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Sustaining educational and public outreach programs in astronomy

Status Report From: arXiv.org e-Print archive
Posted: Thursday, June 16, 2016

William I. Clarkson (1), Donald J. Bord (1), Carrie M. Swift (1), Eric J. Rasmussen (1), David Matzke (1), Steven R. Murrell (2), Michael C. LoPresto (2), Timothy Campbell (3), Robert Clubb (3), Dennis Salliotte (3) ((1) University of Michigan-Dearborn, (2) Henry Ford College, (3) Ford Amateur Astronomy Club)
(Submitted on 14 Jun 2016)

We advocate meaningful support of sustained education-outreach partnerships between regional metropolitan undergraduate institutions and astronomical clubs and societies. We present our experience as an example, in which we have grown a partnership between the University of Michigan-Dearborn (hereafter UM-D, a 4-year primarily undergraduate institution or PUI), Henry Ford College (hereafter HFC, a 2-year undergraduate college), and maintained a strong collaboration with the Ford Amateur Astronomy Club (FAAC), which is highly active in the Detroit Metropolitan Area. By allowing each organization to play to its strengths, we have developed a continuum of education-outreach efforts at all levels, with connecting tissue between the previously disparate efforts. To-date, faculty and staff effort on these initiatives has been nearly entirely voluntary and somewhat ad-hoc. Here we suggest an initiative to sustain the continuum of education-outreach for the long-term. There are two levels to the suggested initiative. Firstly, partner institutions should dedicate at least half an FTE of faculty or staff effort specifically to education and outreach development. Secondly, professional societies like the AAS now have a great opportunity to support the education-outreach continuum at a national level, by facilitating communication between institutions and clubs that are considering a long-term partnership, by acting as a central resource for such partnerships, and possibly by convening or sponsoring events such as professional meetings among the metropolitan educational community.

Comments: 3 pages, Whitepaper submitted to the American Astronomical Society Education Task Force, June 2016
Subjects: Physics Education (physics.ed-ph); Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM)
Cite as: arXiv:1606.04578 [physics.ed-ph] (or arXiv:1606.04578v1 [physics.ed-ph] for this version)
Submission history
From: Will Clarkson
[v1] Tue, 14 Jun 2016 21:42:10 GMT (646kb)
http://arxiv.org/abs/1606.04578

 

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