Spring 2016 Department News

LPL Outreach: 2015-2016 Academic Year

by Sarah Morrison

It has been a busy year for LPL Outreach, with events ranging from wowing young children with our new Pluto globe to giving popular monthly lectures at Borderlands Brewery as part of our Space Drafts Public Talk Series (in collaboration with Steward Observatory and NOAO). The Space Drafts concept expanded this year, with the result being that Tucson has its own flavor of the broader movement, called Astronomy on Tap.

LPL's Pluto globe trended on social media and our "how-to" was promoted as a guest blog entry at the Planetary Society. We also showcased planetary science with interactive exhibits at many community events such as What If? Weekends at Biosphere 2, the Connect2STEM event in Phoenix, Tucson Festival of Books, Tucson Hebrew Academy’s Community STEM Festival, and SARSEF Future Innovator’s Night. These were often group outreach efforts including Maria Schuchardt (Space Imagery Center), Dolores Hill (OSIREX-REx), Sarah Morrison (LPL graduate outreach coordinator), and the rest of our outreach volunteers. The LPL graduate students themselves have talked directly with over 4,500 people so far this year about our Solar System and beyond, growing our ties to the community and developing better ways to communicate our science! Most recently, LPL graduate students have discussed their research and career paths with several hundred college-bound high schoolers at UA’s STEAMworks expo held April 14, 2016. We have had a great year for outreach so far, and we continue to develop our community connections for more to come!

LPL graduate student Sarah Morrison making a Pluto globe for outreach activities. Image credit: LPL graduate student Alessondra Springmann.





April’s Space Drafts audience enjoys 3D HiRISE anaglyphs presented by LPL graduate student Margaret Landis (off screen) in her discussion of the climate history on Mars. Image credit: LPL graduate student Sarah Morrison.





Maria Schuchardt (far right) shows the world to a family at Connect2STEM on Jan. 9, 2016. Image credit: UA College of Medicine-Phoenix.





LPL graduate student Donna Viola discusses her research on Mars at STEAMworks on April 14, 2016. Image credit: University of Arizona.