanced and online learning. A complementary website (bigastronomy.org) provides resources for formal and informal educators, and we are featuring two years of live events with observatory staff to continue engagement after viewers see the planetarium show or 360° stream. Finally, the efficacy of the entire effort, originally referred to as the “Dome+” model, now referred to as the “Show+” model, in which the planetarium show is leveraged synergistically with other content, will be researched by Michigan State University. Eventually, planetariums plan to present as institutions begin to reopen, providing an opportunity to contrast 360° environments with group experiences. The project is a collaboration between Associated Universities Inc., Michigan State University, California Academy of Sciences, Astronomical Society of the Pacific, Peoria Riverfront Museum, Ward Beecher Planetarium, and Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy.

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Discussion from the 2021 STEM For All Video Showcase (62 posts)
  • Icon for: Renae Kerrigan

    Renae Kerrigan

    Co-Presenter
    Curator of Science & Planetarium Director
    May 10, 2021 | 01:37 p.m.

    Hello Everyone! Thank you for viewing our presentation! We hope you enjoy. What questions do you have? We'd love to answer them.

    You can see many conversations with STEM professionals in our Real People, Big Astronomy event series. These are available on our Facebook page, and our YouTube channel.

     
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  • Icon for: Tim Spuck

    Tim Spuck

    Co-Presenter
    Director of Education & Public Engagement
    May 10, 2021 | 06:44 p.m.

    Renae ... two questions.  What is your role in the project?  Also, what has been the most exciting aspect of the project for you personally?

     
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  • Icon for: Renae Kerrigan

    Renae Kerrigan

    Co-Presenter
    Curator of Science & Planetarium Director
    May 11, 2021 | 10:48 a.m.

    Hi Tim! I am a member of the Leadership Team of Big Astronomy. I help build the project and dreamed of the show that California Academy of Sciences so masterfully created! My most active role now is managing and hosting our live event series that directly connects viewers with staff who work at the science facilities featured in the show. We call the series Real People, Big Astronomy, and you can see many videos of the conversations on our YouTube channel (linked above). The most exciting part of the project for me has been having so many fun conversations with people who work in various STEM careers. I have learned a lot and been inspired by all the talented folks I have spoken with, with so many different backgrounds.

     
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  • Icon for: Ryan Wyatt

    Ryan Wyatt

    Lead Presenter
    Senior Director of Morrison Planetarium and Science Visualization
    May 10, 2021 | 01:40 p.m.

    Thanks for your interest in our work! Big Astronomy is a multifaceted research and outreach project supported by several partners and funded by the National Science Foundation. It includes the award-winning planetarium show Big Astronomy: People, Places, Discoveries, which highlights the diverse people who enable discoveries at world-class observatories in Chile. Big Astronomy also hosts live educational events online and offers a variety of hands-on activities now adapted for remote learning. We look forward to hearing your thoughts about how we can make Big Astronomy work for you.

     
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  • Icon for: Tim Spuck

    Tim Spuck

    Co-Presenter
    Director of Education & Public Engagement
    May 10, 2021 | 06:46 p.m.

    Ryan ... what do you think was the greatest challenge in producing the film "Big Astronomy: People, Places, Discoveries"?

     
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  • Icon for: Ryan Wyatt

    Ryan Wyatt

    Lead Presenter
    Senior Director of Morrison Planetarium and Science Visualization
    May 11, 2021 | 11:38 a.m.

    For our team at the California Academy of Sciences, the greatest challenge was figuring out how to capture the critical real-world environments in the show. We wanted to show people working in these amazing places, and that meant finding camera technology that could deliver the quality of imagery that we wanted.

    For more about our production process, you can watch this “cosmic conversation” we hosted with members of the production team.

     
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  • Icon for: Shannon Schmoll

    Shannon Schmoll

    Co-Presenter
    Director of Abrams Planetarium
    May 10, 2021 | 01:54 p.m.

