by David Lechter, Outreach Chair
First, I would like to introduce myself as your new Outreach Chairperson. My name is David Letcher and I have been a member of AAAP for a few years now. I live in Ewing Township, and I am a Professor of Applied Business Statistics in the School of Business at The College of New Jersey. I have taken over the job of Outreach Coordinator from Jeff Bernardis who has been very helpful to me during this time in which I am getting used to the job.
So far, we have had two Outreach activities this season. One was giving a star party to two troops of cub scouts in the evening of Saturday, October 16th. I initially scheduled one troop but another troop that was camping nearby took our invitation and attended too. I guess we had approximately 50 scouts plus their parents! It was a crystal-clear, but chilly evening, but the seeing was pretty good. Gene Ramsey, David Zahler, and I brought our own scopes, and Jeff Bernardis operated the scopes in the observatory. Apologies if I forgot other members who may have been there too. It was crowded!
Wednesday afternoon saw me giving a PowerPoint presentation on the solar system to a girl scout troop at the Bear Tavern Elementary School in Hopewell Township. One of my slides was a photograph of a region of the sky that included the constellation of Leo; just a lot of stars and nothing else. So I asked the girl scouts to look at it and see if they see any patterns. After just a few minutes they began to see the patterns of Leo and then one of the scouts said “That is Leo The Lion!” It was a grand time had by all.
We have received additional requests from other people recently. Right now I am talking with the following people about offering some sort of program to them:
1. A request from a cub scout group in Colts Neck for a speaker about astronomy.
2. The Upper Freehold Regional Elementary/Middle School PTA is asking if we want to participate in their Family Science Night on Friday, November 12, 2010. I understand that AAAP participated last year. This will be in Allentown, NJ.
3. The Dutch Neck Elementary School PTA Fourth Annual Science Day event will be held on March 25, 2011. It is a full day of scientific presentations and experiments for K-3 students.
4. Dee Bosch, one of our own members, is asking for us to hold a star party in a school in Pemberton, NJ. The date(s) haven’t been set up yet.
So far, those are the outreach items. I’ll be sending out email notices about where and when these events will be held. Clear Skies!