Mary Sladek Mary Sladek

The Exploratorium's Navigating the Path of Totality Final Evaluation Report Published By

Posted on December 22, 2017 - 8:44 AM CST

Tags: General Public | Literature / Publications / Articles / Research | Heliophysics

The citation is: Edu, Inc. (2017). Eclipse 2017 Livestream – An evaluation report for NASA. Palo Alto, CA: Spencer, D., Graham, J., & Pickering, D.

Abstract From 

The Exploratorium’s livestream of the August 2017 Total Solar Eclipse reached over 63 million people. Live programs in English and Spanish provided an informal learning experience outside the museum. Over 2.75 million people viewed on-demand videos on eclipse science. Sixty major media providers rebroadcast the livestream telescope feed.

Edu, Inc. conducted a summative evaluation of the NASA-funded project. The study reveals that the Exploratorium successfully disseminated eclipse science and STEM content through media channels and a mobile app, delivering a museum experience to online, mobile, and social media users. The outcome was promoting public engagement in science by going to people where they are, when they want – live or on demand.

Major media providers who used the livestream telescope feed include NASA TV, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, BBC, and PBS.
Analysis of 16.5 million tweets discussing the eclipse showed that social media played a catalytic role in promoting interest and engagement with the eclipse and eclipse science. The project produced the first NASA-sponsored live eclipse program in Spanish.

The report examines number of users served by the livestream, detailed social media analytics, and promotion of the livestream through conventional and social media. User experience testing, review by an expert panel, and interviews with Exploratorium leadership explore impact. The report has 27 pages.