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Paper: SDSS-IV Tools to Broaden Participation and Access
Volume: 533, ASP 2021: Sharing Best Practices – AstronomyTeaching and Public Engagement
Page: 49
Authors: Beaton, R.
Abstract: Inclusion has been a theme in Sloan Digital Sky Survey-IV with a focus on two areas: those contributing to the SDSS-IV project through initiatives in the Committee On Inclusiveness in SDSS (COINS) and in providing access to SDSS-IV data to a wide variety of audiences. In this interactive session, I will provide a brief summary of four tools and demonstrate their use with audience participation. I aim to have the audience drive the demonstrations, pose questions, and provide insights on how tools could be better suited to their learning goals and classrooms. 1. COINS administered five demographic surveys from 2014 to 2021 to characterize the collaboration and collect data on attitudes toward Education and Public Outreach (EPO) and barriers to asking questions. I will summarize what we have learned. 2. Faculty And Student Teams (FAST) partners a SDSS scientist with college faculty at a minority serving institution. Together, the faculty member organizes an undergraduate student team that performs cutting-edge research projects using SDSS data and supported by the SDSS member. I will provide examples of recently funded projects and their outcomes. FAST will continue into SDSS-V. 3. SDSS-IV releases all data publicly on a set of platforms to maximize data accessibility. The multi-lingual Voyages teaches fundamental astronomy concepts with data. SciServer provides server-side computational resources where students can also learn python coding concepts and data visualization. 4. The Plate Distribution Program aims to connect K–12 classrooms and other learning centers to SDSS data directly by distributing the plug-plates used to connect the instrument to the astronomical objects being studied. Because each plate observes a specific part of the sky, the plate is also uniquely connected to a set of observations and scientific results. Several learning activities have been developed.
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