    Hi Everyone! It's Dr. Shannon Schmoll, research lead for the project. As we talk about in the video, the research part of the project has had to change our research plans to now understand how 360 YouTube streams compare to in-theater showings. Preliminary results are already resulting in some interesting results. For instance, we see different social dynamics happening with streams (i.e. more people watch alone than they might in a theater) and 360 streams offer more accessible viewing options both in terms of making programming available for folks who might not live near a planetarium as well as folks who might have mobility issues. The programming is also offering professional development opportunities we did not anticipate that we will continue to investigate. We are currently working on a study with a small subset of the data that will help us characterize existing interests our viewers hold and how the show affects development of interest in astronomy. Let us know if you have any questions about the research!

     
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  • Icon for: Tim Spuck

    Tim Spuck

    Co-Presenter
    Director of Education & Public Engagement
    May 10, 2021 | 06:58 p.m.

    Dr. Schmoll ... this is interesting work. What are some examples of how other planetarians will be able to apply your findings to benefit their work?

     
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  • Icon for: Tim Spuck

    Tim Spuck

    Co-Presenter
    Director of Education & Public Engagement
    May 10, 2021 | 07:13 p.m.

    Welcome everyone to Big Astronomy: People, Places, Discoveries! I serve as PI on this exciting project with an incredibly talented team. I'm fortunate to have traveled to the observatories in Chile on numerous occasions. Big Astronomy, each and every time I watch the film, transports me back to the mountain tops and reconnects me to the people who make big astronomy discoveries possible. In addition, the live events and education resources are a great way for learners of all ages to explore key astronomy concepts, and the village of people and STEM careers that drive these engines of discovery. We are looking forward to reading your comments and answering your questions, and don't forget to checkout our resources and view the full show at BigAstronomy.org. The film and resources are available for FREE in English and Spanish!

     
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  • Icon for: Gabriel Borrero

    Gabriel Borrero

    Graduate Student
    May 14, 2021 | 04:46 a.m.

    Hi, Tim. I think that you all are doing an amazing work. I would like to ask you... what was the most challenge you had when you traveled to the observatories in Chile?

     
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  • Icon for: Tim Spuck

    Tim Spuck

    Co-Presenter
    Director of Education & Public Engagement
    May 17, 2021 | 01:36 p.m.

    Thank you Gabriel for visiting and for your question.  I think the most challenging thing about visiting the observatories in Chile is the weather. You have to be flexible with your schedule and be prepared to pivot quickly. Not only does the weather disrupt the film crews schedule, it disrupts those who work at the observatory. So, a single change due to weather can result in many changes downstream.  The people at the observatories were super helpful and worked with the Big Astronomy team to mitigate the impact, and we are very thankful for that.

     
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  • Icon for: Ryan Wyatt

    Ryan Wyatt

    Lead Presenter
    Senior Director of Morrison Planetarium and Science Visualization
    May 18, 2021 | 01:16 p.m.

    Gabriel! I missed your question earlier, but I have to say that the biggest challenge the production team ran into was a snowstorm at the ALMA high site—at one of the driest places on Earth! It caused a complete rejiggering of an already tight schedule. 

    We managed to get all the shots we wanted at 5,000 meters above sea level, but on the last day of videography at altitude, we only had one oxygen tank for the entire team! And one of our key team members wasn’t allowed to the high site because his blood pressure was too high (can’t imagine why). So many interesting obstacles to overcome in producing the planetarium show…

    Thanks for your question.

     
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  • Icon for: Tiffany Stone Wolbrecht

    Tiffany Stone Wolbrecht

    Co-Presenter
    Planetarium Lecturer
    May 11, 2021 | 09:20 a.m.

    Hello everyone! I'm Tiffany and I also work on the Big Astronomy team. Thank you for spending a few minutes to learn about our project. Please let us know your thoughts!

     
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  • Icon for: Billy Spitzer

    Billy Spitzer

    Facilitator
    PI
    May 11, 2021 | 10:01 a.m.

    Ryan, Shannon, and Team,

    I thought your project made such interesting adaptations to COVID-19, shifting from the planetarium to a home-based format, enabling broader accessibilty and real-time translation. I would be interested to hear more about some of the "lessons learned" mentioned in the video -- it sounds like the change in format opened up some new programmatic possibilities, as well as some new avenues for research.

