Pathfinders are educational brochures for handing out at related outreach events. They were my idea and I’m the editor-in-chief!
Doing as much standing behind folding card tables surrounded by astronomy outreach swag as I do, I found myself answering many of the same questions over and over again. “What should my child do to become an astronomer?” “What’s at the center of a black hole?” “Do aliens exist?” And while I couldn’t answer all of them what I did know was that most people were not interested in the pamphlets I was provided with by my department instructing them on how to become a donor. From this problem the Pathfinders were born. Having grown from the original template focused on my own research, the Pathfinder Library contains pathfinders ranging in topic from the history of the Milky Way to different career paths in Astronomy starting from elementary school. A key feature of the Pathfinder is the “learn more” section which is a vetted list of resources including books, web tutorials, youtube videos, and more for those interested in taking the next steps to learn more about the topic. Pathfinders are also intentionally designed to be printable from home so teachers/parents can print them out themselves if they’d like.
As the editor-in-chief, I solicit help to create educational brochures on basic concepts in astronomy that are continuously added to the growing library. The Pathfinder library can be viewed online here.