In the past weeks, our team has been busy producing the Light Pollution brochure and getting ready to celebrate the International Day of Light. We’ve also been revamping our "new space" on the iau.org website for the office's projects, network, and team, and involved in the first official Inspiring Stars event to support accessibility and equal participation in science.
In this issue, we want to highlight the latest IAU Office of Astronomy for Development newsletter with some very cool news from the team, the Microfiches project, and raise awareness to the "Bring STEM to Puerto Rico Schools" project, where your support can make a difference.
Finally, we want to again express a special thank you to our translators who continually put so much effort into translating our newsletter into their languages, increasing its reach throughout their communities. Language can be a barrier, and our translators act as bridges to reach out further. We’d like to extend special thanks to Akihiko Tomita, Martin Pawley, Liliana Gracanin, Emílio Zuniga, Basilio Solís-Castillo, and others throughout the years.
Wishing you all Happy Reading & Clear Skies!
The IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach Team
1) Call for Proposals for Official Endorsement for IAU100 Special Projects
The IAU100 Task Force is issuing a call for proposals for Special Projects in support of IAU100 Goals at the local and national levels. An IAU100 Special Project is a highlighted astronomy-oriented activity that will support the IAU100 Goals under one or more of the IAU100 Flagship Programmes that will be implemented at local/national level. The IAU100 Task Force will provide seed money support up to 2500 EUR for the IAU100 Special Projects.
“Inspiring Stars” is an itinerant international exhibition promoted by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) to promote equal participation in science using astronomy. The exhibition will premiere during the IAU General Assembly 2018 in Austria, from 20 to 31 August that will be preceded by a launch on April 16, 2018, in Vienna. This pre-event event will gather 35 people from both the IAU and the Hilfsgemeinschaft, an Austrian non-profit-organisation that offers support to the blind and visually impaired. This first initiative in the local Austrian community will serve as incentive for the Austrian community to take part in the main "Inspiring Stars" event.
3) The IAU Office of Astronomy for Development Newsletter #20 is available online
The IAU OAD Newsletter #20 is now online. The newsletter is issued quarterly by the IAU Office of Astronomy for Development. Highlights of this issue include the launch of the European Regional Office of Astronomy for Development, jointly operated by the European Astronomical Society and Leiden University, the opening for abstract submission of the OAD session at SciDataCon, and the upcoming astrophysics workshops in Nepal, South Africa, and Lebanon organised by OAD-funded projects.
An archive of all OAD newsletters is available on the website here.
4) Light Pollution Brochure
This IAU OAO publication is a compilation of relevant findings in the area of light pollution and dark skies awareness. The information for the brochure was gathered under the umbrella of the Cosmic Light programmes, coordinated by the IAU during the International Year of Light 2015 (IYL2015). The goal of this brochure is to raise the profile of recent advancements in our understanding of light pollution, in particular regarding the use of LEDs, to support the astronomy community in disseminating measures to protect dark skies and increase public awareness of light pollution research.
Kagoshima Meeting finishes successfully
On March 30, after Communicating Astronomy with the Public Conference (CAP 2018) in Fukuoka, around 40 participants from ten different countries gathered in Kagoshima to share ideas and various educational resources related to astronomy education. Japanese school teachers also presented their original work and materials. One of the topics addressed was astronomy school curricula in various countries and need for an international comprehensive meeting on astronomy education. On the second day, some of the participants enjoyed the English guided tour of JAXA Tanegashima Space Center.
Astronomers Without Borders is raising funds for 20 OneSky telescopes and 20 Spanish astronomy curriculum books, providing teachers with resources to teach STEM through astronomy. Your donation will provide resources to schools in disadvantaged and devastated regions of Puerto Rico in desperate need. The telescopes will bring the universe to the children of Puerto Rico and help give them a sense of global unity during this very difficult time.
Microfiches is an encyclopedic project where art encounters knowledge. Each collection comprises 10 to 15 cards presenting key elements of a subject. Each collection is devoted to a topic such as Volcanoes, Microbiology, and others, with 10 to 15 cards presenting key elements of the subject. The texts are written by a specialist and visually interpreted by an artist. The textual and visual content is then printed on cards and a variety of other printed and digital mediums. To support the free circulation of knowledge, all content will be available to download for free on the project's website, with the contents available in both English and French.
Portable domes represent "grassroots" science education at its best, reaching remote corners of the world. To honour and encourage the excellent work of mobile planetarium educators around the world, the International Planetarium Society (IPS) is promoting a contest to award prizes for the best events hosted during the International Day of Planetariums, on 11 March 2018. Prizes will be awarded based on submitted photos and videos and narrative (tell your story!) of the submission. All applications must be received by 1 May 2018.
If you are interested in translating our newsletter into your language, please let us know via email@example.com.
12) Contributions to the IAU Outreach Newsletter—looking forward to hearing from you in 2018
Here at the IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach, we’re always looking for news about astronomical education and outreach events around the world. Please continue to share your stories with us in 2018! If you are organising large-scale events at a regional or international level, offering astronomy education or communication job positions, have any innovative projects or inspiring stories, looking for professional–amateur collaboration in astronomy, or have created any educational resources, let us know by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.