Workshop Goals

The focus group will bring together visualization providers, users, commercial vendors and NASA scientists and mission personnel in order to identify the next steps and coordinate our efforts. We will examine the lessons learned from previous efforts and identify the assets, capabilities, needs, and limitations of each community involved in bringing high quality visualizations to informal science education audiences. Special attention will be paid to developing tool kits that empower informal education institutions to tailor content to their particular audiences, technologies, and programs. Additional focus will be placed on the unique needs of and opportunities provided by domed/immersive theatres. The focus group will foster inter-community communication and coordination, leading to collaboration on future projects.

Specific objectives of the focus group are to:

  • identify and summarize the resources, capabilities, needs, and limitations of each community involved in bringing visualizations to informal science education audiences, with special focus on users’ needs and producers’ capabilities;
  • examine case studies of previous visualization activities and extract the lessons learned;
  • elicit feedback for NASA about its current and future role in the pipeline and recommend strategies for improvement;
  • assess the drivers behind the creation of specific visualizations (missions, educational products and programs, planetarium shows, etc.) and develop a straw-man priority-ranked list of desired visualizations;
  • examine the opportunities and challenges unique to fully immersive (i.e., domed) environments;
  • identify strategies for facilitating coordination among partners (including NASA), providing for training and professional development within and between communities, and addressing roadblocks or other issues of concern;
  • communicate the results of the focus group efforts to NASA and, as appropriate, to the community at large;
  • establish collaborations in the community.
Flow Chart
Figure 1: The flow of data and information from the scientific community to informal education audiences. Each community has an essential role to play in bringing the highest quality experiences to our audiences. Similarly, each has its own unique needs and perspectives.