February 9, 2017

Young astronomers gather at the Smithsonian

Youth Summit Logo

Young astronomers from across the nation will convene for an out of this world Youth Summit in Washington, D.C., on February 22nd and 23rd. The astro-photographers, ranging in age from 10 to 14 years old, have all participated in the Smithsonian Institution’s Youth Capture the Colorful Cosmos program, held at 13 Smithsonian Affiliate organizations over the past year. Participants used an online portal to control real robotic telescopes located at Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory sites in Cambridge, MA, and Amado, AZ. Using the same tools, technologies, and techniques as professional astronomers, the youth observed planets, stars, and galaxies; analyzed and enhanced their astronomical images with scientific software; and even designed their own robotic telescope components.

student astronomer

A student astronomer at the Carolinas Aviation Museum. Photo credit: Carolinas Aviation Museum.

While in DC these youth astronomers will share the multi-disciplinary knowledge they have gained from Youth Capture the Colorful Cosmos with the public. On Wednesday, February 22nd at 1:00pm, the youth will host a poster presentation at the National Air and Space Museum, featuring the astronomical images they have captured and processed. This poster session will be followed by a live presentation from the students, How to Control a Telescope & Create a Colorful Cosmic Image

The Youth Summit also includes events to broaden the students’ understanding of science, technology, and innovation, including programming at the National Air and Space Museum and the National Museum of Natural History. On Thursday, February 23rd, select participants will interact with a forum of Smithsonian educators to learn about their love of space, and discover how technology can enhance access to Smithsonian learning experiences.

Affiliate Participants:

Youth Capture the Colorful Cosmos is supported by the Smithsonian Institution’s Youth Access Grants program managed by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Education and Access. The program is a product of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in partnership with Smithsonian Affiliations, and includes participation in YouthAstroNet, a digital network of youth interested in astronomy funded by the National Science Foundation.

February 28, 2012

Youth Capture the Colorful Cosmos Program

Teach kids astronomy by controlling real telescopes over the internet, and create images like these!

Youth Capture the Colorful Cosmos Program is a special opportunity for 25 Affiliates from the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) and Smithsonian Affiliations. Qualified Affiliates that successfully complete the online professional development program to facilitate the use of the MicroObservatory online telescope system will be awarded $1500 for implementation of Youth Capture the Colorful Cosmos Program. Funding has been provided by the Smithsonian Youth Access Grant Fund.   

  • Are you an Affiliate educator interested in sharing the art and science of astrophotography with youth in your community?   
  • Does your organization have an informal education program, partnerships with area community centers or middle schools and interest in providing enrichment activities for students based on STEM? 
  • Can your museum or organization implement a workshop for middle school students, underserved by science and technology educational programs, ages 12 – 18   (minimum of 10 or more students) and facilitate an 8 – 20 hour program? 
  • Would you like to learn how to organize and promote an exhibition of youth-created astronomy photographs? 

For more information on the program, join us for a Teleconference to discuss implementing Youth Capture the Colorful Cosmos Program on Tuesday, March 6, 2012, at 4:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. 

Dial In:  1-877-860-3058
Participant Pass code:  607773
Call in and learn about participating in this program before registration goes live.  

Talk to SAO astronomy educators Mary Dussault and Erin Braswell. Smithsonian Affiliations representatives Christina Di Meglio Lopez and Caroline Mah will also be available to answer questions.

Follow the MicroObservatory’s Twitter feed; Facebook page; and Flickr photostream.

Telescopes "Ben" and "Cecilia" at the Whipple Observatory in Amado, AZ. Along with "Annie," located on the roof at SAO, they are three in a network of telescopes, controllable over the internet, helping students learn more about astronomy. Photo Credit: Dan Brocious/SAO.

 

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