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NEWS and PROJECTS  (updated August 4th, 2013)

Outreach Lessons offered this Fall to focus on CHANGING SOLAR PATH:
I'm working with teachers at several Eugene-Springfield metro area schools
to develop an inquiry program for students to investigate why days are getting
shorter, the most obvious sky change occurring the next two months.  The lessons are designed to also tie into basic Earth in Space (rotation/orbit) study, and the popular science kit lesson, Measuring Time.  We construct and use a sundial made from a paper plate, a lump of clay, and a piece of dry pesto macaroni.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITY:

Oregon Science Teachers Association (OSTA) annual conference: This will be held with the National Science Teachers Association Conference in Portland.  I won't be participating this year.

PMO SUMMER RESEARCH CAMP:   The 2013 camp concluded in July, apparently went well.  Please contact Professor Rick Watkins, rwatkins@willamette.edu, for info and to enroll for participation in 2014.

SCIENCE INQUIRY VOCABULARY
I'd like to continue with this and to write some reading samples about astrophysical topics particularly for K-4 level.  Please contact me with questions and ideas.

OUTREACH PROGRAM WILL BE REDUCED, NEEDS SUPPORT!
The outreach program can help teachers to develop science inquiry and engineering design tasks, provide content guidelines, resources, and lesson plans about space science/earth science, and restore science lessons for elementary students. 
We can tailor the program to meet specific curricula even outside of science, and to specific grade level needs. 
The outreach program continues to suffer from lack of fiscal backing.  Even with all the rhetoric from authorities about how important STEM training and skills are, exactly what this program offers, plus the direct correlation to increased student awareness about technology/large scale environment/significance of space programs, something that NASA and associated organizations desire, neither NASA nor any academic institutions have offered any consistent support for the program. 
UO may be able to reestablish some funding later this schoolyear.
To contain my costs, this Fall I'll concentrate my program on Eugene/Springfield metro area schools and probably visit a handful of other schools that invite me and that can provide travel compensation.  I will continue to try to locate teachers of all grades who are interested in the programs.  UO is developing some new science inquiry tools and we'll try to place these in classrooms. 
Please contact me if you'd like me to visit your classroom.

If you are a potential donor/underwriter, I'd be glad to discuss the program with you and to arrange a suitable method to receive/manage/disburse your contribution.  To maximize effectiveness and minimize taxes, what we really need is a way to reimburse auto rental/mileage, fuel, motel, and restaurant charges.

Don't hesitate to contact me if you'd like an outreach visit or just have a question about space/the sky.  epoguy@gmail.com

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Original info posted at this sublink, updated April, 2011:

2009 was the INTERNATIONAL YEAR of ASTRONOMY (IYA), celebrated
400 years since Galileo first turned a telescope on the sky.  There will
be some residual activities going on in 2011 and even beyond.

The star, Epsilon Aurigae  is under close observation by many amateur
and professional astrophysicists.  This star is predicted to
change brightness as the disk of dust and gas that we think
surrounds this star interacts with the star.   One event has already
been observed.
See the
Campaign 2009 site and the March issue of Sky & Telescope magazine for details (updated model has been created from the data accumulated over past three years).

You can order a GalileoScope, a slightly improved version
of the refractor Galileo used, this device has been designed by
educators for students and public to introduce as many people as
possible to actual telescopic views of Moon and Planets (DON'T EVER
VIEW THE SUN !!!) See
http://www.galileoscope.org/ for details.
Very reasonably priced, easy to assemble, can be dis-assembled
for classroom instruction in optics.

See more info, featured topics and objects to study and observe each
month, and projects and resources for students at:
NASA IYA Website, and at the Astronomical Society of Pacific IYA website, contacts listed there. 

The Boston Globe posted a series of spectacular Solar closeup images
at their
http://bigpicture website.  FYI, the site does include quite a few
comments by readers, including  a debate about religion,
you may want to preview this if your group is sensitive about the topic.
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TUTORIALS ABOUT SOLAR SYSTEM and LIGHT POLLUTION plus way cool LIGHT POLLUTION SIMULATOR
from International Darksky Association
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WORKSHOPS - PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT for all seasons:


In Oregon, check local sources like ESDs for workshops.  I'll post info about
astronomy workshops on the website here.

We don't have funding for a Teacher STEM Workshop for Summer, 2012, but Professor Carr and Professor Bothun are still trying to look for ways to fund future workshops like we've held at PMO most summers. 

One of the key issues is lack of communication with Science Teachers statewide, there isn't a "clearinghouse" for this kind of information, where all Science Teachers, K-12, regularly search for information.  For example, the workshop held last summer in McMinnville, at the Evergreen Air and Space Museum, seemed impossible to publicize to teachers statewide, attendance was very low.

We are trying to develop demand info for a Professional Development workshop about astrophysics/astronomy within the Science Inquiry framework,
along the lines of our prior Summer events, if you're interested in any type of
workshop about aspects of astronomy and astrophysics, please contact
Rick (rkang@efn.org) so we can get a tally so that
Professor Bothun can get some leverage for funding.  Thanks! 
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Our hemispheric projects have terminated due to lack of interest.

I did propose a project on the National Lab Day website about finding asteroids using images taken from the Sierra Stars Observatories Network (SSON), but NLD buried the information in the site, and there haven't been any takers so far.  If you're interested, let me know, I still have several minutes of telescope time prepaid with SSON that I'd be willing to donate to a student interested in trying a project.


 
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