Outreach 1: Getting Started with Outreach

Uploaded by NightSkyNetwork on 19.02.2010

Hi, I'm Joan Graham, your guide to Sharing the Universe
our series of outreach training videos
produced by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
In this episode, Getting Started with Outreach,
We explore deep philosophical questions
like, why do outreach in the first place?
What are the personal benefits of doing outreach?
What are the benefits to my astronomy club?
If I do outreach and no one comes, is it still outreach?
Well hold on to your hats, because we're going to give
you some great tips on how to get involved.
But first, let's ask some amateur astronomers why they enjoy
sharing the universe with the public:
The public wants to hear it. And they want to hear it at all ages.
The gasp’s and the “Oh cool!” are awesome!
It’s a way to learn, for myself
It helps our club grow. And it helps our mission.
If you’re interested in Astronomy, share it!
The things we do for ourselves die with us,
but the goodness we do for others goes on and lasts after us.
These amateur astronomers have concluded that sharing the universe
with the public is the coolest thing you can do to contribute to your community,
make you a superhero, and boost your ego.
Okay, but where do you begin? Getting started with outreach is easy: a great
first step is to attend one of your club's public events.
See for yourself what goes on! You can just attend -
you don't have to present anything. Don't be scared.
Go in disguise, like me.
Once you see how excited the visitors are - those wow! moments
when they learn about the night sky - you'll want to get involved as well.
But maybe you're asking yourself, "What can I do?
What can I offer visitors? I can't speak for the universe!"
Well, you can have a role even if you don't bring a telescope
You can take photos of your club's events. Point out constellations.
Greet visitors and hand out star maps. Display an astronomy poster.
Show your collection of astro-photos or your model of the lunar module
Soon you'll get the bug for outreach too.
But if outreach is so much fun,
why isn't every amateur astronomer doing it already? Let's see:
I'm too shy to stand up in front of a group.
What if people ask me a question I can't answer?
My telescope is too small.
I don't know how to talk to kids
But, don't you have 3 kids of your own?
I hate questions about UFOs and faking the Apollo mission, aliens--
Even I get bored when I talk.
I don't know where to start! I don't know what to say!
Fear not, amateur astronomers, you're in the right place.
Sharing the Universe is a series of videos that address these concerns
and give you easy-to-follow tutorials to walk you through many
outreach scenarios. Put your worries aside and keep watching!
Just remember, no matter your experience level,
you can make an important contribution to astronomy outreach.
Why not take the first step and attend your club's next public astronomy event?
You'll see that it's not so scary.
In addition to these videos, you can get a lot more ideas
to help you get started sharing the universe at
Feel free to send this video to all your friends and colleagues.
Thank you for listening, and be sure to check out the full set
Sharing the Universe outreach training videos for
more tips on successful public outreach.