AAS 203rd Meeting, January 2004
Session 107 Education and Public Outreach from NASA's Great Observatories
Special Session, Wednesday, January 7, 2004, 2:00-3:30pm, Regency V

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[107.01] The Value of the Great Observatories' Educational Programs

J. M. Pasachoff (Williams Col.)

What should non-major and school-level students learn about astronomy? The current trend in Physics Education Research, now being translated to Astronomy Education Research, is that "less is more." As a result, there may be little time for modern topics or there may be a judgment that these topics are too abstract to teach.

Yet NASA's Great Observatories and other missions have vital and interesting Education and Public Outreach programs. Through the Web, through distribution of CD-ROM's and other media, and through a variety of materials and activities these programs provide not only reports on current research but also substantial background information.

To explore the contemporary question of what we professional astronomers think we should be communicating to students at all levels, I have invited both scientists and public information officers of the Hubble Space Telescope, the Chandra X-ray Observatory, and the Space Infrared Telescope Facility to discuss the importance and the methodologies of their Education and Public Outreach programs.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35#5
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.