     
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  • Icon for: Ryan Wyatt

    Ryan Wyatt

    Lead Presenter
    Senior Director of Morrison Planetarium and Science Visualization
    May 11, 2021 | 01:59 p.m.

    Greetings, Billy! Thanks for asking about our lessons learned.

    I’ll defer to Shannon about some of the learning from audience evaluations, but I can describe a little bit about the technical hurdles we overcame to deliver the show as a 360° experience. We plan a short white paper on this for the planetarium community, but we learned a bit about formatting content and setting up the open-source OBS platform for YouTube. We wanted to replicate the experience of going to a planetarium to see a show, so we focused on delivering one-off showings that people had to tune into—rather than just putting a 360° video online and letting people find it. We definitely didn’t get much traction with the planetarium community in delivering their own 360° streams, but we managed to get quite a few people engaged in the 360° streams we offered.

    I’ll just note that an interesting arena for future work is the interplay between planetarium offerings and 360° content on streaming platforms. For example, is a 360° experience online a replacement for a dome experience—or an enticement to go to your local planetarium?

     
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  • Icon for: Billy Spitzer

    Billy Spitzer

    Facilitator
    PI
    May 12, 2021 | 10:08 a.m.

    Thanks Ryan! It's so interesting to hear how you are thinking about how the online and planetarium experiences can complement each other. I think there are parallels in how many museums are now thinking about their online and visitor experiences differently after the COVID-19 experience.

     
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  • Icon for: Ryan Wyatt

    Ryan Wyatt

    Lead Presenter
    Senior Director of Morrison Planetarium and Science Visualization
    May 12, 2021 | 10:47 a.m.

    I recently attended the MuseWeb 2021 conference sessions, and I found it interesting that everybody is thinking about this… But we’re all still trying to figure out what it looks like as we come out of the pandemic. And how we continue to offer virtual experiences once our doors are reopened and we’re serving guests onsite, often with reduced staffing. Tricky stuff.

     
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  • Icon for: Stephen Uzzo

    Stephen Uzzo

    Facilitator
    Chief Scientist
    May 11, 2021 | 10:59 a.m.

    Tim and Team

    Very exciting work! And it seems to provide an excellent opportunity to assess the value of this kind of remote learning versus in person providing lessons for all cultural institutions. The video clip describing the project elicited a flurry of questions in my mind about this. So, thanks Shannon for following up with small scale studies, particularly about social effects, which is core to my research interests, and would like to hear more when you know more. Also, there is the personal remote experience versus the theater dome experience in terms of impact, how that might be measured? Then there is triangulating between the in-person experience at a big telescope (optical or radio) and how that differs from the other two. Lots to learn from this work! I was also intrigued by the brief mention of indigenous perspectives on cosmology and how that is part of it. Are there efforts to incorporate indigenous cultural funds of knowledge into the experience? And what effects that might have on understanding the big ideas of astronomy. Thanks.

     
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  • Icon for: Tim Spuck

    Tim Spuck

    Co-Presenter
    Director of Education & Public Engagement
    May 11, 2021 | 02:03 p.m.

    Thanks Stephen for you comments and for taking time to watch the video!  I agree ... there's lots to learn here from the research that has and is evolving. As far as incorporating indigenous cultural funds of knowledge into the experience, the film, although a short segment, does have a powerful moment in the Atacama desert with an indigenous knowledge holder. In addition, we have hands-on activity the features stories of the stars from different cultures.

     
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  • Icon for: Ryan Wyatt

    Ryan Wyatt

    Lead Presenter
    Senior Director of Morrison Planetarium and Science Visualization
    May 12, 2021 | 10:54 a.m.

    Re “the personal remote experience versus the theater dome experience,” we’re going to have an interesting opportunity with our audiences coming up—at least with members of the California Academy of Sciences. Our members attended numerous virtual 360° screenings of Big Astronomy over the past six months, and now that we’ve reopened the planetarium, we are seeing some of them come to the dome to see the show again for the first time. This is an interesting group, representing people who’ve experienced the show in two different ways.

