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Best Practices in Outreach Events

SMD E/PO community members often are involved in outreach events - from relatively small family science nights at the local school to large-scale mission and celestial event celebrations that involve hundreds to thousands of members of the general public. While we often have goals of inspiring and engaging the public in these events, demonstrating our outcomes and impacts is extremely challenging.

This topic serves as a collection point for resources and discussions about best practices in the design, delivery, and evaluation of outreach events, with emphasis on large-scale events. Please share your experiences and insights, and any resources of which the community should be aware!

If you would like to contribute to this topic, please contact Sanlyn Buxner ( and Heather Dalton (

McREL Summary of Best Practices in Evaluation of Large Scale Public Events

Profile Studies of Large-Scale Public Events

Outreach Event Evaluation Reports

List of SMD Public Events Projects


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On December 2-3, 2014, the Space Studies Board and the Board on Science Education of the National Research Council held a workshop on the NASA Science Mission Directorate (SMD) education program - "Sharing the Adventure with the Student." The workshop brought together representatives of the space science and science education communities to discuss maximizing the...


Following is a list of SMD public outreach events with descriptions and links to the associated event webpages and project profiles if available. This list is intended to help community members easily connect with each other to learn more about best practices in hosting and evaluating outreach events, rather than being about upcoming outreach events. If you have a project to add to the list, please contact Stephanie Shipp (, Heather Dalton (, or...


The following are profiles of public events that have been summarized by McREL based on review of education and evaluation literature.  These are intended to offer insights to community members who are designing, implementing, and/or evaluating events for the general public. Each profile presents an overview, evaluation methodologies, outputs, outcomes and impacts, and successes, challenges and lessons learned.  If you have additional profiles - or suggestions for profiles, please...