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Paper: Astronomy Outreach Activities for Special Needs Children and Their Families
Volume: 400, Preparing for the 2009 International Year of Astronomy: A Hands-on Symposium
Page: 259
Authors: Lubowich, D.
Abstract: While there are outreach programs for the public and for children, there are few programs for special needs children. Here I describe two NASA-IDEAS/ STScI funded outreach programs I created for special needs children using telescope observations (including remote observations) and hands-on astronomy activities. The target audience is seriously ill children and their families who are staying at the Ronald McDonald House of Long Island in conjunction the children’s medical treatments or children hospitalized at the Children’s Medical Center at Winthrop University Hospital. These educational activities help children and their families learn about astronomy while providing a diversion to take their minds off their illness during a stressful time. I have also conducted a similar program in camps for special needs children. These programs should be expanded so that special needs children and their families are part of the IYA2009 activities.
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