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December 3-5

Embracing the Future: Astronomy Teaching and Public Engagement

ASP2020: A Virtual Conference

ASP2020: A Virtual Conference
Preliminary Schedule

Click here for the Schedule-at-a-Glance
Embracing the Tools to Connect in Virtual Environments
Throughout 2019--up to a full year before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the shift to virtual learning worldwide--Whipple Observatory quietly launched its virtual in-classroom learning program, increased its social media presence with Lives and video, and laid out a strategy for reaching the schools, kids, and adults who couldn't get to the Observatory, whether they lived on the other side of border patrol, or the other side of the world. These programs and plans provided a foundation for an easy and quick transition to successful virtual programming through social media resources beginning in March 2020, including the premiere Nationwide Livestream Star Party in April 2020, with audience estimates up to 5,000 worldwide, which was produced in conjunction with the Mt Lemmon SkyCenter. Mt Lemmon SkyCenter, in the wake of the pandemic, immediately set to work creating video and other digital resources for learning, many of which have been used nationwide.

But a plan goes nowhere without resources, like time and tools.

In this session, you can expect three things to happen: (1) group jam session to unveil the online and downloadable tools session-goers use to create content for public engagement, (2) we'll show you the top two free tools Whipple Observatory and Mt Lemmon SkyCenter use on a regular basis to create public content and how to use them, and (3) an open discussion about what's working, what's not, and how we can work together to find solutions.

You can enhance your experience in this session by creating free accounts at and, and coming prepared with 5-7 high resolution photographs. You don't have to take this step, but if you do, you can expect to leave the session with one graphic image and one short video ready to use for public engagement.
Conference Strand: Science Communication & Social Media