2009 Annual Science Report

VPL at University of Washington Reporting  |  JUL 2008 – AUG 2009

EPO Activity: Night Sky Network Astrobiology Outreach Toolkit

Project Progress

The Night Sky Network is comprised of over 300 amateur astronomy clubs around the United States that engage students and the public with hands-on activities. Working with the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, the VPL team is developing an astrobiology “Outreach Toolkit” designed to assist amateur astronomy clubs in conducting outreach and education events related to astrobiology. The kit will contain easy-to-use activities that explain science and technology concepts related to astrobiology in engaging ways, and enriched with real-life examples from NASA astrobiology-related missions and science programs. In addition to demonstration devices and activities, the kit will contain video clips and/or animations, still images (digital images from which photographs, slides, and transparencies can be produced), and written content tutorial materials and/or web-based tutorials. The kit will be designed to be used in a variety of settings, including the classroom, youth group meetings, and community college events, as well as outside under the stars. Kits will be distributed to all qualified member astronomy clubs by the ASP.