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Last Updated:
February 11, 2005


Join the 'O Team'

The Minnesota Astronomical Society has a distinguished history of reaching out to residents Minnesota. Through school programs, public star parties, sidewalk astronomy and similar activities thousands of people, young and old alike, have been introduced to the hobby and science of astronomy. Much of this activity is often lumped under the category of 'outreach'.

In its broadest definition, outreach could include any interaction the Society has with the general public -- through our web site, Onan Observatory public events, even MAS star parties. Even those who don't consider themselves interested in 'outreach' play a part in its mission every time they take a few moments away from the eyepiece to answer a visitor's question.

Why is outreach important to the Society?

First, these activities keep the Society out in public view and provide a forum for us to advocate and educate on issues important to us. Light pollution, for example.

Second, many of our current members trace their involvement with the MAS back to a specific outreach event and possibly first learned of the Society's through such events. A vital outreach program ensures the growth and diversity of the Society.

Third, it's just plain fun!

It's a fact that not every MAS member has an interest in outreach activities. For those that do there is an email list that serves as the focal point for outreach-related discussions. It is found at lists.mnastro.org/mnastro/listinfo/outreach. Those interested in getting involved in outreach activities should join this list to keep up-to-date.

The Onan Observatory and its public and group events are another avenue for getting involved in outreach. Keyholder status isn't required, just a willingness to come out and share what you know with visitors.

2004 is guaranteed to be a time of increased interest in astronomy with Mars rover missions in full swing and a lunar eclipse and transit of Venus on the celestial agenda. When the call comes out for volunteers, please consider lending a hand at the resulting outreach events.

[Contact the MAS Outreach Coordinator for questions or to volunteer for outreach activities.  Contact information is available at http://www.mnastro.org/about/organization.htm.]


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