Upcoming Workshops:

From Pinholes to Space Telescopes: Online Workshop for Informal Educators

Young person with telescope

Please join us for a free online workshop all about optics and the evolution of the telescope. While most people have a basic idea of how lenses work, they frequently don’t know how telescopes use lenses and mirrors together to organize light to form images of distant objects. During this workshop, we’ll examine the behavior of light with a pinhole projector and lenses of different focal lengths. Then we’ll explore the properties of both light and lenses, and construct a simple telescope. Workshop participants will receive a free optics activity kit, plus 20 simple DIY telescope kits for use in educational programs! We are offering this four-week workshop twice:

Fall 2018:

    • October 29 - November 16 and November 26-30

    • 1-hour live sessions, 10am PST / 1pm EST on Tuesdays: Oct 30, Nov 6, 13, 27

Winter 2019:

    • January 14 - February 8, 2019

    • 1-hour live sessions, 4pm PST / 7pm EST on Thursdays: Jan 17, 24, 31, Feb 7

We are still accepting applications for the Winter 2019 workshops. Deadline to apply is December 5. See below for instructions and a link to the application.

Participants will gain the following through participation in the workshop:

  • Hands-on experience with demonstrations of light and optics

  • An education toolkit with the materials needed for implementing these demos at your museum

  • A free set of 20 DIY telescope kits for use in educational programs

  • Strategies we have found to be successful in engaging children and families

  • Access to the astronomy experts who will facilitate the workshop

  • Opportunities for rich online forum discussions with about 40 other informal educators also participating in the workshop

  • Membership in the Astronomy from the Ground Up online community, a support network of peers from all over the country that have participated in similar astronomy workshops for informal educators 

  • A free one-year membership to the Astronomical Society of the Pacific


Workshop participants must…

  • Work or volunteer as an educator at a museum, science center, or other informal learning institution such as a park or nature center, located in the United States, U.S. Territories, Canada, or Mexico.

  • Plan to spend 3-4 hours per week on tasks related to the workshop. There will be a weekly live one-hour webinar at the time listed above, and the rest of the tasks can be completed as they best fit into your own schedule. While live participation is preferable and encouraged, the webinars will also be recorded for later review in case you miss any of them.

  • Have access to a reliable high-speed internet connection.

  • Have access to a dark space for trying various optics demos .

  • Applicants from Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, Mexico, and U.S. Territories may be required to cover additional shipping charges.

To Apply:

  • Submit an application form. The application has 16 questions and should take about 10 minutes to complete.

  • Return the Institutional Endorsement Form with the signature of your supervisor or director to certify your institution's support of your participation. Your application will be considered incomplete until you submit this form.

  • We are still accepting applications for the Winter 2019 workshops. Deadline: December 5.


Questions? Email afgu@astrosociety.org


Last modified: Wednesday, 14 November 2018, 2:22 PM