One of the reasons Astronomy chose the Santa Barbara Astronomical Unit (SBAU) as its 2010 Out-of-this-world Award winner was its clear dedication to outreach. That’s why I was happy, but not surprised, to see the group’s interest in joining Astronomy’s Discover the Universe program, which resulted in a recent success story. SBAU President Ruben Gutierrez elaborates:
The museum turned over its entire outside grounds to astronomy, with special planetarium shows occurring throughout the day. Other sites featured our Out-of-this-world Award-winning UC2 fully transportable wheelchair-accessible telescope, an astronomical flea market where pre-owned telescopes and equipment were on sale at bargain prices, radio equipment demonstrations, hands-on activities like seltzer-powered rockets and remote-controlled robots, SBAU clothing sales, and delicious food (including astronaut ice cream). Once visitors completed their Mission Log, they could return to Mission Control and enter a raffle for 12 great prizes, with the grand prize being a deluxe 8-inch Dobsonian telescope.
That sounds great, Ruben! Congratulations on hosting such a fun and complex event — as always, we’re glad we could help. If you want to know what Astronomy magazine’s Discover the Universe program can do for your club, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.