Cultural Connections: The Northern Lights

Learning through Cultural Connections: The Northern Lights targets lifelong learners through the development of informal educational products based on the topic of the aurora. Products currently in development include The Northern Lights video in two formats [for flat screen and planetarium viewing], a set of museum exhibit features, and learning kits for students in grades 4-8. All products showcase Inupiat culture and language. Museum exhibits will be pilot tested at the UA Museum of the North during the summer of 2016, and later installed in the Inupiat Heritage Center (Barrow) and the Carrie McLain Memorial Museum (Nome). Learning kits include multimedia, interactive games, and reusable classroom supplies. These will be pilot tested in three northern Alaska school districts during the spring of 2016. The UAF Geophysical Institute’s traveling planetarium will visit 20 rural Alaska communities in 2017 to debut the dome version of the video. Later, the dome version of the video will be featured among the shows offered at the University of Alaska Anchorage and the Anchorage Museum planetariums. All other project resources will be made accessible online and via mobile app in late 2017. The three-year Geophysical Institute project was funded by the U.S. Department of Education as an Alaska Native Education Program award.