LIGO Document G0900502-v1
- The LIGO Science Education Center (SEC) is an informal learning facility located adjacent to the LIGO Livingston Observatory in Louisiana and brings together an unusual collaboration between a museum, science laboratory, university and local education agencies to support outreach to students, educators and the public. The 840 m2 facility houses upwards of 50 interactive hands-on exhibits. The Exploratorium, which provides training to SEC staff and local educators, produced 40 of these exhibits. The SEC offers programs for upper-elementary through post-secondary student field trips, teacher professional development and public tours and open houses. The Louisiana Board of Regents supports programs for teachers and students through the SIP and GEAR UP programs. Through Southern University-Baton Rouge, undergraduate students from underrepresented groups in STEM and education majors are trained and serve as docents on site. The SEC also serves as a test bed for educational research through collaboration with a Tulane University psychology faculty member. New initiatives of the SEC include developing programs of repeated engagement with teachers through professional development and with students through field trips in order to undertake longitudinal studies on the impact of the informal education environment.
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