Back in 2006, I gave a presentation at the Nebraska Star Party. The presentation was focused on providing the audience with ways to enhance their public outreach efforts, if they engage in them (a lot of audience members there are usually members of clubs that do public outreach). Usually, astronomy outreach focuses on looking through the telescope. That’s great. That’s exactly what needs to happen. But sometimes, you can do more. I have participated in a number of events where I was asked to teach something, or I was asked to start before it was even dark. During those times, the telescope isn’t your only tool.
This presentation discusses why you should rethink how you present to the public, what to think about when planning activities, and then looks at some sample activities you can try. Each of these samples are activities I’ve actually used (and you’ll see some photos of me doing some of them). Be warned, there are two youtube videos in here (one is about 6 seconds, the other about 5 minutes). The longer one can seem to drag on, but it note that the original, unaltered version was a good 25 minutes long. Some friends helped me film and we tried to have fun with it. It was actually my second time filming it, as I came up with an idea, which you’ll…hear and see. You’ll know what I mean when you watch. We also had some impromptu participants near the end, which I’ll explain at the end of the clip.