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MOOSE: Menu of Outreach Opportunities for Science Education

Developed for the AAS Astronomy Ambassadors Program by Andrew Fraknoi

Contents

I. How to Be an AAS Astronomy Ambassador

A. Outreach Training Programs at Other Scientific Organizations
B. A Few Projects Already Being Done by Young Astronomers
C. General Presentation Techniques for Outreach
D. Miscellaneous Sites Useful for Outreach

II. Where to Be an AAS Astronomy Ambassador

A. Types of Places & Finding Aids for Each Type
B. Education Pages at Astronomy Organizations
C. Examples of Outreach Options at Specific Astronomy Departments

III. What to Do as an AAS Astronomy Ambassador

A. Where to Find Good Astronomy Activities
B. Sites Where Public Astronomy Questions Are Answered
C. A Few Selected Sites for Finding Good Astronomical Images
D. Some Key Resources to Read about Astronomy Education and Public Outreach
E. How to Evaluate Educational Programs

I. How to Be an AAS Astronomy Ambassador

I.A. Outreach Training Programs at Other Scientific Organizations

I.B. A Few Projects Already Being Done by Young Astronomers

I.C. General Presentation Techniques for Outreach

I.D. Miscellaneous Sites Useful for Outreach

II. Where to Be an AAS Astronomy Ambassador

II.A. Types of Places, with Finding Aids for Each Type

II.B. Education Pages at Astronomy Organizations

II.C. Examples of Outreach Options at Specific Astronomy Departments

III. What to Do as an AAS Astronomy Ambassador

III.A. Where to Find Good Astronomy Activities

Beyond the ASP’s The Universe at Your Fingertips 2.0 (which includes 133 selected activities), there are many other collections available on the Web if you are looking for good activities to use in a K-12 classroom, open night, museum, fair, or family outreach setting. A sampling:

Also see the How to Smile Directory (an oddly-named guide to activities in many areas of science from leading science museums and organizations).

III.B. Sites Where Public Astronomy Questions are Answered

  • Ask an Astronomer at Lick Observatory (Graduate students and staff members at this California observatory answered selected astronomy questions, particularly from high school students.)
  • Ask an Astronomer for Kids (A site that was run by Caltech’s center for infrared astronomy; it let kids submit questions and read the answers to questions other kids have asked. Does not accept new questions.)
  • Ask the Astronomer (This site, run by astronomer Sten Odenwald, is no longer active but lists 3,001 answers to questions asked in the mid-1990s, nicely organized by topic.)
  • Ask the Experts at PhysLink (Lots of physics questions answered, with some astronomy as well, at this physics education site. Most answers are by physics teachers, not astronomers. Still taking new questions.)
  • Curious about Astronomy (An ask-an-astronomer site run by graduate students and professors of astronomy at Cornell University. Has searchable archives and is still answering new questions.)
  • Ask a High-Energy Astronomer (Questions and answers at NASA’s Laboratory for High-Energy Astrophysics focus on x-ray and gamma-ray astronomy, and such objects as black holes, quasars, and supernovae.)
  • Ask an Astrobiologist (On this site from the National Astrobiology Institute at NASA, astronomer David Morrison answers questions about the search for life on other planets, the origin of life on Earth, and many other topics.)
  • Ask an Infrared Astronomer (A site from the California Institute of Technology, with an archive focusing on infrared (heat-ray) astronomy and the discoveries it makes about cool objects in the universe. No longer taking new questions.)
  • Ask the Space Scientist (An archive of questions about the Sun and its interactions with the Earth, answered by astronomer Sten Odenwald. Not accepting new questions.)

III.C. A Few Selected Sites for Finding Good Astronomical Images

III.D. Some Key Resources to Read about Astronomy Education and Public Outreach

Books

Online Articles

Online Journals/Magazines/Newsletters

III.E. How to Evaluate Educational Programs

Key Documents [start with these]

Specific Web-based Articles Related to Astronomy Evaluation

A Few Useful General Websites on Science Education Evaluation

Please report broken links and/or send suggestions for additional listings to education@aas.org.

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