The overall goal is to persuade parents or guardians to take a greater interest in their children’s education — both inside and outside the classroom. To accomplish this, under the guidance of program volunteers, families take part in astronomy-themed activities at regional site events. Incorporating math, art, communication, and other disciplines, hands-on projects familiarize participants with backyard astronomy or transport them through the solar system. At the end of the night, they leave with activity packages, encouragement to explore further at home, and an invitation to return for future events.
“We want them to go home and talk about what they’ve learned and build upon it,” says Project ASTRO national coordinator Dan Zevin. “By asking questions of each other or doing home activities, the family hopefully will be hooked.”