Education Prize

The AAS Education Prize recognizes outstanding contributions to the education of the public, students, and/or the next generation of professional astronomers. Self-nominations are allowed.

Eligibility: No restrictions on nationality or country of residence.


  • Outstanding contributions to the education of the public, students, and/or the next generation of professional astronomers. 
  • Impact on the community through sharing of educational methods, insights into pedagogy, and improving science literacy among their students or the general public, for example.
  • Outreach to underserved communities or making astronomy more accessible.

Prize nominations are open and are due on 30 June.

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Education Prize Committee

2024 - Charles Liu

For his national and international impact as an enthusiastic astronomy educator throughout his career — including his contributions to informal education via his work at the American Museum of Natural History.

2023 - Linda Shore

For the nationwide impact of her work educating teachers as Director of the Exploratorium Teacher Institute, and for the development of novel educational programs aimed at non-astronomers as CEO of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific.

2022 - Alex Filippenko

For his passionate and wildly popular teaching of non-science majors; his mentoring of hundreds of teaching assistants and undergraduate research students.

2021 – Chris Impey

For his national and international impact through his outstanding teaching of thousands of students at his home university and, via the web, worldwide.

2020 – Deborah Byrd

For her contributions to the Texas Star Party, StarDate, and Earth & Sky, which epitomize her advocacy for science and her lifetime of service in educating and inspiring the public with the wonders and beauty of astronomy.

2017 – Hernán Quintana

For his tireless work over more than three decades developing and bringing astronomy education and degree programs into Chilean universities.

2016 – Lynn R. Cominsky

For her long-standing leadership of the Sonoma State University Education and Public Outreach Group, which has had a broad and significant impact both locally and nationally.

2015 – David Morrison

For a lifetime of outstanding contributions to the understanding of astronomy by college students and the public and to the debunking of astronomical pseudoscience through his textbooks, popular books, slide sets, websites, articles, public talks, and wor

2014 – Deidre Hunter

For co-founding and successfully running for the last 17 years a science and astronomy education program for 5th-8th grade Navajo-Hopi students and their teachers (of Arizona, and New Mexico), a historically underserved and culturally isolated population.
Year Recipient(s) Citation
2013 John R. Percy For 40+ years of tireless advocacy for K-12 astronomy education in Canada and around the world, during which he has trained and mentored many people who themselves have made major contributions to astronomy, astronomy education, and amateur astronomy.
2012 Donald W. McCarthy For his tireless efforts over the past three decades through the University of Arizona’s Astronomy Camp to educate and involve more than 1500 students, teachers and adults in astronomy and the scientific method using authentic inquiry; and for expanding the model internationally through the Tecnológico de Monterrey.
2011 Grace Deming For providing us with the Astronomy Diagnostic Test, the first means within our discipline to assess the success of our instruction, and convincing the astronomical community of the importance of assessment.
2010 Philip M. Sadler For a lifetime of devotion to a research-based approach to better understand the nature of teaching and learning in K-12 and college-level astronomy.
2009 Mary Kay Hemenway For her leadership and dedication to astronomy education and improvement of K-20 science education at the state and national level throughout her career.
2008 James B. Kaler For significant contributions to many aspects of astronomy education throughout his entire career.
2007 Keith S. Noll For his creation and leadership of the Hubble Heritage Project of the Space Telescope Science Institute.
2006 Sidney Wolff For her extraordinary commitment to science education throughout her career, beginning with authoring an introductory textbook, and culminating in the first professional, refereed, astronomy education journal, the “Astronomy Education Review”, which has become a highly-valued and influential communication channel for astronomy educators.
2005 Laurence A. Marschall For his worldwide contribution to the education of astronomy students through the creation and guidance of the Contemporary Laboratory Experiences in Astronomy project, with a clear vision of the needs of the community and an uncompromising fidelity in the simulation of observational research.
2004 Owen Gingerich For his inspirational teaching of Harvard undergraduates for 35 years.
2003 Jay M. Pasachoff For his eloquent and informative writing of textbooks from junior high through college.
2002 Michael Zeilik For the past thirty years, being an innovator in the field of astronomy education and science education more generally.
2001 Frank D. Drake For his inspiration and leadership in many areas of education and public outreach in astronomy.

The AAS-Annenberg Prize was awarded annually for five years in recognition of outstanding contributions to science education through astronomy. The Education Prize was established in lieu of the Annenberg Prize in 2000.

1996 Fred Hoyle
1995 Donald Goldsmith
1994 Andrew Fraknoi
1993 Dorrit Hoffleit
1992 Carl Sagan