GoalTo use cosmological physics and the Center environment to broaden participation in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) workforce, prepare the next generation of teacher/scholars, and advance the public understanding and appreciation of science.


Space Explorer program students, Yerkes Summer Institute
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Education, Outreach & Diversity Programs seek to share the excitement of discovery with broad and diverse audiences. Our programming is inspired by the scientific passions of Center members, but grounded in educational best practices and practicalities of urban outreach. Our programming is designed with special attention to groups traditionally underrepresented in the sciences and to create meaningful opportunities for researcher involvement. Strong collaborative partnerships combined with in-house educational expertise and the active participation of Center members allow us to offer creative and substantive programs that have lasting and measurable impacts. The Center also strives to broadly share and disseminate information about successful efforts with both the research and education communities.

Education and outreach programs and opportunities
Cosmology Short Course labs
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The Center enables a wide variety of education and outreach programs and opportunities, however the core of the KICP's efforts are concentrated in three Signature Programs, with a crosscutting interest in scientific visualization.
  • Cosmology Short Courses - pioneering professional development for museum and planetarium staff designed to help bring current research into the museum and classroom
  • Museum Partnerships - collaborations with museums to create exhibits, shows, and programming that share cosmological research with broad and diverse audiences
  • Space Explorers - multifaceted, multi-year commitment to inner city, minority, precollege students that includes interactions with the KICP community, laboratory experiences, and residential science institutes at Yerkes Observatory

Summer School on Education and Outreach
Summer School on Education and Outreach, 2014
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The EO&D MA hosted a Summer School on Education and Outreach, 2014. This two-week summer school immersed early career researchers in education and outreach (E&O) and allowed them to gain experience and exposure to best practices by working with other scientists, E&O professionals, and museum staff on real projects. The core of the summer school was a one-week practicum where students were embedded in an existing E&O program and work with their mentors to develop K-12 lab activities, museum programming, visualizations, or a citizen science activity.

Scientific Visualization & Communication
A visualization of the splashback radius around a simulated galaxy cluster (developed by Computational MA co-Investigator Andrey Kravtsov, graduate student Benedikt Diemer, and former fellow Surhud More) displayed at the Science Visualization Lab at the Adler planetarium, where cutting edge research visualizations like this one are presented and made accessible to the public quickly.
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Scientific Visualization can eliminate barriers and make ongoing research engaging and accessible. The Center is active in the development of visual resources and in the fostering a community of scientific communicators by providing training and opportunities to practice.

Examples of PFC at KICP efforts:

Life Long Learning Series
Astrophysics lecture to older adults
EO&D MA organizes Life Long Learning Series lectures to older adults throughout Chicago to bring basic and cutting-edge content in astrophysics to interested older adults at city senior centers, retirement homes, and public libraries. Adults past retirement age make up an increasingly large demographic, and continued cognitive/social engagement are crucial for healthy aging.

EO&D MA also organizes training sessions that prepare astrophysics researches to have a successful presentation to older adults.