Some Feedback From Outreach Events Outside Bangalore Representing BAS

By akarshsimha; Published 02 Feb 2009

Hello Astronomy Gurus,

I have been doing some outreach events recently when I was in Maharashtra to educate Pre 10th and graduate students about astronomy and BAS.

I have some feedback or questions asked from those events..I had visited 2 schools(St Paul's School,Sainik School) and a graduation college(Balasaheb Desai College Of Computer Sciences)

A)While showing an object in the sky(either a cluster or galaxy) we need to have a picture reference showing what the object actually looks like or else it does not make sense to new person.


Looks like this is a good encyclopedia to understand the basic terms in astronomy and present it to graduation level students.

C)Great interest was shown specially in Black Holes , the life of stars and visual comparison of images of various stars to understand the actual difference between different magnitude stars.

D)The zodiac constellations and the reason of the existence of sunsigns, moonsigns is something which catches everybody's attention.

E)Its absolutely essential to know the names of the important objects(specially stars) in the local language where the outreach event is done so that they understand.

F)Moon,Orion,Scorpio,Saturn,Jupiter,Andromeda.Orion Nebula are some of the objects which really generate interest and I don't understand this craze about finding the pole star(the

only star that they know)

G)Seeing through a telescope really makes a difference in colleges,unfortunately I couldn't carry one(Had to do with binocs(10X50)).

H)I understand that making a presentation rather than showing a movies helps in understanding much better as we explain slowly through each slide.I showed some starry night movie cd's which was not well taken.

I)Having a quick game of identifying the objects seen or segregating objects according to their characteristics is something which creates a impact on the memory.(at least we

understand if anything is being understood).

J)It was amazement for the students to see that based on the constellations and the movement of the planets along the ecliptic the directions could be identified and we also confirmed the directions to them by showing it on a compass.

K)Specially BCA students were very interested in the planetarium software(stellarium) which gave them an avenue to stay in touch with the subject even after the outreach event.

L)We tried speaking of star-maps but it didn't do much good because it was much too confusing for the students to understand.

M)There were atleast 100 questions about Chandrayaan,radio telescopes and ISRO which has generated some great interest in outerspace and extraterrestrial space.

Some Questions Asked::

1>Visual(.avi,.dat etc) files showing comparison and advantages of different telescope types.

2>Setting up procedures for a reflector(telescope).Telescope making and key details involved.

3>Ways to read starmaps.

4>Audio files explaining the life of stars,solar system,planets(very basic level without astrophysics involved)

5>Presentation files showing star party basics so that the anyone can use it teach the others.

6>Calendars representing the society or even with images of deep space objects.

7>Radio Astronomy and Ham radio basics for Electronics projects.

8>Links on our site to download opensource software and a rapid course of using different software.

9>Many questions have been raised about the Chandrayaan project and the roadmap that ISRO had w.r.t space missions and our integration and involvement with those events.

10>Suggestions for college students to use Astronomy as an integral part in their pre-final and final year projects.

11>Astrophotography basics might be a need but currently in a starter level nobody showed interest..

I have tried to put down a few points that I encountered during these events.So all these aspects mentioned are expected to be downloaded for free from our site.

Are we planning on doing something like this or if there is something planned ,is there a time frame for achieving this so that the site becomes fully loaded to download?

All these questions were answered by Naveen in a separate discussion.

I just thought of sharing some feedback from these events so that it will be helpful to carry out outreach events and any other input by other people doing outreach events will also be appreciated.