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NEWS and PROJECTS  (updated June 22nd, 2014 - finally!)

Outreach Lessons offered this Fall continue to focus on CHANGING SOLAR PATH:
We construct and use a sundial made from a paper plate, a lump of clay, and a piece of dry pesto macaroni, this project is suitable for almost all grade levels and is the basis for lessons about time, Earth's motions in space, geography, and can be extended to the Reasons for Seasons.  The lesson involves some Engineering Design and a lot of Science Inquiry.


Oregon Science Teachers Association (OSTA) annual conference: This will be
held in Portland (Gresham High School), but  I won't be participating this year.

PMO SUMMER RESEARCH CAMP:   Please contact Professor Rick Watkins, rwatkins@willamette.edu, for info and to enroll for participation in 2014.

SCIENCE INQUIRY VOCABULARY for Astrophysical topics:
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.
There is great need for current written information about astrophysical discoveries that is suitable for lower grade levels (and also for older students and adults!), the jargon needs to be distilled and defined.  I'll try to work on this later this year, if you need some reading material for your classroom don't hesitate to contact me, I can help you find some and/or write some.

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 except for a recent small allocation of dollars from University of Oregon's STEMCORE program. 

I thank Dr. Bryan Rebar and his STEMCORE team for allocating the funds.  These dollars have allowed me to make a series of trips around the State the past three months, and a balance should fund some outreach trips this Fall.  I understand how important a free visit is to making this program work for you.
Please contact me if you'd like me to visit your classroom this Fall.

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 rather than a lump sum that would be taxable.

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

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.

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
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.
from International Darksky Association (IDA) (some of these links may be
dead, but if you look up IDA you'll probably locate the replacement links).

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, 2014, but Professor Carr and Professor Bothun and I are all 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 several years ago 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!