Out-of-this-World Award

Posted by David Eicher
on Friday, October 6, 2006

Congratulations to Celestial North, Inc., an astronomy club based in Freeland, Washington! Last September, Celestial North became the recipient of Astronomy magazine’s first annual Out-of-this-World Award, which recognizes ongoing astronomy club outreach efforts. The $2,500 prize rewards Celestial North’s sustained efforts to involve the Puget Sound community in the science and hobby of astronomy. Astronomy magazine editors chose Celestial North from 32 clubs throughout the United States, including Puerto Rico, that submitted entries.

Celestial North’s award-winning outreach includes:

  • A biweekly astronomy radio news show, “It’s over your head,” on local public broadcasting station KSER 90.7 FM. In addition to club members producing the show, Celestial North invites kids to participate on air and in the production process.
  • A partnership with the University of Washington’s Project AstroBio program
  • Support of the state of Washington’s Assessment of Student Learning, through space science presentations at different grade levels
  • Multimedia presentations at local public schools, the Table Mountain Star Party, and Seattle’s Pacific Science Center


    Celestial North committed to placing the $2,500 toward enhancing and promoting their radio show and public presentations. The club believes the radio program, along with its extensive archive, can function as a dynamic classroom tool to help bring astronomy to students.

    Runners-up for the 2006 award are the Escambia Amateur Astronomers’ Association in Pensacola, Florida, and the West Kentucky Amateur Astronomers of Huntington, Tennessee.

    The Escambia Amateur Astronomers’ Association (EAAA) brings astronomy to its community in a variety of ways. The club shares its interest in astronomy through events with scout troops, local schools, and a nearby Air Force base. In addition to these presentations, the EAAA maintains an e-mail network to notify club members and local media of breaking space news.

    The West Kentucky Amateur Astronomers conduct sidewalk programs with local schools, libraries, scout troops, and parks. These events include weekly summer sessions at the Kentucky Sheriffs’ Boys and Girls Ranch — a camp for underprivileged children.

    Congratulations to Celestial North and to all the clubs that entered. Your tireless efforts and unwavering commitment sustain our beloved hobby. Indeed, today’s public programs inspire tomorrow’s astronomers and astronauts.

    For a complete list of the 2006 entrants, read our web story.

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