    Ideally, we’d also find people who experienced the show first in the dome, then as a 360° experience, but it’s not clear how we achieve that.

    Shannon can address specific findings, but for some audience members who were familiar with the planetarium environment before seeing the 360° version of Big Astronomy, they found the online experience to be pleasantly reminiscent of the dome but not a replacement for the dome.

     
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  • Icon for: Shannon Schmoll

    Shannon Schmoll

    Co-Presenter
    Director of Abrams Planetarium
    May 11, 2021 | 11:44 a.m.

    Hi Billy! I can answer a little more on the research end (and this also answers Tim's question!). We are still in the process of collecting and analyzing data, so we do not have much that is definitive, but we can speak to trends we are already starting to see. One area relates to what Ryan is talking about between the interplay of in-dome and 360 streams of content. We are seeing that overall, mostly people seem to appreciate the 360 as an option, especially in these times where domes are inaccessible. They think it's a close experience to visiting a planetarium, but not quite the same. They would rather see the show in the dome. We also see some examples of the 360 streams are encouraging people to seek out planetariums as well. We also see some folks talking about not being able to look around due to mobility issues in a dome, so the 360 stream is a great alternative. Additionally, we see folks who join the streams from, quite literally, all over the world. So streams allow much greater reach for planetariums than they would normally see. And it also helps folks who do not live near planetariums to participate. So, we are starting to document the affordances of offering streams as a way of making domes more accessible in different ways, but also not a lot of evidence to suggest stream would replace domes. So, offering it seems like some lessons learned would be that streaming is not something planetariums should just shelve after the pandemic, but could be useful tools for building audiences. 

     
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  • Icon for: Billy Spitzer

    Billy Spitzer

    Facilitator
    PI
    May 12, 2021 | 10:10 a.m.

    Thanks Shannon for sharing your findings in progress! It's so interesting to hear about some of the unanticipated benefits of the online experience, and how it can be a complement to (rather than a substitute for) the in person experience.

     
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  • Icon for: Shannon Schmoll

    Shannon Schmoll

    Co-Presenter
    Director of Abrams Planetarium
    May 11, 2021 | 11:47 a.m.

    Thanks Stephen! We expect to have a paper out this summer via the Physics Education Research Conference tracking the interest and interest development as it relates to the show. You will also be able to keep track of our research publications at https://www.bigastronomy.org/research/. If you scroll the bottom you can see what we have done so far and we will post future work there as well. Of note, you can also see our rapid report from last year on the affects of the pandemic on planetariums. 

     
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  • Icon for: Stephen Uzzo

    Stephen Uzzo

    Facilitator
    Chief Scientist
    May 15, 2021 | 04:26 p.m.

    Thanks, Shannon, Looking forward to digging deeper when your results come out.

     
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  • Icon for: Katie O'Hara

    Katie O'Hara

    Manager, Communications
    May 11, 2021 | 12:59 p.m.

    Hello Big Astronomy Team! What a wonderful way to connect the world throughout COVID, I would love to watch a virtual planetarium presentation myself.

    What audience(s) are your at-home lessons geared towards? We are focused on younger learners and I'm curious if you target older audiences and what their engagement is like?

    What have been some of your most successful tools when trying to connect with your audience while being forced into a virtual environment and away from physical planetariums? Thinking social media? Zoom presentations? etc?

     
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  • Icon for: Ryan Wyatt

    Ryan Wyatt

    Lead Presenter
    Senior Director of Morrison Planetarium and Science Visualization
    May 11, 2021 | 01:59 p.m.

    I’ll defer to my colleagues about some of our Zoom events, but for the planetarium content, we tried to replicate the experience of going to a theater to see a show. So we scheduled 360° livestreams on YouTube (Facebook doesn’t have robust support for 360° content, unfortunately), and we took the shows down slightly after the stream ended. Someone who joined late could see the whole show, but you couldn’t go back and watch it after the fact.

    For the California Academy of Sciences streams, we included a live portion highlighting research in Chile—and we included a live call to action to visit the bigastronomy.org website to explore more. We also answered questions live in chat.

