The San Diego Astronomy Association has a rich history of “reaching out” into our community, making our universe accessible. We have developed wonderful programs based on our understanding of the social fabric, and the extraordinary experience of viewing celestial objects through a telescope eyepiece.  Now, in the Spring of 2020, the structure and acceptable practices for education and public programs have radically changed, and the SDAA Outreach Program must change as well. 

Currently, and for the foreseeable future the SDAA will not be able to offer our traditional school outreach programs, including “in class” presentations and after school, evening “star parties”.

We are considering various alternatives to share the sky with schools in a virtual context. Some of our members are already doing so on a limited basis privately. Usually these programs are structured for middle school and older students. Based on this experience, we hope to design programs for all grades 3-12, that are effective and scale-able to meet the needs of the more than half-million students in San Diego County and, in particular, to generate enthusiasm for science. Our successes in this regard will be the basis of a new School Outreach Program.  

Public Outreach Programs, known as “Star Parties” are at the request and permission of various public venues, mostly City, County, State, and Federal parks. We are completely dependent on the policies of those public agencies for hosting these events. Writing this in May, 2020, I believe the future of such public outreach is much brighter than it is for schools. When the various parks are able to invite us back after the public health lockdowns, we will be ready to re-establish at least some of our previous programs. Those programs will be listed on our Calendars.

Outreach

OSIG: Historically and Introduction

The San Diego Astronomy Association is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation dedicated to the education of it’s members and the public in Astronomy and the related physical sciences. We endeavor to bring astronomy related skills and knowledge to San Diegans.

OSIG, our Outreach Special Interest Group, is a group within the SDAA tasked with taking this message to public and private venues via informal Public “Star Gazing events (Star Parties)” and structured “School or Private Astronomy Forums”. These services are funded and operated by our members and volunteers, using their personal resources, vehicles and equipment. Our experienced members set up telescopes, teach, and share the wonders of our Universe with event attendees, both physical and virtual.

OSIG: What We ARE

  • We are serious, amateur astronomers with extensive skills, knowledge, and equipment    
  • We are members volunteering our time and assets for astronomical observing and teaching events    
  • We are a non-profit corporation with a business plan to manage free public, educational outreach    
  • We are limited in our personnel and time resources

OSIG: What We are NOT   

  • We are NOT For hire, and do NOT support “for profit” or entertainment events   
  • We are NOT A resource for private corporate events or parties

OSIG: How We Operate

In the past, the SDAA offered two forms of outreach opportunities:

  • First, regular, monthly events at PUBLIC venues, free of charge, no reservations needed. Check the public calendar for details and directions as to when they can resume.
  • Second, astronomy related, education, observation and instruction to schools, scouting organizations, and other non-profits. These programs are being developed and modified for the virtual environment.

Send questions or comments to: outreach@sdaa.org