Exploring the Universe with NASA's Astrophysics Missions: An Introduction to the Universe of Learning
- Carolyn Slivinski, Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI)
- Mary Dussault, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA)
- Dr. Brandon Lawton, Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI)
How does the universe work? How did we get here? Are we alone? These are the big questions NASA astrophysics missions are addressing. Come join us for a kick-off of a new series of professional development astrophysics telecons by NASA's Universe of Learning, which is a new, integrated astrophysics STEM learning and literacy program. The goal of this program is to advance STEM learning and literacy by creating and delivering a unified suite of education products, programs, and professional development that spans the full spectrum of NASA Astrophysics. For this pilot briefing, we will introduce NASA's Universe of Learning and spotlight how NASA's astrophysics missions are working together to make discoveries related to the physics of the cosmos, cosmic origins, and exoplanet exploration. We also want to hear from you! We will provide opportunities for feedback on how our science briefings can help you better understand current astrophysics science and how we can best connect you to the NASA astrophysics resources that are useful to you.
Carolyn Slivinski is an Education Specialist at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, MD, where she works to connect the informal education community with a wide range of resources. Carolyn first discovered informal education working for a science museum, after beginning her career as an engineer performing spacecraft analyses for a leading satellite manufacturer. She has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Rutgers University.
Mary Dussault is an Instructional Systems Specialist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) where she directs a number of national astronomy and physical science education and outreach projects funded by NASA, the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Smithsonian Institution, and various foundations. Through her exhibition and education program development work at the CfA, and her prior work at Boston's Museum of Science, Dussault has over 30 years of experience researching and developing inquiry-based science learning experiences for a variety of settings: designed spaces and informal learning environments, for the classroom, and for teacher professional-development programs. She earned her Bachelor's degree in Astronomy from Wellesley College, and a Master's degree in History of Science from the Harvard University Extension School.
Dr. Brandon Lawton is an astronomer in the Office of Public Outreach at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI). He got his PhD in astronomy at New Mexico State University in 2008, followed by a postdoctoral position at STScI where he used Spitzer Space Telescope data to explore star formation in our neighboring galaxies, the Magellanic Clouds. Dr. Lawton, a member of the Office of Public Outreach since 2011, works with the Hubble, JWST, and WFIRST education and communications teams, as well as with the broader NASA science education community to deliver accurate cutting-edge science content to students, educators, and the general public.