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Astronomical Society of the Pacific Newsletter
June 2013
 
  • Congressional Hearing about Proposed Cuts to NASA SMD EPO Funds
    • ASP Shares Formal Comments Expressing Concern Over GFY14 STEM Budget
    • New Annual Meeting Thread to Document NASA EPO Program Impacts
  • ASP Conference Series Celebrates 25th Anniversary
  • 125th Annual Meeting Updates
    • Sunday Science Talk on July 21
    • Public Science Talk on July 22
  • ASP FY12-13 Annual Report Now Available
  • 2013 GTTP Teacher Training Workshop July 20 & 21 – Workshop to Feature Lynne Moroney, Steve Howell
    • GTTP Scholarships for California Teachers Available – Deadline June 24
  • 2013 Bay Area Project ASTRO Workshop Aug 2 & 3 – Sign Up Today
  • 2013 Galileo Educator Network PDI  Sept 28 & 29 – Bringing Galileo, NASA, and the Next Generation Science Standards to Teachers

NEWS
 
U.S. House Convenes Hearing about GFY14 Proposed Cuts to NASA SMD EPO
 
Capitol Dome at nightIn early June, the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space and Technology convened a hearing to review the Obama Administration’s proposed cuts to NASA Science Mission Directorate (SMD), specifically its Education and Public Outreach (EPO) work. The budget proposal will drastically reduce NASA’s EPO efforts, resulting in the abrupt termination of all mission-based EPO efforts in NASA’s SMD. The ASP believes that this action will significantly damage STEM education efforts—just the opposite of what the Administration intends.
 
NASA’s SMD EPO partners with a national network of schools, colleges, museums, non-profit organizations and others, to leverage resources and achieve maximum impact for the benefit of the nation and its youth. Further, the agency and its partners understand that effective education does not occur solely in the classroom; NASA has effectively championed out-of-school experiences that complement formal learning in synergistic ways.
 
In the ASP’s view, these efforts already directly support the President’s national STEM goals. Most use capabilities unique to NASA that cannot be duplicated or disseminated by other agencies. Virtually all will be lost—overnight—under the current proposal.
 
We have called upon the Administration and policy makers to reconsider this plan, and work together with science agencies to craft a STEM education strategy that will build upon, leverage and strengthen existing and effective programs rather than dismantle them. In this way, we can collaboratively advance strategic STEM initiatives for the national good. We will provide current and future generations with the very best foundation to ensure their STEM-literacy, and we will create an education legacy worthy of our shared goals.
 
 
Make YOUR voices heard. Contact your elected officials and let them know that NASA SMD EPO funding IS making an impact in STEM learning and literacy.
 
 
 
[Image credit: Kevin Burkett/Flickr]
 

New Annual Meeting EPO thread: Documenting NASA EPO Impacts
 
The ASP wishes to provide an opportunity to showcase and codify the impacts, measurable metrics, lessons learned, and emerging best practices from nearly two decades of NASA-funded education, public outreach, and educational research and assessment—and the resulting impacts on science education generally, and STEM education in particular for continuing application. We invite all NASA-funded EPO practitioners to submit abstracts reporting on program metrics and impacts in support of this thread.
 
 

ASP Conference Series Celebrates 25th Anniversary
 
ASPCS staff
In 1988, Harold McNamara, professor of astronomy at Brigham Young University and editor of the Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (PASP) for 20 years, shepherded a new ASP enterprise to its first product: a volume of the proceedings of a scientific conference titled “Progress and Opportunities in Southern Hemisphere Optical Astronomy: The CTIO 25th Anniversary Symposium.”
 
 
[Photo, left to right: Harold McNamara, J. Ward Moody, Jonathan Barnes, Pepita Ridgeway, Blaine Haws, Joe Jensen. (Not pictured: Cindy Moody.) Credit: James Manning.]

Back then, the CTIO (Cerro-Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile) was celebrating the 25th anniversary. This year, we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the birth of the ASP Conference Series (ASPCS), providing a low-cost and expeditiously published avenue for documenting and distributing the proceedings of scientific and related conferences, symposia, colloquia, and meetings.
 
Current editor Jensen and his able staff (including Jonathan Barnes, Cindy Moody, Pepita Ridgeway and Blaine Haws) continue to advance the ASP’s goals and to build upon the legacies of editors McNamara and Moody and their staff members by continuing to refine and expand the services provided through the ASPCS, focusing on the goals of timely publishing, streamlining the process for authors and editors, and maintaining the high quality of its products.
 
Their good work shows: in addition to publishing about 20 volumes annually, the Conference Series web site last year alone was visited 100,000 times by more than 60,000 unique visitors from 156 different countries. So, happy anniversary to the ASP Conference Series!  We thank editors and staff—past and present—for their excellent work and dedication. And may the enterprise begun in 1988 continue to serve the ASP’s professional constituencies and advance our mission for many more years to come!
 