     
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  • Icon for: Vivian White

    Vivian White

    Co-Presenter
    Director of Free Choice Learning
    May 11, 2021 | 02:44 p.m.

    Hi Katie, we have two educational resources full of activities as well as a flat screen version of the show. The Educator Guide is geared towards middle school students. And the informal activities are designed for families and can be approached from a variety of skill levels. The Clues to the Cosmos activity is a great example of bringing a very hands-on activity to life online using simple tools. You can see a short video of it in action and get the full activity write up (just 4 pages!) on the website. 

     
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    Geoff Holt

    Informal Educator
    May 12, 2021 | 11:53 a.m.

    Hello, Big Astronomy team! Thank you so much for the work you've done to create this excellent planetarium program and the supplemental resources. Thanks also for your incredible work to adapt to the challenges of the pandemic. 

    This work obviously required a great deal of collaboration. Are there any lessons you learned regarding collaboration that you feel you can apply to future projects like this? I'd also be interested in learning about collaboration methods or skills you think would apply to professional organizations' leadership teams. 

    Thanks in advance for passing on your experience and wisdom. 

     
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  • Icon for: Ryan Wyatt

    Ryan Wyatt

    Lead Presenter
    Senior Director of Morrison Planetarium and Science Visualization
    May 12, 2021 | 12:08 p.m.

    One lesson learned from my perspective, to be completely honest, is that we could have used project manager devoted to the project. Even a part-time project manager.

    Each one of us managed our own component brilliantly—and we collaborate well as a team! But the small-scale tasks such as planning a conference presentation or organizing a video required one of us to step forward to manage it. That created inefficiencies that could have been corrected by having a cross-cutting project manager.

    That said, you can get a lot done with mutual respect and understanding (particularly in the time of a global pandemic) coupled with consistent, quality communication.

     
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  • Icon for: Renae Kerrigan

    Renae Kerrigan

    Co-Presenter
    Curator of Science & Planetarium Director
    May 12, 2021 | 01:14 p.m.

    I'll agree with Ryan that communication has been key! We keep a standing meeting that all of us try hard to attend. Finding each of our roles in the project and owning them, but also being willing to assist and back each other up has contributed to our success.

     
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  • Icon for: Corrie Roe

    Corrie Roe

    Production Coordinator
    May 12, 2021 | 11:59 a.m.

    Amazing video and work! It is so impactful to see how you adapted and were able to reach people around the globe.

    Were the at-home resources originally planned to accompany the show, or were they added or adjust with the onset of the pandemic?

     
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    Shannon Schmoll

    Co-Presenter
    Director of Abrams Planetarium
    May 12, 2021 | 12:09 p.m.

    Hi Corrie. The original model we were going to research was based on creating opportunities beyond the dome to support continued engagement. One way was through the hands on activities that museums, planetariums, and other organizations could use immediately around a show as well as additional resources on our web portal and live social media events. So there has always been a scaffolded element beyond the show itself. Others can speak more about the changes needed for these in light of the pandemic, but there were always there in some form. 

     
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  • Icon for: Vivian White

    Vivian White

    Co-Presenter
    Director of Free Choice Learning
    May 17, 2021 | 01:03 p.m.

    Hi Corrie, we had incorporated citizen science and other activities to take home from each hands-on activity, but hadn't planned to make each one virtually engaging. And in fact, a few that require the night sky wouldn't benefit from a screen! In some cases, we made connections to great online activities that cover similar concepts, and in others, we combined new technologies, like the filter for smartphones in Clues to the Cosmos to turn an activity that required these physical filters into an activity that extended beyond an event and into the home. I hope to keep making these more useful as technology progresses! 

     
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  • Icon for: Scott Hildreth

    Scott Hildreth

    Professor of Astronomy & Physics
    May 12, 2021 | 01:34 p.m.

