Outreach Coordination Meeting

Thursday 16th June, 2011

Attending: PM, PR, PB, FC, JB, SW, RS, SL, AB, CaB, RH, JD, SO, EB
  • Telescope Evenings 2011/12
  • Schools follow-up
  • Astronomy playing cards
  • Outreach colloquium
  • Green Templeton / Radcliffe Observatory
  • Astro Blog
  • Zoo Workshops
  • Telescope Evenings 2011/12
    • New coordinator needed to replace AM: Phil Bull (PB)volunteered. Title "Outreach Coordinator". Brief: continue excellent standard set by AM, and improve efficiency via online tools.
    • New TOs needed (Rich Masters, Stuart Lynn leaving). RH to organise training in October, when 1st years are here.
    • Entry system: phone, signs. SO to fix this (with PB).
    • TV screen as welcome mat, showing custom website for the evening? CaB to set up. Contact building services..
    • Suggestion of monthly newsletter, aggregating content of blog (see later).
    • "Syllabus" of what we aimt o teach public and school parties, plus coherent programme of talks set up in advance of start of year. PM to coordinate this, with support from rest of sub-dept.
    • All public talks aimed at 11-year olds. Aim to keep repository of talks on wiki for re-use. Move from feed back to speakers, to advance training/advice for speakers. Sidekick scheme. SL suggests policy of "2 stars plus a wish" for constructive commenting smile
    • Feedback system: forms work OK but need data entry so we can do stats. Start collecting data on sign-up. Online booking system? SO to investigate, also data entry.
    • Dates needed - FC and PB to coordinate to choose opene evening times. Google calendar access to be opened up to all outreach commitee, AM to do this. Links to tools posted on wiki, also instructions for open evenings, plans etc all on astrowiki. PM to get peolpe working on wiki.
  • Schools follow-up
    • Focus on GCSE astronomy classes, and GCSE physics based on astronomy. CB, SO and SW to identify areas of syllabuses to focus on, to design schools evenigs and follow-up. SW to lead wiki page on this
    • SW to be Researcher in Residence at Cherwell: explore card games (yr 7) and remote observing (GCSE)
    • Suggestion of EM spectrum based activities.
    • Schools visits by astro researchers: 20 mins on what we do, then move to physics. Informal training like this from SW after his experience in Cherwell, aiming to prepare more people for visits to schools. SO suggests STEM ambassador training for those keen on heading out.
    • Educating teachers: JD volunteers week long Princeton astro+cosmology course for teachers, she has lots of useful material. Use to lead activities at IoP days: JD to work with SO and EB on this. Good to piggyback on IoP days, as teachers already do this for Inset training.
    • JD's material also great for open evening activities: JD to consult on this.
  • Astronomy playing cards
    • are brilliant
    • SW talked us through the plan: set of 5 packs, to enable a whole class to play top trumps. Enable other activities with each, eg orrery, HR diagram, height chart.
    • Give to 1000 schools as teaching aid, starting at tonights OISSP festival.
    • Public, members of dept: donate GBP 1, be given a pack for free.
    • Galaxy Zoo: some galaxies in universe pack. Special Galaxy Zoo pack? SW has keynote template and ordering system with gotprint. Needs zoo lead?
    • gotprint also do cheap postcards - great advertising for ooxford astro.
    • Additional material to go woth cards? Posters explaining astrophysics, designed with assistance from teachers. Album to collect them in? Activity sheets describing scale models?
    • Top Trumps copyright issues? SW removing all copyrighted terms, keep production in-house. PB suggests creative commons licence, will help SW implement.
    • Promote, distribute through IoP, astronomy magazines, science museum? Piggy back on people already mailing all schools.
  • Outreach colloquium
    • Communication talk for one of next term's colloquia.
    • Discussed possible speakers: Marek Kukula (RGO), Robert Massey (RAS), Carolyn Crawford (Gresham), writers? Check NAM outreach session notes.
    • Group to discuss possibilities, then PR to request slot from colloq organisers.
    • Goals: improve communication skills of sub dept members, get new ideas for outreach work, cement outreach as integral part of sub-dept work
  • Green Templeton / Radcliffe Observatory
    • EB now "member of common room" at Green Templeton College (ask her to take you to lunch!)
    • Fantastic resource to have: Radcliffe Observatory tower, adjacent rotunda (library reading room), and garden
    • Focus on historical astronomy, old instruments, and links/contrasts to modern astronomy at Oxford Astronomy.
    • Events to be led by EB with support of Oxford Astro. Tower limited to 10 at a time (fire safety), garden is large, bursar seems open to biggish events, we'll see.
    • Ideas: a star garden party with local amateurs, to encourage networking with pros here. Wait till after refurb.
    • EB to talk to Marek kukula @ RGO, Carolyn Crawford, Chris Parkin at MHS re historical stuff. Instruments? Exhibitions?
  • Astro Blog
    • PM reported back from staff meeting on astro blog: idea is to have front page(?) of astro website be blog of research highlights (posted to physics but auto-reposted to astro site), plus asronomy news with commentary by oxford astro members. New physics website technology is great: CaB, RS and PM to explore acting as sub dept guinea pig for sub dept pages. Bring CB's "what's up" column over too, and advertise sub dept events. Buid local community around this blog, and adverytise postings on facebook and twitter to increase exposure. CaB can do development work, overseen by RS and PJM.
  • Zoo Workshops
    • SL reported that Zoo workshop is being upgraded, to allow classroom of kids to classify galaxies and build colour-magnitude diagrams etc in real time. For trial at open eveing in 2012 or so.
-- PhilMarshall - 16 Jun 2011

This topic: OutReach > Minutes > 20110616
Topic revision: 16 Jun 2011, PhilMarshall
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