I hope the recent solstice found you warm/cool depending where you are in the world, and that you enjoyed the Transit of Venus which happened since the last email.
Just 3 items this time:
1. Transit of Venus consolidation of experiences:
We have received many photos and reports from around the world and have put together a Google Map (http://bit.ly/LDWZiu
) with pins at the various locations with links to what we've received thus far. If your location is not shown on that map please send your photos/stories/experiences to firstname.lastname@example.org
(ideally in a pdf file but any format will do). If you need to refer people to a webpage with some information about the consolidation of experiences, you can use http://www.astro4dev.org/index.php/oadprojects/tov2012
2. Public Science Projects - from Kimberley Kowal Arcand and Megan Watzke
The public science project "From Earth to the Solar System" (FETTSS) is now in about 100 different sites worldwide. FETTSS is a collection of high resolution images that showcases the discoveries and excitement of planetary exploration, with a focus on the origin and evolution of the Solar System and the search for life. For more information and to see exhibit photos, visit http://fettss.arc.nasa.gov/
Related to FETTSS and the theme of public science, we have a proposal up at Slate.com's Hive on Science Education. If you are interested in projects like FETTSS please visit http://hive.slate.com/hive/american-science-education/making-science-public
We would also like to announce a new project launching in September 2012 called "Here, There & Everywhere" (HTE). In HTE we look at how our knowledge of familiar processes can be applied to help us understand similar behavior on grander scales, and in very different environments. If you would like more information on HTE, please don't hesitate to contact us.
3. First Light Initiative:
The fundamental vision of the First Light Initiative is that Aboriginal youth of all ages are exposed to telescopes, astronomy, and the wonders that fill the sky, invigorating their desire to learn, and to engage and explore with science and technology, while also learning their cultural traditions and oral history about the sky. The Initiative seeks to promote and enhance the education of thoughtful, inspired, and engaged youth who can create and innovate for the preservation, advancement, and health of their community. The First Light Initiative is a non-profit organization currently starting operations which will work with private, corporate, and government donors to raise operating revenue, and in-kind contributions. These will be used to directly advocate for and support the donation and installation of telescopes and related support to Indigenous, Aboriginal, and First Nations communities across the country, continent and globe to advance their educational success rates. The Initiative will strive to build relationships with the communities it works in to encourage and enable the keepers of traditional knowledge to use these opportunities to also share this knowledge with the younger generations. Placing telescopes and the related support into their communities, and building a capacity and venue to share in modern and traditional knowledge will encourage and invigorate young learners in many ways. Follow on activities and capacity building in the communities will grow the positive impact so that larger and more substantial installations will proceed. Eventually, significant installations may become catalysts in their own right supporting the education and pride of our Aboriginal communities in the form of scholarships, prizes, and bursaries to generations of our youth.
Website is still under construction: www.firstlightinitiative.com
If you have something relevant to this list please send me a short paragraph with a link and I'll send it out every other Friday.
IAU Office of Astronomy for Developmentwww.astro4dev.org