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Abstract Title: Expanding your network: IPER Community buildathon
Abstract: With the new format for PERC and the unprecedented times that we are all living in, we wanted to ensure that there was a space for the informal physics community to talk about both wins and concerns the community is facing. In this live virtual session,  we are interested in strengthening and growing the Informal Physics Education Research (IPER) community in order to offer support to our fellow informal practitioners and researchers. We hope to have a discussion based session where we can touch on issues related to budgets, moving to virtual programming, creating new content, applying for funding, program futures, and many more challenges that will be faced. Additionally we would love to use our collective knowledge to crowdsource ways to combat these issues and to move forward with advocating for the relevancy of informal education in a post-pandemic society. These issues are relevant now for everyone in our community and we are interested in hearing all voices and perspectives during this session.
Abstract Type: Custom Format
Session Time: Parallel Sessions Cluster I

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Claudia Fracchiolla
University College Dublin
Dublin, Non U.S. Dublin 4
Phone: 876392197
and Co-Presenter(s)
Kathleen Hinko and Brean Prefontaine - Michigan State University

Parallel Session Information

Activity Description: - Short presentation from organizers on the ideas of IPER and the current status of the community
- Speed networking in which we get to share our programs and practices and collect information to build our community map
- Discussing design and assessment for inclusive programs with the purpose of building  a list of assessment tools/techniques or research methodologies that apply to different informal setting
- Group discussions about challenges for program assessment and sustainability with the purpose of empowering action item encourages participants to leave and continue building their network and community
Proposed Discussion Questions: We have a comprehensive list of questions for discussions, which we will share some here but we want the community members to raise their questions so we can work together on finding answers and solutions to the questions and challenges IPER members may face.

Some questions are:
What message would you hope to communicate through your program?, What are your goals for participants in your program?, What population(s) are you hoping to reach with your program? (alternative for existing programs: What populations are you reaching with your program?  and why those populations? What populations are you hoping to reach? (have them think about discrepancies), What specific needs might they have?, How do you intend to interact with those populations? As community partners?, consultants?, What persons will act as your contacts in the community you hope to serve? How are you uniquely equipped to address the needs of these populations? In what way do you hope your program can address them? What resources do you have or do you need to help address this? How will you build that into the organization of your program? What will you do if you discover you aren't meeting the needs of your population(s), or you discover needs you didn't know existed?