On the 7th of December 2019, Mt Burnett Observatory, an astronomy association in the Dandenong Ranges east of Melbourne, will host a one-day workshop. The day will be a series of practical workshops, keynotes, talks and group discussions aiming to share knowledge, experiences and methods to connect informal/public and out-of-school communities and individual members of the public to the night-sky.
The day will run on two themes,
1) Making and contributing astronomical measurements and
2) Tools for engaging the general public with astronomy
Theme 1: Making and contributing astronomical measurements
In this theme, we focus on how we, as individuals and groups both formal and informal, can take their own images, observations, measurements and contribute to the scientific endeavour and encourage others to do so. There is no limit to the content topic – asteroids, astrophotography, variable stars, occultations, open clusters, comets, cosmic rays and more – all are welcome.
The keynote speaker will be Stella Kafka of the American Association of Variable Star Observers, a non-profit worldwide scientific and educational organization of amateur and professional astronomers that promotes scientific research, education, and public outreach using variable star data.
Theme 2: Tools for engaging the general public with astronomy
In this theme, we focus on tools that can be used to engage the general public with astronomy. These can range (but are not limited to) from simple engagement activities to be undertaken on outreach days, activities combining aspects of art and science, exploring indigenous perspectives to holding telescope viewing events for thousands of people. There are also many more creative ideas that cannot be fit into a simple paragraph! Come along and explore the activities!
The keynote speaker for this theme will be Kirsten Gottschalk, Astronomy Ambassdor from the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR). Kirsten manages ICRAR’s online presence as well as coordinating the outreach/education side of the Communications team at ICRAR. She is Co-Chair of AstronomyWA, a community of various astronomy-related organisations around the state of WA and is the coordinator for Astrofest, winner of the 2019 Chevron WA Science Engagement Initiative of the Year, that hosts thousands of people in March each year.
Coffee and meetup between 9am and 10am. The day formally begins at 10am and runs until 4pm.
$60 fee for the general public
Includes morning coffee, lunch and afternoon tea
To register for the conference, the booking page is here: https://www.trybooking.com/BCVZI
We are looking forward to hosting you out at Mt Burnett Observatory for what will hopefully be an exciting day were we discuss, and hopefully solve some of the issues, in reaching out to the public to engage, participate and contribute in astronomy!
Looking over our options, we have decided to move the event to the actual Observatory at Mt Burnett. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know how you are coming out to the event, so that we can organise the required transportation at the right time. MBO is about ten minutes drive from Emerald. If you are already going to be in Emerald, we can organise to pick you up. If you are coming from the city and do not have your own transport then the plan is to pick you up from Belgrave station at a pre-determined time. Coming from Flinders Street Station (check the signs at the station for the platform), catching the 8:06am Belgrave train will get you to Belgrave at 9:32am where James Murray from MBO will be there to pick you up. If you miss the train or are coming later, then please call 0409703929 when you arrive and perhaps let us know early on also so we can organise someone to be there for you. If you are uncertain of your options, please contact us.
The day will run from 10am to 4pm with catered breaks and lunch.
For those staying in the area for the weekend beyond, or prior to, the workshop, it is recommended that you group together and get a hire car to travel around the Ranges. While there are taxis and ubers, there can potentially be long waits on a sunny summer December weekend! There are also many different locations of interest in the area that can be visited separated by non-trivial distances.