January 20, 2020

The UofM Astronomy Public Outreach

Volunteers click here to view available events: Available Events

To complement our rigorous teaching curriculum and extensive research programs, the University of Minnesota Institute of Astrophysics is heavily involved in various public outreach programs. Every Friday night during the academic school year we hold public viewings of the night sky on the roof of the Tate Laboratory of Physics. During the summer months we travel to various Minnesota State Parks to give a short presentation followed by telescope viewing as part of a program called Universe in the Park. If you are interested in learning about astronomy, these are excellent opportunities to do so, and our staff of graduate students is more than happy to answer your questions.

Along with these two programs, we also offer more personalized events (free of charge) to groups including schools, churches, Boy/Girl Scouts, rotary clubs, senior citizens, etc. In most cases, one or two graduate student volunteers will travel to your location. Events can consist of presentations (on the solar system, galaxies, formation of the Universe, careers in astronomy, etc), telescope viewing, hands-on demonstrations, or anything else that is feasible.

Each year, the Institute's faculty and staff volunteer for over 60 public presentations on astronomy topics. To request a volunteer visit for a school or group, please contact Melanie Noble (beck@astro.umn.edu ). Be sure to include your contact information, the time(s) and date(s) of the desired event, the location, and the desired presentation or activity.

- We do not guarantee that all requested events can be accommodated.

- Events should not last more than 5 hours, including travel time to and from event. (Due to oversubscription, longer events are unlikely to be filled.)

- Please call at least three weeks in advance of your desired event.

- Accepted requests during the summer months are limited due to decreased availability of volunteers.

Click here to see the current semester calendar.