Here, There, & Everywhere: Public Science Through Analogy
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Here, There, and Everywhere (HTE) is a NASA-funded program that consists of a series of exhibitions, posters, and supporting hands-on activities that utilize analogies in the teaching of science, ...
Here, There, and Everywhere (HTE) is a NASA-funded program that consists of a series of exhibitions, posters, and supporting hands-on activities that utilize analogies in the teaching of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to provide multi-generational and family-friendly content in English and Spanish for community centers, libraries, schools, and under-resourced or small science centers. The purpose of the program is to connect cross-cutting content -- in Earth, atmospheric, planetary sciences and astrophysics -- with everyday phenomena, helping to demonstrate that what happens here (in our daily lives), happens there (on a planetary scale), and happens everywhere (across the Universe). The HTE program utilizes multimodal content delivery (physical exhibits and handouts, interpretive stations, facilitated activities for educators as well as online materials) hosted by locations for informal science learning as identified by previous partnerships as well as through advertisement of opportunities.
The use of metaphors in teaching and learning has a long-standing history. Metaphors can be an effective way to make something new seem less daunting, by comparing it with something more familiar. This technique of equating different or disparate things to one another can help complex concepts become more understandable and accessible. It is the power of the metaphor that we seek to discuss in this proposed article. We explore a recent public science project from the Chandra X-ray Center called “Here, There and Everywhere” that attempts to utilize analogy in effective science communication, as well as what dangers might exist in the use of metaphor and analogy. We also look to other areas where metaphors may be useful to implement in astronomy communications, such as for upcoming programs including the International Year of Light 2015.
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