Thursday 7th April, 2011Attending: PM, AM, FC, MJ, AT, IL, RH, CaB
Who we are, what our goals are
Surveying the sub-dept, gathering experience
Communicating with the sub-dept
STFC grant proposals, due next Thursday
Telescope Evenings (PM)
Astronomical Top Trumps (SW)
Radio Astronomy on the Roof (AT)
April schools & public evenings
Summer talk series plan
Communicating with sub-dept: decision made to email astro@astro on a regular basis re outreach, asking for speakers, suggestions, input etc, as all seem to agree that they are in favour of doing more. On top of this, they need a n outreach committee to coordinate activities: outreach@astro, that can be emailed by anyone. This committee is then a distributed set of coordinators (solving single point of failure problem). PJM to implement.
AT, MJ report that they are not yet ready to apply for outreach funds for Radio Astronomy on the roof: this proposal was postponed, to be re-evaluated in teh autumn. They have scoped out roof space, and will work on installing teaching telescope first, before adapting it for outreach (same model as PWT).
SW was absent on family leave: his Astronomy card games proposal was also postponed till the autumn as a result, although a budget for activities development will be sought. He will look for informal "venture capital" in the meantime.
PJM to lead single, general pupose proposal for funds to keep telescope evenings going, assited by RD and CB.
FC suggested PWT account be separated from outreach account, to protect telescope maintenance budget and make accounting easier. FC, PJM to work with YO to set this up. SO also needs reimbursing from earlier in the year, when she was paying a lot from her small general physics budget.
April telescope evenings. Feeling is that this month is too light in the evenings for effective PWT-based schools outreach - don't try it next year. Public evenings OK but need to start later. FC points out that next year the week will need to be one earlier to catch the moon, FC to coordinate with evening organisers.
New ideas for telsecope evening activities were discussed:
binoculars, galileoscope, other telsecopes for informal observing on the balcony outside the BIPAC. Historical astronomy?
direct vision spectrosgraphs?
Use of TV screen in lobby? Advertising, directions, welcome message. Need to ask building services
Global Jetwatch - involve into public programme
School s workshop development - needs guidnace from Sian. Can test things at open evenings. Input from teachers required!
Practicalities of telescope evenings:
Automatic booking/sign-up system, who will build? CaB to investigate. Collect data on sign-up , to track impact: v. important
Tickets for telescope evenings? Colour coded for times to improve organistation?
How to get signup info from forms into database? Survey Monkey system, for public to fill in and for us to use for data entry? SO to investigate.
On-night organisation: roles assigned (TO, ushers, host, speaker+sidekick). Post these online - on calendar? On wiki? AM to explore, with her successor...
Telsecope/schools evening timetable/plans, checklists for workers so they know whats going on. Wiki?
We now have cupboard space, in tower. Door code is tricky. AM to advise... Outreach equipment is all up there, borrow but return! System?
Summer talks series were discussed. General feeling of wanting to keep active and doing things. Group to chew over in relaxed fashion. Ideas include:
"Astronomy+1" trial. Poetry? Classics? History? Atmospheric physics? Aim to reach new audiences.