Pamela’s Travels: ASP-EPO

Star Stryder (a.k.a., Dr. Pamela Gay) is in Chicago for the Astronomical Society of the Pacific’s 2007 Annual Conference: EPO and a Changing World: Creating Linkages and Expanding Partnerships.

This national conference will focus on building and supporting a vibrant and connected community of individuals and groups engaged in educational and public outreach (EPO) in the disciplines of astronomy, astrobiology, space, and earth science.”

Last year I had the opportunity to speak in public school classrooms a few times, usually with the aid of a solar telescope.  The feedback I got from those sessions was wonderful. Generally the kids were engaged and interested in “space stuff”. Of course, I got all kinds of questions about aliens and UFOs, but I also got questions about the life and death of stars, how nebulae form, and what quasars are.

Pamela blogged about listening to astronaut George “Pinky” Nelson on things that need to happen for education to be made more effective.   One thing that is consistently brought up is more hands-on activities.  My comment on her post was that elementary, middle and high school educators need to reach out to the amateur astronomy community, and the amateur astronomy community needs to reach out to the schools.

So… what have you done to help your local schools teach astronomy?

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