I've had the pleasure of attending the Astronomical Society of the Pacific's National Meeting, "Communicating Science" held in Tucson, AZ throughout August 4-8, 2012. Over two hundred scientists, educators, writers and others involved in astronomy education and public outreach have gathered together to discuss methods of effectively communicating science, common pitfalls, and the hurdles we face in the futures.
This past weekend, the ASP held a Galileo Teacher Training Program Workshop, where 40+ teaching professionals and educators gathered together to learn and discuss inquiry-based, hands-on astronomy activities. It was an awesome group that I was proud to be a part of.
Sunday evening kicked off an event at Flandrau planetarium, before the extremely exciting Curiosity landing on Mars. It was a wonderful experience to gather around with all of these
astronomy lovers to watch the successful landing of Curiosity on Sunday
night. I'm including my favorite photo from Curiosity is below:
(From the JPL site on the Curiosity mission: http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/)
I love that you can see the rover's shadow in the photo, as well as the beautifully detailed surface of Mars. And look at that peak in the distance! How exciting! Better yet, these photos are the lowest resolution images that we'll be seeing from Curiosity (this camera is purely intended for looking out for rocks and debris in the path of the rover). Just this morning, the first color images from Curiosity have been taken.
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday are chock-full of exciting lectures, panels and interesting conversation. Keep checking back for updates on some of the sessions!