This issue, we are excited to announce the IAU Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD) funded projects for 2018! The IAU OAD grants continue the IAU’s massive support of the global astronomy community! We invite you to discover this year’s exciting funded projects, especially those that use outreach to impact development.
We highlight some of this year’s activities to look forward to, including the Astronomers Without Borders projects for 2018, the Astronomical Society of the Pacific Awards for Excellence in Astronomy Education, and the first announcement of the Communicating Astronomy with the Public satellite events with the “Astronomy Education Meeting in Kagoshima”.
Last but not least, a big thank you to Mikael Ingemyr, Peter Jaquiery, Andy Simmonds, and Alexandre Amorim for sharing with us details of the scale solar systems in their countries! We invite everyone to share news, via firstname.lastname@example.org, of the scale solar systems that are close to your community!
Happy readings and clear skies!
The IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach Team
1) IAU Astronomy Outreach for Development (OAD): Results of the 2017 Annual Call for Proposals
Now that the IAU-Office of Astronomy for Development’s (OAD) sixth annual call for proposals has concluded, 16 projects have been selected to receive funding in 2018. The OAD call for proposals in 2017 was conducted in two stages: At stage 1, 114 applications were received from which 40 were chosen to proceed to stage 2 after a task-force review. The OAD then received 35 full applications by the 15th September 2017 deadline. The three task forces reviewed all the completed applications and submitted recommendations to the steering committee, which approved the final list of projects. The total amount that will be granted to the funded projects is €112,661.
2) Communicating Astronomy with the Public (CAP) 2018 Satellite Events
Following the Communicating Astronomy With the Public meeting in Fukuoka, the local organisation wishes to invite all participants to join the “Astronomy Education Meeting in Kagoshima” that will be held on March 30 at Kagoshima University. Taking this opportunity when around 400 astronomy communicators will gather from around the world in Japan, we would like to share various astronomy education activities in a casual meeting as part of the CAP 2018 satellite events, in the south of Kyushu Island. Along with its many other exciting activities, this meeting will be a great chance for local school teachers to communicate with international educators.
Guinness World Record
Our National Outreach Coordinator (NOC) from Sri Lanka, Thilina Heenatigala, reports that the Guinness Record for most water rockets launched simultaneously is 1 950, achieved by students at Royal College, Colombo (Sri Lanka) on November 10, 2017. The Royal College Astronomical Society organised the event to celebrate World Science Day and the 50th Anniversary of their astronomical society.
Wikipedia: double theme week on astronomy
From February 25 through March 11, 2018 Wikimedia Netherlands is organising a double theme week on astronomy, together with the Netherlands Research School for Astronomy (NOVA). The kick-off will take place during the national stargazing days, where scientists, students, information officers, astrophotographers, amateur astronomers and Wikipedians will be writing new articles, expanding existing ones, translating English articles, and adding visual components.
5) Astronomers Without Borders (AWB): Get ready for 2018
Last year, 2017, was a very busy for Astronomers Without Borders (AWB), with the Great American Eclipse as the highlight. And AWB has BIG plans for 2018 as well, as in Big Impact Giving (BIG), the crowdfunding program that provides the essential missing pieces for successful programs. And our Moon will be the theme for the internationally long-awaited Global Astronomy Month (GAM) in April 2018, with special programs for the public to take part in and watch online. Get ready for the 2018 editions of the popular GAM AstroPoetry, AstroArts, and astrophotography contests.
6) "Ada's Adventures in Science" comic book series
As a scientist and artist partnership, Dr Edward Gomez (education director for Las Cumbres Observatory) and Laura Sorvala (independent illustrator) created the "Ada's Adventures in Science" comic book series. The central character, Ada, starts off as an excited schoolgirl talking about her science heroes to friends on the school bus. Over the course of the series Ada goes to high school and finally becomes a professional scientist and fulfils her dream of being part of an amazing discovery. Their Kickstarter campaign, which will send copies of these comic books to schools across the world, runs until 16 February.
7) 2018 Awards For Excellence in Astronomy Education
Founded in 1889, the Astronomical Society of the Pacific is an international scientific and educational organisation, which brings together scientists, educators, and amateur and “armchair” astronomers. Its mission is to increase the understanding and appreciation of astronomy and to enhance and support the work of those engaged in science education and public outreach. The Astronomical Society of the Pacific is now accepting nominations for the Society’s 2018 awards honouring outstanding work in astronomy education and public outreach. The deadline for nominations is March 1, 2018.
Following our popular call for scale solar systems around the world, we start by highlighting one of the largest-scale solar-system models, located in Sweden. At a scale of only 1:20 000 000, the Sun is 71 meters in diameter, and thus the model covers the whole country. Now moving to Western Australia, we find a scale solar system walk at the Gravity Discovery Centre at Gingin. It's a one-kilometre walk through the Australian bush, and there's also the Leaning Tower of Gingin, exhibitions, a science museum and an observatory open to the public. Not far away, in New Zealand, you can find the Otago Central Interplanetary Cycle Trail, where the Solar System has been shrunk by a factor of one hundred million to one and mapped onto the trail. Since 2009 the local astronomy group NEOA-JBS1 (Núcleo de Estudo e Observação Astronômica “José Brazilício de Souza”) has been promoting its “Caminhada Astronômica” (Astronomy Walk). In their city, Florianópolis, Brazil, with a scale solar system along one of the main avenues called Beiramar Norte where planet plates are separated one from another at the following scale: 1 meter = 1 million kilometres.
9) Meetings and Global Events in 2018
Here you can find a list of astronomy outreach & education conferences and events around the world. Plan ahead for a year full of interesting events!
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11) 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.