A Partnership in Observational and Computational Astronomy

Year 4 Outreach

A variety of outreach and recruitment activities took place in Year 4.

June 27-30, 2011, Teacher Workshop, Orangeburg, SC

June 27-30, 2011: POCA sponsored a workshop for 11 teachers and 14 students from high schools in South Carolina and Georgia. This workshop was designed to acquaint the teacher and student participants with subject matter, educational resources, information on Project Lead the Way and student career opportunities in the fields of astronomy, astrobiology, atmospheric science and physics. Teachers and students participated in hands-on activities related to these fields and took back information for future participation by other teachers and students. Their culminating event included a balloon launch with a radiosonde and ozonesode that traveled 100,000 feet into the atmosphere before bursting and returning to earth via parachute. More details can be found at the POCA website:


The teachers and students subsequently helped recruit attendees to the POCA-funded Physics Visitation Day described below.

September 22-24, 2011: National Society of Black/Hispanic Physicists conference

PI Walter, Co-PI Smith and Senior Personnel Brittain traveled to Austin, Texas, for the combined National Society of Black/Hispanic Physicists conference. A POCA recruitment booth was manned by Walter and Brittain and a talk was given by Smith

October 28-29, 2011: Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS)

PI Walter traveled to San Jose, California, to man a recruitment booth at the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science.

November 5, 2011: Physics Visitation Day

POCA and the physics area of SC State sponsored a Physics Visitation Day on campus to recruit high school students. A total of 32 high school students and 20 parents and teachers from around the state participated in hands-on activities related to medical physics, motion, light, cosmology, ultraviolet radiation and ozone as well as a discussion on the SC State balloon research program.

November 7, 2011:

Two Clemson POCA graduate students, Shaun Hampton and Jared Lalmansingh, traveled to SC State to talk to 16 SC State undergrads and three faculty members about 'What Grad School is Really Like'.

A number of miscellaneous outreach activities during Year 4 were conducted on campus and at other schools and resulted in a total of 242 students and teachers being exposed to astronomy and the physics program at SC State. These ranged in nature from tours of the physics labs, to sunspot observing, to talks about the research conducted under POCA.

Throughout Year 4, SC State POCA faculty worked closely with the SC State public relations department to promote POCA and the astronomy program. This included two TV spots in the metropolitan areas of South Carolina, several newspaper articles with statewide coverage and print advertisement.