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checkmarkConnecting with Kids:

More about Connecting with Kids

Download these tips (pdf, 695 KB)

Main Ideas from the Video:

Apply these steps to your interactions with the public to increase the likelihood that the kids -- and the adults -- will have fun and be inspired to find out more.

  1. Smile, be welcoming! Your attitude sets the stage for the rest of their visit.
  2. Grab them with an engaging question or give them something to do.
  3. Involve them in the presentation.
  4. Give them a way to discover more.

Asking Engaging Questions:

What is an "Engaging Question?" An engaging question generates responses, interest, or discussion that relates to experiences or ideas people have had, rather than "testing" their knowledge.

Why do we ask an Engaging Questions? Two main reasons:

  1. To answer their question: Why would I want to listen to you?
  2. To allow you to assess your visitors' current understanding so you can adjust your presentation accordingly.

10 Examples of Engaging Questions:

  1. "What have you heard about (the topic you want to cover)?"
  2. "What questions does anyone have about [today's topic]?"
  3. "What do you think would happen if we found life on another planet…"
  4. "Who has ever seen a shooting star? What did it look like?"
  5. (When looking in the scope) "Take a look - Tell me what you see"
  6. "Have you ever wished you could travel back in time? "
  7. "Have you ever seen a satellite before? What do you think we
    should watch for?"
  8. "Which planet would you like to explore?"
  9. Refer to a poster or banner and ask them: "What do you notice here?"
  10. Have younger kids lie on their backs and look at the stars – make their own patterns in the stars. Who can see a bird? What other shapes do you see?

Other Tips

Set your own expectations realistically:

  1. Expect to inspire, excite, and generate curiosity. Don't expect kids to remember facts or master skills right away.
  2. Keep it simple: Choose one primary concept you want to convey, then convey it in a variety of ways (discussion, group activity, posters, etc)

3 Easy Steps to Getting your Visitors Involved in the Presentation:

  1. Let them take a role -- be the planets, hold a model, pass out handouts or props.
  2. Keep asking them questions.
  3. Relate your presentation to something they are already familiar with.

Tips for Observing with Kids:

A Couple of Cautions:

Final Notes:

NSF logoSharing the Universe is based upon work supported by the Informal Education Division of the National Science Foundation under Grant no DRL-0638873. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.