    Dear Renae & the Big Astronomy Team -

    I've watched and participated in all of the "Real People" telecasts, have shared them with my community college students, and believe they are a very valuable - and unique - resource.  You have given us a way to see the range of people involved in doing science, beyond just the "astronomers."   The technicians, IT professionals, engineers, educators, and staff that have been profiled are all inspirational, and they help me to show my students that anyone can do science if they have passion. And true to your title, the profiles demonstrate that science really is "Big" - allowing and needing all kinds of skills.  You open the doors of opportunity for my students.  Thank you for that effort, and well done!  

     
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  • Icon for: Renae Kerrigan

    Renae Kerrigan

    Co-Presenter
    Curator of Science & Planetarium Director
    May 12, 2021 | 01:44 p.m.

    Scott, you have made my day with your comment! Thank you for participating and for sharing the programs with your students. It is our goal to help people understand just what you say - that it takes all sorts of skills and backgrounds to operate big science facilities and enable discoveries. I'm very glad the series has been valuable to you.

     
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  • Icon for: Ryan Wyatt

    Ryan Wyatt

    Lead Presenter
    Senior Director of Morrison Planetarium and Science Visualization
    May 12, 2021 | 01:57 p.m.

    Thank you for your kind words! We conducted 29 interviews in both English and Spanish, and those form the backbone of the planetarium show. If you want a flatscreen version of the show, we are providing a version to educators (and we’ll eventually have it available on streaming services), so you can request a copy under the Show > Classroom Edition option on our website. We’ll also be adding edits of some of those interviews, featuring footage that doesn’t appear in the show, very soon.

     
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    Tim Spuck

    Co-Presenter
    Director of Education & Public Engagement
    May 12, 2021 | 05:42 p.m.

    Scott ... Thanks for your comments. It's great to hear your story about how the resources are being used and having an impact at the community college level. One of the great think about the Big Astronomy resources is their application in both informal and formal education environments. Thanks again!

     
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    MItch Luman

    Informal Educator
    May 12, 2021 | 09:22 p.m.

    We were one of the few domes in the U.S. fortunate enough to open with Big Astronomy on September 26, 2020 and continue screening the full-dome movie through March 2021. COVID-19 has been so devastating to so many, but we were fortunate in our community to have a facility that could open safely and a community that for the most part did the right things. Everyone on the Big Astronomy team has been great to work with. Big shout out to Ryan Wyatt and his team, Vivian White, Renae Kerrigan, Shannon Schmoll, Jesica Trucks, all the great tech's, engineers and astronomers in Chile and the NSF who made this project possible.

     
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    Tim Spuck

    Co-Presenter
    Director of Education & Public Engagement
    May 13, 2021 | 02:36 p.m.

    Thanks Mitch for the comments and glad to hear you enjoyed the show!  It's great to hear that you folks were able to remain open and share the show with your audiences from Sept-March. Question, are you planning to show the show again at some point in the future?

     
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    Ryan Wyatt

    Lead Presenter
    Senior Director of Morrison Planetarium and Science Visualization
    May 14, 2021 | 12:37 p.m.

    Thanks, Mitch! We’re thrilled that you could kick things off with us in a real-world planetarium on the opening date! And I’m glad to know the show is working out for you and your audiences.

     
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    MItch Luman

    Informal Educator
    May 16, 2021 | 08:19 p.m.

    I remember you talking about the show during my visit to the California Academy of Science while it was in production  deadline to finish Big Astronomy. Every time I see the the yellow ALMA transporter sequence I am taken back to that pre-pandemic day and the story you told on how you got that shot.

     
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    Leigh Peake

    Informal Educator
    May 13, 2021 | 02:27 p.m.

    I'm not one bit surprised that such a great project and beautiful video came out of this creative team. Comparable to the conversation above about "the personal remote experience versus the theater dome experience in terms of impact?", we've been asking the question in a slightly different way with our field trip. Can we use the contrast to get more specific on the incremental value of youth coming to a working marine research institution in person, and then push on that incremental value more mindfully in the program. Thank you for providing another perspective on the question and so great to see this work! (And @Ryan good to get a sense of the output of all that travel to Chile! Beautiful!)

     
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    Ryan Wyatt

    Lead Presenter
    Senior Director of Morrison Planetarium and Science Visualization
    May 14, 2021 | 12:36 p.m.

