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Who has the best outreach program?

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#1 Christopher Erickson

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 10:11 PM

I am interested in hearing opinions about who has the best astronomy public outreach operations going on around the world and what it is that they do that makes their program so great.

I am looking for ideas on how to improve a local outreach program.

Thanks in advance for any and all opinions and ideas!

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#2 hfjacinto

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 09:42 AM

Well Chris, its hard to beat the program at Mauna Kea, I mean your skies are some of the best in the world..

But at AAI (WWW.Asterism.org) we have a very nice program.

We have weekly presentations every Friday. A talk and observing afterwards. Most members do a talk (I did several already).
We have 6 presentations from September to April with a professional astronomer or author.
We have 4 presentations a year at the Trailside Nature Center, we do Solar and night time astronomy.
We hold sessions on AstroPhotography on Sunday night.
We have public outreach and sidewalk astronomy.
We also hold astronomy sessions for the classes at Union County College.

Although if I lived in Hawaii I would probably image every night so I wouldn't have time for outreach ;)

#3 csrlice12

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 01:00 PM

To me, these forums are the best outreach program I've encountered....

#4 Christopher Erickson

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 01:15 PM

Yea, here on Mauna Kea we do public astro outreach and star parties 365.2422 nights a year.

Maybe about a quarter-million people a year come by.

Our greatest challenges are:

* Safety in the dark. Curbs, car stops, tripods, power cords, etc.
* Car headlights.
* Camera flashes.
* White flashlights.
* Effective star talks that everyone can hear.
* Language barriers.
* Parking.
* Volunteer turnover & volunteer training.
* Disabled access to eyepieces.
* Lines at the scopes.
* Equipment damage.
* What to do on weather nights, besides inside videos.

#5 GeneT

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 07:10 PM

The San Antonio Astronomical Association has one of the best.
http://sanantonioastronomy.org/

#6 Doc Willie

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 07:47 PM

The Astronomical Observers Society of New York has many active programs including Saturday nights at their observatory, Music and Astronomy Under the Stars, frequent events at the Cradle of Aviation, etc., etc.

#7 Christopher Erickson

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 08:36 PM

So WHY is it one of the best?

#8 Christopher Erickson

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 09:10 PM

The <a href="kloatman@aol.com" target="_blank">Astronomical Observers Society of New York</a> has many active programs including Saturday nights at their observatory, Music and Astronomy Under the Stars, frequent events at the Cradle of Aviation, etc., etc.


Specifics would help.

#9 Doc Willie

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 10:23 AM

1. They have more activities than any club in the area.

2. Their activities are in venues that attract different crowds.

3. They have an observatory, open to the public every weekend,

4. They have lots of members who show up to their events.

5. They have an active program for beginners, with certificates for beginning activities.

See the AOS website for details.

#10 Doc Willie

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 10:24 AM

Oh, one more thing. They have women in prominent positions in the club.

#11 hfjacinto

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 10:35 AM

Chris,

One more thing at AAI, we recently started an AstroPhotography wall. I will take pictures. Its composed of poster sized images taken the APers in the club. Many of the public are very impressed and a lot of our images are only OK.

#12 csrlice12

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 12:10 PM

Chris,

One more thing at AAI, we recently started an AstroPhotography wall. I will take pictures. Its composed of poster sized images taken the APers in the club. Many of the public are very impressed and a lot of our images are only OK.


Like that idea, maybe even post them to the club's website....






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