Icon for: Kimberly Arcand

KIMBERLY ARCAND

Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
Public Discussion

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  • Icon for: Kimberly Arcand

    Kimberly Arcand

    Lead Presenter
    Visualization scientist & Emerging technology lead
    May 10, 2021 | 04:57 p.m.

    Welcome everyone! Thank you so much for stopping by to watch our video for the Reach Across the Stars app.  The first phase of this project was creating the main bulk of content, building up the technical infrastructure for the app and supplementary web page, and testing the app (and testing again) with users.  We then entered phase two of adding new content, and working to improve user navigation, server download times, overall experience, etc.  We are looking to connect further with informal learning networks, fold in additional interactive activities through the web site, expand the app content and figure out how best to help educators and facilitators incorporate this app and web site in their programming. We would be very interested in hearing your thoughts on the suite of digital materials available so far (app based and web based) and how they could be better disseminated and situated in learning environments. Additionally, if you have other thoughts on connecting to other projects and programs, please do let us know.

     
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  • Icon for: Kimberly Arcand

    Kimberly Arcand

    Lead Presenter
    Visualization scientist & Emerging technology lead
    May 10, 2021 | 05:30 p.m.

    And please give a warm welcome to our app team :)

    This project is not only about women, it is created exclusively by women.
    Kimberly Arcand, principle investigator; visualization scientist, Chandra X-ray Center (CXC)
    Sasha Samochina, creative technologist; deputy manager of the Ops Lab, NASA’s JPL
    Mandy Mandelstein, filmmaker and technologist
    Kristin DiVona, designer (CXC)
    April Jubett, videographer (CXC)
    Megan Watzke, science writer (CXC)
    Sara Price, research assistant (CXC)

     
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    Christie Prout
  • Icon for: Folashade Solomon

    Folashade Solomon

    Facilitator
    Senior Researcher
    May 11, 2021 | 11:32 a.m.

    I can see the rich video data you have collected and the amazing set of scientist and their work. I love the visuals and the diversity of the examples of the work these women are doing.  Given the focus on women scientists, have you considered highlighting the women in front of the camera, sharing, talking about their work for themselves?  What I know educators are hungry for examples of real-life stories about women scientists to share with their students. 

     
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    Kimberly Arcand
  • Icon for: Kimberly Arcand

    Kimberly Arcand

    Lead Presenter
    Visualization scientist & Emerging technology lead
    May 11, 2021 | 12:27 p.m.

    Hi Folashade!  Thanks for stopping by :)  Yes, we have the featured women (the ones whose data sets we have in AR) as videos in the AR app.  The user can 'ask' a question (eg select from a list of previously asked questions) and get the video responses from the women.  They talk about their failures and successes, interests and hobbies etc.  Hope that helps. 

     
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    Folashade Solomon
  • Icon for: Rachel Alatalo

    Rachel Alatalo

    Informal Educator
    May 11, 2021 | 04:13 p.m.

    Wow, I wish I had an app like this when I was a kid!

    My team's project is also about informal learning in the form of YouTube videos. The channel I work on, Crash Course, has been incorporated into the classroom as a way to introduce a new topic or summarize one that's already been taught, so maybe your app could be used in a similar way!

    I'm curious to hear how your team has taken on the challenge of creating interactive activities for a virtual learning tool--how do you recreate or emulate the experience of talking with other students and teachers on a virtual platform that the user interacts with alone?

     
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    Kimberly Arcand
  • Icon for: Kimberly Arcand

    Kimberly Arcand

    Lead Presenter
    Visualization scientist & Emerging technology lead
    May 11, 2021 | 05:25 p.m.

    Thanks Rachel! So nice of you to stop by :)  Your video looks awesome too, the project seems super responsive and well thought out - congratulations.    Our technique to make the app feel more interactive was to create a question and answer session where users can select what questions to ask the scientists, and then the scientists responses were created with simple phone videos so that it feels like a more personal chat with them, and then the learners can move on to the next segments that have 3D data sets to immerse in, etc.  However, we are very much interested in creating more interactive experiences with the app and the app content in the "real world" too - eg, outside of the app, and would appreciate any suggestions or connections there.  

  • Icon for: Jamie Bell

    Jamie Bell

    Facilitator
    Project Director
    May 11, 2021 | 07:19 p.m.

    Congratulations on creating this thoughtful, timely app. I admire the way you have let the humanity of the role models come through in ways that create possibilities for catalyzing STEM identity development. You mentioned wanting to connect with informal learning networks and providers and I might suggest looking at some of the NASA funded Science Activation projects- https://science.nasa.gov/learners

     

  • Icon for: Kimberly Arcand

    Kimberly Arcand

    Lead Presenter
    Visualization scientist & Emerging technology lead
    May 12, 2021 | 08:47 a.m.

