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
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
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.]