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Programs

EDUCATION & OUTREACH

Current ASP Programs-at-a-Glance

The heart and soul of the ASP’s mission is connecting astronomy to people, connecting people to learning opportunities, and building bridges between teachers and students – no matter what the classroom looks like: school, museum, planetarium, national park, state park, nature center, astronomy club, city sidewalk, online, backyard.

We invite you to browse this section and discover the breadth and depth of the current ASP’s education efforts. Explore our diverse programs and resources and see how they can help you better understand and share the wonder of astronomy as the gateway to science literacy.


New! Astronomy @ Home

The ASP has long provided educators, outreach coordinators, and amateur astronomers with astronomy-focused activities, workshops, webinars, and toolkits to share their passion for astronomy and promote science literacy. We are now offering Astronomy @ Home for families of all ages with a weekly Storytime, activities for ages 3-15, and a lecture series for all!

We’re excited to launch this free project with our weekly Live Storytime! We hope that you enjoy this weekly series and sign up to be notified of our upcoming Astronomy @ Home events and activities coming soon!


Amateur Astronomers

  • The NASA Night Sky Network is a community of more than 450 astronomy clubs across the U.S. that share their time and telescopes to engage the public with unique astronomy experiences. The ASP provides training and materials to enhance clubs outreach activities, and inspires more than four million people through their participation in 30,000+ events.

  • The ASP is partnered on a NASA project to create new astronomy badges for Girl Scouts, connect them with their local astronomy clubs, and train amateur astronomers to make their outreach more girl-friendly. The ASP also connects adult Girl Scout volunteers to NASA’s Night Sky Network (NSN), a community comprised of hundreds of amateur astronomy clubs across the country.


Informal Educators

  • Big Astronomy: People, Places, Discoveries delivers a unique learning experience for planetarium visitors around the world by integrating virtual interactions with those living and working at Chilean observatories with curricular resources and a planetarium show. Informal Science activities created by the ASP were released in September of 2020 to accompany the multilingual Big Astronomy: People, Places, Discoveries planetarium show debuting September 26, 2020. Part of an NSF grant using community science to expand public exposure to science concepts and increase science literacy.

  • Through an NSF grant, we have created a set of research-based, science-rich astronomy activities that are engaging and developmentally appropriate for pre-K aged children, and trained hundreds of educators at museums, parks, and libraries across the U.S. on how to effectively engage their youngest visitors (ages 3 – 5) in astronomy.

  • AFGU provides informal science educators and interpreters with new and innovative ways to communicate astronomy. AFGU is a growing community of hundreds of educators from museums, science centers, nature centers, and parks around the U.S., who are actively enhancing and expanding their capacity to address astronomy topics for their visitors.


Higher Education/Early Professionals

  • The AAS Astronomy Ambassadors Program provides training and mentoring experiences for early-career astronomers interested in public engagement. The American Astronomical Society (AAS) has partnered with the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP) on this program, which involves a series of professional-development workshops and a community of practice designed to help improve participants' communication skills and effectiveness in doing outreach with students and the general public.

  • OTSF is a research-to-practice National Science Foundation (NSF) project led by the ASP, in collaboration with Oregon State University, the Portal to the Public Network via the Institute for Learning Innovation, and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO). Over four years, we are developing a set of on-the-spot feedback strategies and professional development experiences to help early-career research scientists with their public engagement activities, including with regard to effectively communicating science, monitoring audience interest and understanding, and using this information to make improvements to their outreach.


The Teacher Learning Center (K – 12)

  • Developed in 2009 for the International Year of Astronomy, the Galileoscope has become the centerpiece for teaching about telescopes in many programs. As a key component of the Galileo Teacher Training Program, the Astronomical Society of the Pacific engaged hundreds of educators in professional development related to telescopes and the Galileoscope.

  • Project PLANET leverages resources developed as a part of the My Sky Tonight project to explore their usefulness in a formal, classroom setting.

  • Discover more about this popular program and how it put amateur astronomers into the classroom.

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