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My Sky Tonight

The My Sky Tonight project is helping to improve how we understand lifelong learning by exploring how very young children and their families engage with astronomy. This project lead by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP) is part of a field-wide effort to increase the capacity of informal science education institutions to effectively engage their youngest visitors (ages 3 - 5) and their families in astronomy. The project is a research and practice partnership funded by the National Science Foundation between the ASP; Institute for Learning Innovation, UC Santa Cruz, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and Penn State; the Lawrence Hall of Science at UC Berkeley, Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose, Discovery Space of Central Pennsylvania, and San Luis Obispo Children's Museum. Project research has focused on identifying young children’s interests in and ideas about astronomy, and investigating how to design and deliver activities in developmentally appropriate ways and provide opportunities to engage with phenomena that support participation in authentic science practices (e.g. observation, explanation, and modeling).