Education and Engagement in the COVID-19 Era

Upcoming events are listed here.

An overview of all our current educational programs is here.

About NOIRLab’s commitment to education

Every day exciting new discoveries in astronomy reveal new insights into our dynamic and mysterious Universe. The education programs developed by NOIRLab share the thrill of discovery with diverse audiences, including students of all ages and the astronomy-interested public. We believe all people should have the opportunity to discover the Universe together and we are providing accessible, high-quality education programs to do just that.

Our educational programs serve to inspire future professional scientists, engineers, and technologists and to engage the general public in a deeper understanding of our Universe. The goal of NOIRLab’s education programs is to enhance the science literacy of all citizens and to demonstrate the value to society of astronomical research. To accomplish these two goals, NOIRLab’s education staff develop partnerships with astronomy educators in schools, science centers, museums, and planetariums to help strengthen and expand their STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education programs. In these partnerships, our staff work to develop new approaches to astronomy education that can enhance educational effectiveness and broaden interest and participation in science. At NOIRLab’s research facilities visitors are introduced to telescopes, instruments, and other tools of astronomy as well as the latest research. NOIRLab’s programs also stress the importance of preserving the clear, dark night skies above these very special places, so everyone can continue to enjoy the spectacular Universe that inspires all of us.

NOIRLab’s educational programs are wide-ranging and include portable planetariums, dark skies and light pollution awareness, recent astronomical discoveries, and the technology behind telescopes. We work closely with local communities.

The long-range program plan for NOIRLab’s formal and informal education work is based on the high-level deliverables of the 2018 federal strategic plan “Charting a Course for Success: America’s Strategy for STEM Education” which describes a vision for the future where “all Americans will have lifelong access to high-quality STEM education and the United States will be the global leader in STEM literacy, innovation, and employment.” These plans inform the NOIRLab education strategy. 

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