The goal of the KICP’s Education and Outreach program is to use cosmological physics along with KICP people and resources to broaden participation in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) workforce, prepare the next generation of teacher/scholars, and advance the public understanding and appreciation of science.
KICP's Education & Outreach Programs seek to share the excitement of discovery with broad and diverse audiences. Our programming is inspired by the scientific passions of Institute members, but grounded in educational best practices and practicalities of urban outreach. KICP programming is designed with special attention to groups traditionally underrepresented in the sciences and to create meaningful opportunities for researcher involvement. Strong collaborative partnerships combined with in-house educational expertise and the active participation of members allow the KICP to offer creative and substantive programs that have lasting and measurable impacts.
The KICP enables a number of education and outreach programs and opportunities, however the core of the KICP's efforts are concentrated in several programs.
- Space Explorers – A multifaceted, multi-year commitment to inner city, minority, precollege students that includes interactions with the KICP community, laboratory experiences, and residential science institutes.
- Life Long Learning – A program for older adults which provides intellectual and social stimulation through a series of interactive lectures at local senior centers, retirement communities, and libraries.
- Astronomy Conversations – A collaboration with the Adler Planetarium which directly connects thousands of museum visitors with KICP scientists and their research.
- First Discoveries -- a program to improve science enrichment at the early-childhood level through a partnership with local Bright Horizons preschools.
The KICP has a established a variety of creative partnerships with museums and science centers that strive to share the ideas, places, tools and personalities of modern cosmological research with broad and diverse audiences. Our efforts especially emphasize the use of visually rich media as a tool to share research environments and data with broader audiences. Our principal partner is the nearby Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum with which we have a rich and multi-faceted collaboration that involves active programming, long-term gallery development and full dome visualization R&D.