POCA

A Partnership in Observational and Computational Astronomy

Year 3 Outreach

A variety of outreach and recruitment activities took place in Year 3.

POCA faculty members at SC State participated in a total of 8 events statewide with 480 participants including students, teachers and parents. These events included talks at schools, balloon-launches, a teacher workshop and a Physics Visitation Day for high school students and their parents. A significant number of the students were members of honors or gifted and talented programs.

July 13-15, 2010, Teacher Workshop, Orangeburg, SC

POCA co-sponsored a 3-day workshop on earth and space science for middle and high school teachers. A total of 9 teachers and 2 high school students attended this intensive workshop that met all day and in the evening. Hands-on activities covered the fields of astronomy, astrobiology and atmospheric science. The culminating event was the launch of a meteorological balloon with an ozone detector that rose to nearly 100,000 feet before bursting and parachuting to the ground. The teachers from this group were instrumental in recruiting high school students to attend the Physics Visitation Day in November 2010.

October 1-2, 2010 SACNAS Conference, Anaheim, CA

PI Walter attended the national meeting of the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS). A POCA booth was set up that advertised the POCA summer astronomy internship program at SC State and the POCA graduate fellowships at Clemson University. Walter and Co-PI Leising followed up with interested students in the weeks after the conference.

November 13, 2010, Physics Visitation Day, Orangeburg, SC

POCA sponsored a Physics Visitation Day at SC State that included 17 high school students and 12 parents and teachers. The physics faculty and students gave a variety of presentations including talks, hands-on activities by the participants, a tour of the new science building and a planetarium show.

February 2011

A packet with a cover letter, flyers and a poster describing the POCA undergraduate astronomy internships for the summer of 2011 was mailed to 40 physics programs at HBCUs and other minority institutions. Additionally, direct contact, email and phone calls were made to individuals who expressed an interest in the summer internship program either locally or at the national SACNAS meeting