 
125th Annual Meeting Update
Ensuring STEM Literacy
                             July 20-24, 2013 • San Jose, CA
 
 
As our marquee Annual Meeting approaches, we are pleased and excited by the both the quantity and quality of contributions and commitment from plenary speakers, workshops presenters, abstract submitters, sponsors, and exhibitors. We thank everyone for their patience and flexibility as we organize what promises to be an outstanding E/PO Meeting and Cosmos in the Classroom Symposium.
 
 
Be sure not to miss the Sunday Science Talk series, taking place on July 21st, in the Music Building on SJSU campus. This event is open to the public and free of charge, and will include Dr. Lloyd Knox from UC Davis, Dr. Christopher McKay from NASA Ames and Brian Day from NASA Lunar Science Institute.
 
We are also organizing a Public Science Talk on Monday evening, July 22 at 7:30 pm which will feature Dr. Alex Filippenko, Professor of Astronomy, UC Berkeley. The event will not be ticketed, with seating on a first come, first served basis.
 

Annual Meeting Sponsors and Exhibitors
 
The ASP is truly fortunate in the diversity of our Annual Meeting sponsors and exhibitors – and we could not succeed without them. Their investment puts vital learning tools and training in the hands of science educators and public outreach professionals from across the country. Vital because while “science literacy” no doubt means something different to everyone, we can all probably agree about what the world would look like in its absence. So thank you AAS, JPL, SOFIA, Lockheed Martin, Evans & Sutherland, NRAO, Sapling Learning, Cengage, Pearson, Southern Stars/SkyCube, and Rice Space Institute.
 
 
ASP FY12-13 Annual Report Now Available
 
The ASP Staff and Board of Directors are pleased to present the organization’s FY12-132 Annual Report. With tremendous thanks to our generous members, donors and funders, the ASP can look back with pride, look ahead with excitement, and thrive all year long!
 

EDUCATION & OUTREACH
 
2013 GTTP Teacher Training Workshop July 20 & 21 – registration now open
 
Cathy in the classroom making a cometGalileo Teacher Training Program (GTTP): Galileo Looks Beyond to Other Worlds
A hands-on astronomy workshop for teachers in Grades 3–12 and those who work with them
 
 
$75 Early Bird Rate (through May 15)
$95 Regular Rate (May 16–July 5)
$125 Onsite Registration (July 20)
*For both days (includes The Universe at Your Fingertips 2.0 DVD, a $30 value).
 
Space is limited and registrations are accepted in the order received.
 
WHEN: Saturday and Sunday, July 20–21, 2013, 8:30 am–5:00 pm
WHERE: Clark Hall on the Campus of San Jose State University
 
 
 
GTTP Scholarships for California Teachers Available – Deadline June 24
 
The California Space Grant Coalition has award the ASP with funds to underwrite a limited number of scholarships for California teachers to attend the ASP’s GTTP Workshop in San Jose, July 20 & 21. For consideration, grade 3-12 teachers may send an email with the information below to gttp@astrosociety.org:
  1. Name
  2. Name of your school
  3. Location of your school
  4. Grade(s) you teach
  5. Estimated percentage of students in your class who receive free lunch
  6. Estimated percentage of underrepresented students of color in your class
Email Deadline: June 24
 
 
2013 Bay Area Project ASTRO Workshop – Aug 2 & 3
 
Project ASTRO is a program that matches teachers with astronomers in Bay Area schools and community organizations. Project ASTRO is looking for 3rd–9th grade teachers to work with volunteer astronomers who have a keen interest in sharing the wonders of astronomy with students. Together, teachers and their astronomer partner attend a free 2-­day summer workshop to learn hands-­on, inquiry-­based astronomy activities designed to involve students in the excitement of scientific discovery.
 
Audience: Teachers in grades 3–9; volunteer astronomers with a passion for sharing their love of astronomy
Date: Friday, August 2 / Saturday, August 3; 9:00am – 4:30pm (attendance on both days is required)
Location: San Mateo County Office of Education, 101 Twin Dolphin Drive, Redwood City, CA
Cost: FREE
 
Thanks to Lockheed Martin and California Space Grant Consortium for their financial support of Bay Area Project ASTRO!
 
 
 
2013 Galileo Educator Network PDI: Sept 28 & 29 – Bringing Galileo, NASA, and the Next Generation Science Standards to Teachers
 
Astronomy Professional Development for Teacher Leaders, Teacher Educators, and Professional Development Providers: A NASA Galileo Educator Network (GEN) Professional Development Institute (PDI) presented by the ASP and partners.
 
Become a NASA Galileo Educator Fellow through this 15-hour Professional Development Institute (PDI) for teacher leaders, teacher educators, and PD providers. The Galileo Educator Network PDI emphasizes the integration of science content, science practices, and the nature of science as outlined in the national Framework for K–12 Science Education. Our goals include preparing participants to deliver their own GEN professional development to assist K–12 teachers with the implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards, in the context of astronomy and space science.
 
Dates: Saturday–Sunday, September 28–29, 2013, 8:30 am–4:30 pm
Location: Orlando Science Center, Orlando, Florida
Cost: FREE for accepted participants
 
 

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