Education and Outreach Schedule

CASCA 2013 Schedule for Education and Outreach

Education and Outreach
Location: Hennings 202 Chair: Jasper Wall
0830 Medupe, Thebe Astronomy Outreach and Education in South Africa: Lessons for Canada
0900 Morsink, Sharon Astronomy Education at the University of Alberta Observatory
  The University of Alberta recently built a new observatory located on the main university campus. The goal of this new observatory is to provide outreach programming to the community and to integrate the use of telescopes in our undergraduate astronomy courses. In this talk I will describe the observatory; discuss the problems associated with operating an observatory in the light-polluted Edmonton area; and show results from some of the observing projects done by undergraduate students during the 1.5 years that it has been operatin15
0915 Reid, Michael Lessons Learned from the Transit of Venus at Varsity Stadium
  On June 6, 2012, the Dunlap Institute and the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Toronto welcomed 6,000 people to Varsity Stadium to view the transit of Venus in person and on the jumbotron. Attracting so many people and providing a high-quality event for them was a major challenge. It required us to draw on resources we'd never contemplated using for a public outreach event. In this talk, I will detail the strategies we used in organizing this event, focusing on the crucial role of communications, and suggest strategies that might be transferable to other institutions hoping to host large outreach events.
0930 Donovan, Eric AuroraMAX!
  Donovan E., E. Spanswick, D. Chaddock, R. Chicoine, J. Pugsley, and P. Langlois AuroraMAX is a public outreach and education initiative that brings auroral images to the public in real time. AuroraMAX utilizes an observing station located just outside Yellowknife, Canada. The station houses a digital All-Sky Imager (ASI) that collects full-colour images of the night sky every six seconds. These images are then transmitted via satellite internet to our web server, where they are made instantly available to the public. Over the last three years this program has rapidly become one of the most successful outreach programs in the history of space science in Canada, with hundreds of thousands of distinct visitors to the CSA AuroraMAX website, thousands of followers on social media, and hundreds of newspaper, magazine, radio, and television spots. The project has expanded to include a high-resolution SLR delivering real-time auroral images (also from Yellowknife), as well as a program where astronauts on the ISS take pictures of the aurora with a handheld SLR. The objectives of AuroraMAX are public outreach and education. The ASI design, operation, and software were based on infrastructure that was developed for the highly successful ASI component of the NASA THEMIS mission as well as the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) Canadian GeoSpace Monitoring (CGSM) program. From an education and public outreach perspective, AuroraMAX is a single camera operating in the Canadian north. On the other hand, AuroraMAX is one of nearly 40 ASIs operating for science reasonsacross North America. The AuroraMAX camera produces data that is seamlessly integrated with the CGSM ASI data, and made widely available to the international space science community through open-access web and FTP sites. One of our objectives in the next few years is to incorporate some of the data from the THEMIS and CGSM imagers into the AuroraMAX system, to maximize viewing opportunities and generate more real-time data for public outreach. This is an exemplar of a program that promotes public interest in science, while at the same time producing highly valuable science data. AuroraMAX is a partnership between the CSA, Astronomy North, the City of Yellowknife, and the University of Calgary.