    Thanks for taking the time to review the project, Leigh! And it seems like the pandemic has made the informal learning community think deeply about how remote experiences complement our mainstay real-world experiences (even virtual real-world experiences such as planetariums). I attended several sessions at the recent MuseWeb conference hoping to hear how others are approaching these topics, and while I can away with very few solutions, it was great to know we’re all asking the same questions.

    I like the idea of framing the question in terms of incremental value. What can we achieve onsite in a museum or planetarium that we can’t online—and vice versa? At least in my experience, we asked these questions more philosophically a year ago, and they became far more germane in the last year.

    And if you liked the shots in Chile that appear in the video, you need to see the show in its entirety in a dome! I hope we have the opportunity to share it with you at some point.

     
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    Leigh Peake

    Informal Educator
    May 14, 2021 | 12:37 p.m.

    Will look forward to that Ryan!

     
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    Tim Spuck

    Co-Presenter
    Director of Education & Public Engagement
    May 13, 2021 | 02:56 p.m.

    Thanks Leigh for your comments. I think finding ways to continue to engage learners beyond the "experience", whether it's a visit to a planetarium, or field trip to a research center, or even watching a video on their computer at home is important. Building on the momentum of the initial learning experience can help ensure key concepts and even attitudes can be retained for longer periods of time. This then increases the window of opportunity for additional experiences to be connected to these initial gains ... sort of like a snow ball rolling down hill getting bigger before the core has time to melt. I would be interested in hearing more about what you folks are learning.

     
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    Leigh Peake

    Informal Educator
    May 13, 2021 | 03:25 p.m.

    Completely agreed about building and taking advantage of momentum, Tim. For a while now we've been providing classroom curriculum to extend the field trip experience as well as a digital field notebook to try to help carry the experience into home environments. As you note, we've seen incremental learning of key concepts and comfort with practices -- perhaps predictable since sometimes "more" actually IS "more." Going forward we'll be exploring how a virtual version of the experience particularly supports learners who find the content challenging. For example could emergent English learners or neurodiverse learners come into the field trip with more significant background knowledge, helping them have a better experience in-person. Interesting to ponder but we do find it hard logistically to orchestrate anything ahead of the field trip at scale.

     
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    Tim Spuck

    Co-Presenter
    Director of Education & Public Engagement
    May 14, 2021 | 10:54 a.m.

    Thanks Leigh for the additional information.  I do agree that a big challenge is the logistics related to preparing visitors in advance for field trips. This is an area where informal education and formal education needs to work together. Very often I think we place formal education in one box and informal in another box and it sometimes prevents more robust collaborations.  While there are certainly difference between the two, we are both fundamentally trying to do the same things ... educate, inspire, motivate, etc. ... we are just using different tools/experiences to do it. Thanks again ... you ask some interesting questions!

     
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    Leigh Peake

    Informal Educator
    May 14, 2021 | 11:36 a.m.

    Connecting formal and informal learning is at the heart of everything we do, so I'm right there with you! Congrats on such a great project!

     
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    Shannon Schmoll

    Co-Presenter
    Director of Abrams Planetarium
    May 14, 2021 | 11:42 a.m.

    Thanks Leigh for your comments! This connection between the field trip and beyond is always an interesting one. We definitely know for sure that preparing students for what they see prior to coming reduced novelty effects so the cognitive load is then focused on the learning and less on the navigation/ Even showing some pictures or a map is effective. Curriculum that builds the field trip into the middle of it with a clear connection between what they are doing in the classroom and on the field trip is helpful. With this project, regardless of virtual or in person work, we are looking to really scaffold the extension of learning beyond through the additional resources as a means of building that momentum but with general audience members that do not have the advantage of a classroom to go back to. But it was build a lot of this work from K-12 field trips was well and there may still be lessons to apply back to K-12. Education is really more of a spectrum of informal to formal and there is always overlap. 

     
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    Rachel Alatalo

    Informal Educator
    May 14, 2021 | 11:06 a.m.

    Wow, what a beautiful video and inspiring project! 

