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ASP E-Newsletter


May 2012

Please Help Make Our Spring 2012 Fund Drive a Success!

ASP in Washington DC!

ASP Annual Meeting Update.

Dare to Share the Next Solar Flare!

ASP Helps Astronomy Clubs Replace Challenge with Opportunity.



kids using solar glasses
Image courtesy Charlie Elliot

Please Help Make Our Spring 2012 Fund Drive a Success!

The ASP wishes to thank our generous donors who contributed to the success of our 2012 Spring Fund Drive. As the campaign winds down, there is still time to help us reach our goal! Please click here to lend your support to fostering scientific curiosity, advancing science literacy and inspiring tomorrow’s science, technology and academic leaders!

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James Manning at the ASP exhibit

parent and child look at exhibit

kids at exhibit

ASP in Washington DC!

Staff from ASP, including executive director Jim Manning, interacted with more than 35,000 scientifically curious girls and boys and their families who explored the 2nd Annual USA Science & Engineering Festival in our Nation’s Capital, April 27-29. Through games, hands-on demonstrations and many, many conversations with diverse Festival participants, the ASP shared the wonder and excitement of astronomy!

While in DC, ASP staff also met with Congressional leaders to discuss federal funding challenges relating to NASA’s education office, NSF programs and STEM initiatives. ASP outreach has relied in part on funding from these sources to further our mission for the benefit of tomorrow’s science, technology and education leaders.

While the federal budget is being finalized, you may wish to contact your representatives in the House and Senate and communicate your support for needed funds in the area of science education. Please follow the links below to locate your Congressional representatives:

U.S. Senate
U.S. House of Representatives

Thank you!

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ASP meeting logo

ASP Annual Meeting Update

With more than 150 abstracts submitted so far, the ASP is looking forward to a robust Annual Meeting in Tucson, “Communicating Science,” August 4-9!

Abstract authors will be notified later this month re their submissions. In the meantime, late abstract submissions are still being welcomed (and will be considered on a space-available basis), with the following two deadlines:

  • May 21 - for SIG discussion sessions, 1-hour workshops, and 10-minutes orals
  • June 11 - for poster presentations

In other Meeting news, we are excited to announce the Doomsday 2012 plenary panel participants: Kristine Larsen, Bryan Mendez, David Morrison, Mark Van Stone and Andrew Fraknoi (moderator).

The keynote plenary will address Science Misconceptions, and will be a panel featuring Page Keeley and others.

ASP 2012 Annual Meeting: Communicating Science

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Gordon Myers with kids
ASP Board Member Gordon Myers joined ASP Educators, Suzy Gurton and Vivian White at the California Academy of Sciences on Astronomy Day. Credit: Vivian White

family campout
The Brazos Region Astronomy Service Society handed out star charts, did solar viewing and then had a star party for families at the Bryan Parks Family Campout. Credit: Dennis Utley

Dare to Share the Next Solar Flare!

The ASP informal education team created hundreds of “Our Magnetic Sun” Outreach ToolKits for amateur astronomers, museum educators, and regional and national park interpreters. Activities and demonstrations range from explaining the science behind solar features to discovering that most of the energy on Earth originates from the Sun. Astronomy From the Ground Up (AFGU) will train almost 100 park rangers and museum educators (they'll become Sky Rangers after the workshop!) on how to use the kit through a two-week interactive online workshop and NASA Night Sky Network astronomy clubs will have many opportunities to the kit at all of the summer solar observing events.

Here's a quote from an AFGU Sky Ranger:

"Really enjoyed the video chat today and last week. Very helpful and informative!! Thanks so much!! Also, thank you for the incredible Magnetic Sun Toolkit. It contains everything I will need (and more) for an interesting solar astronomy program at my state park. I'm thinking that a lot of work and imagination went into making these kits. I really appreciate the effort you folks make and the support."
- Doug Rich, Evening Program Volunteer, Baxter State Park, Hampden, ME 

Astronomy clubs will be holding events for the Annular Solar Eclipse on May 20th and the Transit of Venus on June 5th -- please spread the word! Find your local astronomy club and enjoy these videos to find out more about these events. 

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Marni at the ASP exhibit
ASP Education Project Coordinator, Marni Berendsen, and Jim Small from the St. Louis Astronomical Society

ASP Helps Astronomy Clubs Replace Challenge with Opportunity

The ASP’s booth at the Northeast Astronomy Forum (NEAF) in Suffern, NY had a steady stream of visitors attracted by the colorful Night Sky Network banners and fascinating activities on display. Marni Berendsen of the ASP and Jim Small of the St. Louis Astronomical Society tag-teamed in the booth to demonstrate activities and showcase the club management services available on the Night Sky Network.

On Sunday, April 29, Marni and Jim were joined by Skip Bird of the Westminster Astronomical Society (Maryland) to give a talk to over 100 NEAF attendees titled “Ten Common Challenges Astronomy Clubs Face and the Keys to Solving Them.” The audience was almost exclusively astronomy club members. Many visited our booth afterwards to express their thanks for the understanding that they are not alone in the challenges they face when managing their clubs. They were excited about the services available through the Network and were interested in support for getting their club set up on the Network.

We received an email a week later:

I really enjoyed the talk about the Night Sky Network. There is an informal group of us that observe at a nearby state park... We do outreach events there through the park but we really are not very well coordinated... Right now we do everything through a listserve and I think the NSN would really help us out and take things to the next level. 

We have established a team of six Network coaches who have been trained to provide tips on the use and adoption of Network services. They are following up with all the contacts we made at NEAF to see how they might assist the clubs with making lasting changes that can ease the challenges of club management. 

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kid wearing spacesuit

Help foster scientific curiosity, science literacy and the joy of exploration & discovery through astronomy … for tomorrow’s science, technology and academic leaders! Share the gift of membership in the ASP!


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Sunspotter solar telescope

Get ready for the transit of Venus June 5/6!

Sunspotter Solar Telescope

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Travel with the ASP


Courtesy of MWT Associates

Join us on our tour of Australia for the 2012 total eclipse.
November 2012

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astronomy tours

ASP Legacy Giving

Astronomy compels the soul to look upwards and leads us from this world to another
-- Plato

Leave a universal legacy...

Astronomy shows us that we are part of something much greater than ourselves, and that our actions on earth have a lasting impact. A legacy gift to ASP as part of your estate plan reflects this understanding, and will support future generations as they reach for the stars.

ASP Legacy Giving



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