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AAS Astronomy Ambassadors Workshop

Workshop for Early-Career AAS Members:
Resources & Techniques for Effective Outreach to Students & the Public

3 & 4 January 2017, 8:30 am to 6:00 pm (3 Jan.), 12:45 to 5:30 pm (4 Jan.)
Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center, Grapevine, Texas

"It's nice to be in touch with a regular group of people who are dedicated to bringing astronomy into the lives of the public."

"It was really helpful to see things demonstrated during the workshop, not just written on a page."

"The workshop showed me the difference between having your audience participate and having them just sit and listen."

Comments from past AAS Astronomy Ambassadors workshop participants

We invite graduate students, recent PhD’s, and even advanced undergraduates who are sure they will be pursuing an astronomy career to join the AAS Astronomy Ambassadors program, established to support early-career AAS members interested in doing outreach to K-12 students, families, and the public. With a total solar eclipse crossing the continental United States on 21 August, public interest in astronomy will be "off the charts" in 2017; here's your opportunity to learn effective approaches to capitalize on this interest and inspire the next generation of astronomers.

The AAS Astronomy Ambassadors Program is offering a two-day workshop at the 229th AAS meeting in Grapevine, Texas, 3-4 January 2017, during which you will:

  • Learn strategies and techniques to improve your presentation skills;
  • Learn to communicate more effectively with public and school audiences;
  • Learn to reach your audiences with personal stories, hands-on activities, and jargon-free language;
  • Learn to find outreach opportunities and establish ongoing partnerships with schools, museums, parks, and/or community centers in your area;
  • Gain access to a menu of outreach resources that work in a variety of settings;
  • Become part of an active community of astronomers who do outreach (with mentorship available);
  • Have one night's lodging and two days' lunches provided.

Note that because of the New Year's Day holiday and the unusual schedule for the meeting, the workhop will be held on Tuesday & Wednesday, 3 & 4 January, which means there will be some overlap with science sessions on Wednesday.

Participation in the program includes:

  • A few hours of pre-workshop online activities to help us get to know your needs;
  • The two-day workshop at the 229th AAS meeting in Grapevine, Texas;
  • Ongoing online support and discussion with your trainers and with fellow Astronomy Ambassadors;
  • Certification as an AAS Astronomy Ambassador, once you have logged three successful outreach events.

The workshop includes presenters from the American Astronomical Society, the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, and the Pacific Science Center.

Participants will include graduate students, postdocs and new faculty in their first two years after receipt of their PhD, and advanced undergraduates doing research and committed to continuing in astronomy. Early-career astronomers who are interested in doing outreach, but who haven't done much yet, are encouraged to apply; we will have sessions appropriate for both those who have done some outreach already and those just starting their outreach adventures. We especially want to encourage the participation of members of groups that are presently underrepresented in science. If you’re interested and are not yet a member of the AAS, you may submit a membership application at the same time as you apply for the workshop and register for the meeting.

The number of participants is limited, and the application requires consent from your department chair.

To apply for the Grapevine workshop, please complete the online application and commitment & endorsement form by Monday, 31 October 2016.

Apply Online