This past week our team focused on preparing the Inspiring Stars inauguration event at the upcoming General Assembly in Vienna, Austria. Inspiring Stars is a travelling international exhibition led by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) designed to highlight, support, and promote inclusive initiatives that encourage equality of participation in outreach and teaching, and at a professional level in astronomy. During the General Assembly we will have a full day dedicated to inclusion in astronomy. If you’re in Austria, please consider dropping by and participate in the many events opened to the general public that will occur on August 22.
In this issue, we highlight the Hinode new VR app, Physics Without Borders project, and the release of the 25th issue of the Latin-American Journal of Astronomy Education.
Last but not least we want to remind you that a job position for International Outreach Coordinator is open! Want to join our team here in Japan? Apply by October 15.
Wishing you all Happy Reading & Clear Skies!
The IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach Team
1) Inspiring Stars Inauguration
Inspiring Stars — the IAU inclusive world exhibition is a travelling international exhibition driven by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) and supported by the American Astronomical Society (AAS). It is designed to highlight, support, and promote inclusive initiatives for egalitarian participation in outreach, teaching, and at a professional level in the field of astronomy. The exhibition will be inaugurated on 22 August in the Austria Centre Vienna, during the IAU General Assembly 2018 in Vienna, Austria. The IAU invites all attending members, including members of the public, to visit the exhibition and the special events that will take place during the inauguration.
M.Sc. Programme for “Astronomy and Popularization of Astronomy”
How can we provide people with different backgrounds, even non-scientists, with the ability to use critical thinking in real life and to apply the scientific method to find working solutions based on evidence? Sofia University, Bulgaria’s leading and oldest school of higher education, tells the success story of a highly innovative interdisciplinary M.Sc. Programme for “Astronomy and Popularization of Astronomy”.
Best summer places to stargaze in Canada
The Canadian Space Agency has released a list of the best places across Canada to get a view of the stars. Most of the suggested locations are isolated parks and reserves, shielded from light pollution and ideally situated at higher altitudes. With its numerous large national parks and diverse natural landscapes, Canada is an ideal place for astronomy lovers, even for beginners. Throughout the country, you can find great spots to admire the stars, from the mountains of British Columbia to the beaches of Prince Edward Island.
Several dozen participants from various countries including school teachers from all school levels, education and assessment researchers and science education NPO staff, gathered in Attica, Greece, from Sunday 1 to Friday 7 July to exchange news of recent activities in schools and share the latest technology and information. The Summer School, organized by Ellinogermaniki Agogi, consisted of workshops, lectures, presentation and development of new e-book prototypes, and joint excursions to the beautiful and wonderful country rich in culture and nature. The school teachers not only obtained new methods for their educational endeavours but also realized how school science education can promote friendship, tolerance, and peace on the planet.
Stories of Tomorrow is a story-telling STEAM education project for primary school using state-of-art multimedia resources and is supported by the European Commission. (We would like to thank Akihiko Tomita for sharing the news with us.)
5) VR app "Excursion to the Sun" released
The Solar Science Observatory for the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan just released and started free distribution of the new Virtual Reality app "Excursion to the Sun," which provides a unique opportunity to walk around the solar surface and experience the fundamental structures of the Sun. Most of the visual images in the app are actual observational data obtained by Hinode spacecraft. Travelling through space, you will approach the Sun, land on its surface, and see the gigantic sunspots from which magnetic field lines extend up towards space.
6) Latin-American Journal of Astronomy Education (RELEA)
The Latin-American Journal of Astronomy Education (RELEA) helps to foster and consolidate the topic of astronomy education in Latin America and beyond. The 25th issue is now available. Original, unpublished papers are accepted, containing empirical research, theoretical essays, and reviews of interest to the field of Astronomy Education. Articles may be written in Portuguese, Spanish, or English. The first page is in Portuguese, but you can choose English or Spanish in the menu to your right. Any comments or suggestions may be sent directly to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Physics Without Frontiers partners with physics and mathematics departments in selected universities worldwide that are unable to teach specific courses due to a lack of resources, and offers university courses providing experienced lecturers and teaching assistants at the undergraduate and advanced levels. Other courses can be provided depending on the specific needs of the partner university. Ideally, these courses will become part of the regular university curriculum in the partner institute. Physics Without Frontiers invites all university departments interested in specific courses to apply here.
If you are a lecturer and interested in offering a course, or a postdoc interested in being involved, please get in touch physicswithoutfrontiers[at]ictp.it.
8) Astronomer Explains One Concept in Five Levels of Difficulty
The popular magazine WIRED has challenged NASA's Varoujan Gorjian, a research Astronomer at the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab, to explain black holes to five different people: a child, a teen, a college student, a grad student, and an expert. You can watch the video here. This challenge can be extended to astronomers in our own institutes throughout the world! If you are working in an astronomical research institute in close relation to professional astronomers and have similar experiences, please share your videos with us! We think viewers will find the premise of these videos very interesting. Why not try make an original video of your own?
9) Meetings and Global Events
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!
a) Robotic Telescopes, Student Research and Education (RTSRE) Conference & the InterNational Astronomy Teaching Summit
Dates: 22-27 July 2018
Location: Hilo, Hawai'i, USA
More information: rtsre.org
k) Starmus Festival V: A Giant Leap
Date: 24–29 June 2019
Location: Bern, Switzerland
More information: https://www.starmus.com/
l) 3rd Workshop on Dissemination and Education of Astronomy (WDEA III)
Dates: 2 July (Solar Eclipse), 4- 5 July 2019
Location: San Juan, Argentina
More information at http://sion.frm.utn.edu.ar/WDEAIII/
Have we missed something? Then share your astronomy outreach and education international meetings or events with us via email@example.com.
10) IAU Astronomy Outreach Newsletter in other languages
If you are interested in translating our newsletter into your language, please let us know via firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.