     
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    Nickolay Hristov

    Facilitator
    Senior Scientist, Director, Associate Professor
    May 15, 2021 | 12:53 p.m.

    So much to see, read and connect to make sense of this large initiative. What amazing team with diverse expertise in science, education, design and creative production. Some of the considerations in the discussion here touch on conversations in other presentations in the Showcase, namely the challenges and opportunities between in-person, immersive experiences and their online counterparts. The consensus from these exchanges is that what seems as a technological challenge at the moment is really a tremendous vision and design opportunity made all the more relevant by the extensive experience and collected data forced by the pandemic in the past year. Your project is uniquely poised to make headway into that conversation.

     
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    Tim Spuck

    Co-Presenter
    Director of Education & Public Engagement
    May 17, 2021 | 01:23 p.m.

    Thanks Nickolay for your comment!  I agree ... I think the pandemic created a unique opportunity that forced us to develop and implement tools and techniques to address the need. Moving forward, it will be interesting to compare impact on both the participants and the providers when it comes to in-person vs. virtual experiences. My sense is that various hybrid models will get us the greatest impact per dollar spent. I've enjoyed looking at the other videos and see what others have done. Lots of great stuff out there!

     
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    Shannon Schmoll

    Co-Presenter
    Director of Abrams Planetarium
    May 18, 2021 | 04:10 p.m.

    Thanks Nickolay! Our research definitely had to pivot from how we collected data to what kind of data we were collecting and we are hopeful that we can add some evidence based work to that conversation. The great thing of this project has always been about extending informal learning beyond the planetarium so we already had these great resources planned that were meant to be used at home in a way. How we presented the show and hands on activities had to adapt, but the silver lining is that we will have some amazing lessons learned to use post pandemic. That is true of our project and so many others in this showcase!

     
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    Martin Storksdieck

    Researcher
    May 17, 2021 | 01:52 p.m.

    I think it is wonderful how you were able to address the pandemic and make Big Astronomy available in all sorts of other ways - kudos!

     
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    Tim Spuck

    Co-Presenter
    Director of Education & Public Engagement
    May 17, 2021 | 02:00 p.m.

    Thanks Martin!! We appreciate your guidance throughout the process. 

     
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    Ryan Wyatt

    Lead Presenter
    Senior Director of Morrison Planetarium and Science Visualization
    May 18, 2021 | 01:09 p.m.

    Indeed, thank you for helping advise on the project and think into how we could find synergies among the many facets of the project.

     
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    Byron L Labadie

    Informal Educator
    May 18, 2021 | 01:01 p.m.

    A very well short presentation that was planned to reach many people. Great videography and narration. Let's continue with these presentation to inspire young and old minds around the world.

     
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    Tim Spuck

    Co-Presenter
    Director of Education & Public Engagement
    May 18, 2021 | 02:40 p.m.

    Thank you Byron for you comment!! Ryan and team at California Academy of Sciences did a great job leading the show production piece of Big Astronomy, as well as the creation of this 3-min video.

     
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    Samara Nagle

    May 18, 2021 | 04:00 p.m.

    Congratulations to everyone involved in this wonderful project. I was fortunate to visit Chile and some of the observatories and this video brought back wonderful memories, thank you.

     
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    Shannon Schmoll

    Co-Presenter
    Director of Abrams Planetarium
    May 18, 2021 | 04:04 p.m.

    Thanks Samara! I am so glad this brought back memories. It's a wonderful place!

     
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    Tim Spuck

    Co-Presenter
    Director of Education & Public Engagement
    May 18, 2021 | 05:11 p.m.

    Thanks Sam!  Glad to hear you enjoyed the video.  I'm always impressed at the ability of this film to take me back to the observatories. Ryan and team did a great job producing the show in an authentic way.

     
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    Ryan Wyatt

    Lead Presenter
    Senior Director of Morrison Planetarium and Science Visualization
    May 18, 2021 | 05:15 p.m.

    I hope you have the opportunity to see the planetarium show in a dome! The immersive scale of a planetarium can make you feel like you’re back inside a giant observatory dome…

     
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