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Paper: Informal Science Education in Puerto Rico
Volume: 531, ASP2020: Embracing the Future: Astronomy Teaching and Public Engagement
Page: 245
Authors: Santos, M. E. L.; Pantoja, C. A.
Abstract: We present a review of the main efforts on informal science education in Puerto Rico. Museums, planetariums, media (TV, radio, newspapers, newsletters), and new technologies (social media) comprise the core of the efforts. The government through its institutions, and private organizations are the principal actors. In Puerto Rico we do not have a science museum. The most prominent effort for a science museum is run by a private non-profit organization with ongoing activities at a temporary location. The island has diverse visitor centers associated with natural reserves or research institutions. Their efforts have been the most consistent during the years. One planetarium is operational serving a population of almost 3 million people. This planetarium also serves as a center for teacher training in space science and astronomy. Three educational observatories and some amateur astronomers organizations bring the wonders of the sky to the general public. Most of the informal education is done through activities organized in public places by diverse groups, organizations and institutions, most of the time in collaboration with local communities. We discuss the main initiatives on informal science education in Puerto Rico and offer some critical reflections as we embrace the future.
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