To complement our rigorous teaching curriculum and extensive research programs, the Minnesota Institute for Astrophysics is heavily involved in 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. If you are someone who is interested in learning about the various topics of astronomy, these are excellent opportunities to do so and our staff of graduate students are more than happy to answer your questions.
However, our public outreach program does not end with these two public viewing events. We take it a step further by offering our services (free of charge) to groups who are looking for a more personalized event to suit their particulary interests. These groups include schools, churches, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, rotary clubs, senior citizens, etc. In most cases, we will travel to your location. The event can consist of a class on a particular subject, telescope viewing, hands-on demonstrations, or anything else that is feasible. As examples, in the past we have done talks on the solar system, galaxies, formation of the Universe, and the history of astronomy. The possibilites are endless!
Each year, the Institute for Astrophysics' faculty and staff volunteer for over 60 public
presentations on astronomy topics. Please contact our Public Outreach Coordinator
at 612-624-3859 or if you would like to organize an event.
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 the 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.