Outcomes from the IYL2015 Quality Lighting Teaching Kit Program: Reaching for the Stars
National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 N Cherry Ave, Tucson, AZ 85719 USA
* Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Published online: 1 February 2019
Poor quality lighting not only impedes astronomy research and our right to see a starry night sky, but creates safety issues, affects human circadian sensitivities, disrupts ecosystems, and wastes billions of dollars/year in energy consumption. It also leads to excess carbon emissions. How do you change the mindset of society that is used to turning night into day? You educate the next generation on quality lighting. As an outcome of the International Year of Light 2015, the U.S. National Optical Astronomy Observatory’s Education and Public Outreach group has produced a Quality Lighting Teaching (QLT) Kit. The kits are designed around problem-based learning scenarios. The kit’s six activities allow students to address real lighting problems that relate to wildlife, sky glow, aging eyes, energy consumption, safety, and light trespass. The activities are optimized for 11-14 year olds, but can be expanded to younger and older. All materials are in English and Spanish. Most of the activities can be done within in a few minutes during class or afterschool in the form of stations or as stand-alones. Everything one needs for the six activities is included. Tutorial videos on how to do the activities can be found at www.noao.edu/education/qltkit.php. Ninety-two kits have been distributed to 32 countries with the help of SPIE–The International Society for Optical Engineering, CIE–International Commission on Illuminations, OSA–The Optical Society, IDA–the International Dark Sky Association, and the IAU OAD–Office of Astronomy Development. Highlights from the initial program evaluation will be discussed.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2019
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