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2013 EPO Meeting Overview and Abstract Submission Guidelines


Abstract submissions being accepted through May 24 on a “space available” basis.

Please follow this link to the ASP 2013 Annual Meeting registration page

Professionals working in EPO (education & public outreach) and science communication in astronomy, earth and space science, and related fields, are invited to consider how best to share the results of their work with each other and the public, how to improve their practice, and how to make connections across science disciplines. Much of the Meeting will be in the format of hands-on sessions, where we will practice effective techniques for sharing and discussing our work.

Conference participants will include scientists, NASA- and NSF-funded EPO program professionals, K-12 teachers, university educators, informal educators (from museums, planetariums, parks and other venues), public communicators, web masters, bloggers, science writers, and other EPO professionals.

The Meeting Program Committee is arranging plenary speakers and panels to complement the conference sessions. The committee is also organizing concurrent special sessions (one hour workshop and/or discussion formats) to tackle “hot topics” with greater opportunity for audience participation. Suggestions on plenary and special sessions can be brought to the attention of program committee members by emailing Greg Schultz at: gschultz {at}

Please also note Annual Meeting special events including an educator’s workshop (July 20 & 21), Supporters Luncheon (July 22), ASP 2013 Awards Banquet (July 23), Closing Ceremony, and other networking opportunities!

EPO Conference Abstract Threads – Ensuring STEM Literacy through:

21st Century Media and Technology
Multicultural and Cross-Cultural Initiatives
Addressing Misconceptions & Conceptual Change
Evaluating and Assessing EPO Programs and Products
Using Authentic Science and Citizen Science
Improving Our Professional Practice

The ASP EPO Program Committee welcomes four kinds of abstracts:

I. Poster Papers. These can discuss educational research, evaluation results, innovative EPO ideas, new media strategies, or other projects, programs, initiatives, results and lessons learned.

II. Ten-minute Oral Presentations. Likewise, these can discuss educational research, evaluation results, innovative EPO ideas, new media strategies, etc. — but in a tight eight-minute presentation focusing on announcements, key points, and references for further investigation. Two minutes should be saved for Q&A with the audience.

III. Hands-on Workshops/Sessions, one hour duration. These sessions showcase techniques, approaches or materials that impact significantly on our EPO audiences. We expect more workshop proposals than we have time, so try to make your proposal as useful and hands-on as possible. Including colleagues from other institutions is always a plus. The program committee much prefers sessions that are participatory and allow attendees to learn new skills.

IV. Special Interest Group (SIG) Discussions, One hour duration. These bring together EPO conference participants with a common interest, for discussion under the leadership of a facilitator. Groups might focus on specific EPO audiences (e.g. afterschool programs), communication strategies (e.g. new media), challenges (e.g. collecting evaluation data), or science content areas (e.g. climate change). We encourage you to nominate one or more facilitators when you propose such a session.

Please note the following character limits:

  • Abstract – 1000 characters (approximately 200 words)
  • Outcomes – 500 characters (approximately 100 words)
  • Title – 100 characters (approximately 20 words)

Feel free to compose your submission in a word-processing program and then copy it onto the online form. Be mindful that exceeding the character limits above will result in truncated text.

Anyone who submits an abstract as lead author, and is accepted, is required to register in advance for the conference. If circumstances arise that prevent your participation, you will be asked either to have an alternative lead presenter register and attend the conference, or to retract your abstract.

ASP Annual Meetings feature ongoing networking and discussions so we strongly encourage successful submitters to be present for the entire event.

Abstract submissions being accepted through May 24 on a “space available” basis.

Abstract Format Options and Details

The ASP Meeting centers around sharing the good work we are doing with others in the field. The Program Committee feels that poster papers are generally the best way to do a straightforward show-and-tell. So if you simply wish to describe your program or materials, please give strong consideration to doing a well-designed poster.

Posters should fit within an area of 4 feet by 4 feet. Electrical power is not available, and there are no tables below your poster, so you will want to arrange everything to fit within the area of the poster itself. Time will be set aside each day for viewing poster papers only, and authors will be asked to stand by their posters during this time.

Special oral sessions will feature poster paper authors introducing the topic of their poster for up to one minute to whet the audience’s appetite. Please practice so you can fit your remarks into one minute (we will have a merciless master of ceremonies)!

The 10-minute oral option may be an appropriate alternative to the poster. This presentation format is suitable for short summaries of programs, experiences, evaluation results, research findings, or ideas to share which include a series of visuals or slides.

A one-hour workshop is recommended if you:

  • Have developed an innovative program, set of materials, or technique for which a longer hands-on participatory session is appropriate,
  • Are part of a consortium of institutions doing a national program for which you are seeking other participants or whose materials you want to train others to use,
  • Have a multi-institutional panel that illustrates different approaches to the same issue or technique,
  • Have a professional development experience you’d like to conduct for the assembled EPO community.

If you would like to see a facilitated discussion of an issue which affects a significant group of people in the field and for which many individuals may have found a different solution, we suggest you propose a one-hour special interest group discussion session. Special interest group meetings can be about a research area, new audiences, responding to some grant agency requirements, etc.

We have a limited number of slots for 1-hour workshops and special interest group discussions, so please make your abstract as clear and widely applicable as possible.

Limits on the Number of Submitted Abstracts

You may submit separate abstracts for both the EPO and Cosmos conferences, but they cannot be duplicates or virtually the same.

You may be the lead author on up to one poster paper and one oral session. Your oral session abstract can be for either a ten-minute oral paper presentation or an hour-long workshop or a special interest group discussion. Each conference’s program committee may arrange for special sessions that result in one or more lead authors exceeding the limits stated here for submitted abstracts.

We generally receive more good proposals for sessions than the Annual Meeting can accommodate. Thus the Program Committees may decline some proposals, or suggest that oral sessions be presented as posters instead.

Abstract submissions being accepted through May 24 on a “space available” basis.

How to Write Effective Abstract and Outcomes Statements

Ideal Abstract statements give a concise description of what you propose to do or say in your session or presentation, and best written so people not familiar with your work can understand it. It may contain a website URL for more information, although do not rely on a reader actually visiting that site before the meeting. The software being used for abstracts will truncate your text after the limit is reached, so please take the character limit seriously.

Your Outcomes statement should not be a continuation of your abstract. Instead, please explain what skills or information the participants in your session, or readers of your paper, will take away from the experience. You can use bullet points instead of complete sentences. For oral sessions, you may want to discuss how your contribution will move us forward as professionals, and what activities in our community of practice will result.

NOTE: When you submit an abstract, you will receive a receipt and a separate registration number for that abstract. Registering an abstract is NOT the same as registering for the conference. You will still need to register for the conference.


The ASP will publish proceedings through the ASP Conference Series as it has in past years, to provide a record of the conference and a ready reference for both those attending and those unable to attend. It also provides a publishing opportunity to all those submitting an abstract and making a presentation during the symposium. A copy of the proceedings is included as part of the registration fee.

Please visit the proceedings page. for submission and editorial details. Note the paper submission deadline of September 1, 2013, approximately five weeks after the conference.

Please direct any questions to 2013meeting {at}