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NASA SCoPE Engages and Empowers at AbSciCon 2024 with Gaming Activities and Childcare Support

At the AbSciCon conference held from May 6-10, 2024 in Providence, RI, NASA SCoPE (SMD Community of Practice for Engagement) left a lasting impression with its engaging activities centered around gaming. The NASA SCoPE exhibit hall booth was a vibrant hub featuring three digital game consoles, where nearly 150 of the 900 conference attendees, had the opportunity to learn about NASA Science Activation, the NASA SCoPE project, and avenues for proposing funded projects for educational outreach. The booth provided a dynamic environment for networking and exploring the exciting prospects within NASA's educational outreach initiatives.

A highlight of the conference was the game night, cohosted with the NASA Astrobiology Guild. This event brought together 28 science content experts and education specialists for a competitive and educational game of Astrobiobound! Participants were immersed in gameplay that illustrated NASA's priorities and mission planning processes, culminating in an exciting "launch" sequence. This game night not only fostered a spirit of friendly competition but also showcased how educational tools like Astrobiobound! can effectively communicate complex scientific concepts.

In addition to these interactive gaming activities, NASA SCoPE proudly sponsored the conference's childcare program, making the conference more accessible for early career scientists and those from marginalized communities. This initiative significantly reduced the cost of childcare for applicants, benefiting approximately 20 attendees. By alleviating this barrier, NASA SCoPE enabled more science content experts to participate in the conference, fostering a more inclusive and diverse scientific community.

Overall, NASA SCoPE's efforts at AbSciCon 2024 successfully combined education, engagement, and accessibility, demonstrating a commitment to reducing barriers and supporting the next generation of scientists.

NASA SCoPE is supported by NASA under cooperative agreement award number 80NSSC21M0006 and is part of NASA’s Science Activation Portfolio. Learn more about how Science Activation connects NASA science experts, real content, and experiences with community leaders to do science in ways that activate minds and promote deeper understanding of our world and beyond: https://science.nasa.gov/learn

A group of four people, sitting around the exhibit hall table, engaging in a shrinky dink craft. The table is covered with a blue cloth and various materials including pens, badges, and small tools. Behind them are exhibit booths labeled "Meteor Mayhem" and "Infiniscope," with additional conference attendees visible in the background.
Conference attendees engage in a craft activity at the NASA SCoPE exhibit booth, networking with other science experts and learning about educational outreach opportunities.