    Thanks Jamie!  This year, we moved this app into our own Science Activation project (Universe of Learning) to continue updating it and improving it, etc.  So, yes we do hope to connect further with other SciAct projects, in addition to the Museum Alliance/MIE & other NASA/SciAct groups we've worked with so far.  Many thanks for the feedback.

  • Icon for: Jamie Bell

    Jamie Bell

    Facilitator
    Project Director
    May 14, 2021 | 06:23 a.m.

    Great to hear those connections, Kimberly, thank you. The National Informal STEM Learning Network might be a particular connection to explore, if you haven't already, as they have a rich legacy of designing games and interactive media for diverse network of practitioners and learners. 

     
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    Kimberly Arcand
  • May 11, 2021 | 10:51 p.m.

    This is so cool! Congrats on a great app and regards to everyone at SAO and Chandra (I filmed a few episodes there in 2016 with Jonathan McDowell and Avi Loeb for SEEC). Good luck with the Showcase!!

     
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    Christie Prout
  • Icon for: Kimberly Arcand

    Kimberly Arcand

    Lead Presenter
    Visualization scientist & Emerging technology lead
    May 12, 2021 | 08:55 a.m.

    Josh, thanks! Nice to hear of your connection to Chandra & SAO. Your video looks excellent, would be great to chat at some point.

  • Icon for: Lance Bush

    Lance Bush

    President & CEO
    May 13, 2021 | 10:23 a.m.

    Kimberly - Great work to engage students!  The people and their work are inspiring.  And of course, at Challenger Center, we think space is a great realm in which to engage students in the excitement of science.  When you have a chance, we should meet and share thoughts and see if there are any good collaboration points. 

  • Icon for: Kimberly Arcand

    Kimberly Arcand

    Lead Presenter
    Visualization scientist & Emerging technology lead
    May 14, 2021 | 06:49 a.m.

    Great idea, Lance.  I see a lot of overlap in our goals, and I'm sure there are good opportunities for us to collaborate. 

  • Icon for: Claire Conway

    Claire Conway

    Informal Educator
    May 13, 2021 | 08:06 p.m.

    This is such an exciting project! I love that you're able to bring the stars directly into the hands of today's kids. Even something as simple as placing these AR models of the technology used in space exploration physically in a child's space at home can make a huge difference in showing them that STEM is within their reach. This, alongside the stories of the diverse women who have made it all possible -- what an outstanding learning experience for this next generation of STEM leaders. 

  • Icon for: Kimberly Arcand

    Kimberly Arcand

    Lead Presenter
    Visualization scientist & Emerging technology lead
    May 14, 2021 | 06:51 a.m.

    Thank you for your thoughtful comment, Claire.  I'm feeling encouraged by this supportive community!

  • Icon for: Ning Wang

    Ning Wang

    Graduate Student
    May 14, 2021 | 08:02 a.m.

    Very cool project! How did you assess this or plan?

  • Icon for: Kimberly Arcand

    Kimberly Arcand

    Lead Presenter
    Visualization scientist & Emerging technology lead
    May 14, 2021 | 12:23 p.m.

    Hi Ning, Thank you for your comment.  Assessment will be ongoing, since this is still a fairly new app, but we are getting some positive encouragement from distribution sites like iTunes & Google Play.  We always do follow-up research into our projects to collect data on who is using it and how, etc, along with taking constructive suggestions into account.  We will continue to update our app as we collect more stories and add extension materials and lessons. 

    Planning was fairly involved as well, and there were a handful of us who were deeply invested in this project.  It started out as a collaboration between a couple of us who were mutual admirers working toward a common goal and seeing a need to bring positive female role models to young students, something that is still lacking.

  • Icon for: Shane Woods

    Shane Woods

    Facilitator
    Senior Director, STEM Center of Excellence
    May 15, 2021 | 01:38 p.m.

    This app is an amazing way to give these brilliant women their flowers while they are here. I am impressed that women also created the app. I am sharing with my staff here at the STEM Center of Excellence which is a part of the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas council. Have you been able to share this resource with other girl-facing organizations? We all know the statement, If they see it, they can be it. Kudos to all involved in this work.

  • Icon for: Kimberly Arcand

    Kimberly Arcand

    Lead Presenter
    Visualization scientist & Emerging technology lead
    May 17, 2021 | 06:33 a.m.

    Hi Shane, Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment and encouragement!  Yes, please do share this.  We're hoping that the showcase will be a springboard for this app.  We certainly want to reach as many as we can.  We do have some connections to girl-centric organizations, such as Rosie's Girls.  We are always looking for more.

     
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    Shane Woods
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