AAS 203rd Meeting, January 2004
Session 118 Reaching Out: EPO
Poster, Thursday, January 8, 2004, 9:20am-4:00pm, Grand Hall

[Previous] | [Session 118] | [Next]

[118.09] Education and Public Outreach Programs at Columbus State University's Mead Observatory

S. Cruzen, C. Rutland, D. Carr, M. Seckinger (Columbus State University)

Columbus State University (CSU) has made a substantial commitment to community education in astronomy and space science. Through the programs of the Mead Observatory at CSU’s Coca-Cola Space Science Center, students, staff and faculty have been providing public outreach programs in astronomy for more than seven years. Recently, a generous grant from a private foundation has facilitated an astounding growth in the observatory’s astronomy outreach activities. The grant made possible the purchase of a van, a portable planetarium, and additional telescope and computer equipment. It also funded a two-year scholarship that has supported a pair of CSU’s science education majors who have staffed the program and made it a success. NASA, through the Georgia Space Grant Consortium, has provided additional funding for scholarships for 2003-2004.

Prior to receiving these funds, the observatory program consisted of monthly open houses, occasional public observing nights at remote locations and approximately 6 to 8 school visits per year. Annually, these programs served approximately 3500 people. Since beginning the new phase of this program in October of 2001, the number of people served has soared to more than 23,000 in only 24 months. Over 60 schools have been visited, increasing our previous annual rate by nearly five times. Additional groups served include boys and girls scouting groups, state parks and other community organizations.

School presentations have been designed to assist K-12 teachers in meeting science education standards. More than 200 teachers were asked to assess the program, and their responses were quite positive. More information about the program is available at our website (http://www.ccssc.org).

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://www.ccssc.org. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: shawn@ccssc.org

[Previous] | [Session 118] | [Next]

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