As increasing numbers of institutions are quickly moving to online instruction in the wake of COVID-19, the AAS would like to support astronomy educators who have suddenly found themselves in this challenging situation. We are aware of many efforts in the community to disseminate techniques for remote teaching and learning as well as online curriculum materials. Our goal in the coming days is to provide short “triage” videos and other materials from experts in online astronomy learning, a curated list of practices and curriculum materials, and links to existing crowdsourced efforts by the community.
The American Astronomical Society (AAS), in partnership with the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP), members of the Center for Astronomy Education (CAE), and other organizations active in science education and public outreach (EPO), is creating a new program for young astronomers just starting their careers. The project involves a series of professional-development workshops and a community of practice designed to help improve participants’ communication skills and effectiveness in doing outreach to students and the public. Called Astronomy Ambassadors, this new program will provide mentoring and training experiences for new members of our profession, from advanced undergraduates to postdocs and new faculty, providing access to resources and a network of contacts within the astronomy EPO community.
AAS Astronomy Ambassadors workshops were developed and are conducted in partnership with the Astronomical Society of the Pacific and the Pacific Science Center. If you're looking for an astronomer to conduct hands-on science-education activities for students, teachers, families, or other groups, we recommend getting in touch with the nearest AAS Astronomy Ambassador!
At the January 2017 AAS meeting in Texas, the AAS Council (now the AAS Board of Trustees) approved the creation of a Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion in Astronomy Graduate Education, which has now published its final report.
Proposals are invited from US-based AAS members for small grants to provide education-related mentoring and professional-development experiences for fellow members. Friends and members of the astronomical sciences community are welcome to give to the Ojars J. Sovers PhD Memorial AAS Scholarship / Grant which helps fund the AAS-EPD Mini-Grant Program.
Astronomy departments at US universities have a new opportunity to train graduate students in leadership skills thanks to a collaboration between the AAS and the University of California, Santa Cruz, funded by a gift from the Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation. The first two grants in this program have been awarded to Columbia University and the University of California, Irvine.
Resources for Educators
- Education Research and Best Practices
- Graduate Education
- Undergraduate Majors
- ASTRO 101
- K–12 Education
- Informal Education and Outreach