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 Europlanet Outreach Newsletter #24 - July 2018

Welcome to the July 2018 edition of the Europlanet outreach newsletter! This month, we have a report from our best practice workshop in Athens, "Touching the Planets, Evaluating Excellence", from the Europlanet Early Careers (EPEC) 1st Annual Meeting in Strasbourg, and news of Europlanet webinars on Hayabusa 2 and Biosphere 2. Over the past six weeks, we have been highlighting some of the best  educational resources around related to planetary science. Other news from partners includes a call from Las Cumbres Observatory (LCO) for applications with interesting, engaging, and innovative ideas for astronomy education or outreach projects that make use of LCO's unique capabilities.

If you would like to share your news, resources, events, or any other outreach-related information with the group in the next newsletter, please email us!

Updates from Europlanet Outreach

"Touching the Planets, Evaluating Excellence" - Europlanet Outreach Workshop, Athens, 2-3 July 2018

Measuring the impact of outreach activities can help you improve the effectiveness of your activities and help convince your supervisors or funders that your time and resources have been well spent. However, collecting this information can be a challenge!

From 2-3 July, 18 amateur astronomers, teachers, early career researchers and outreach providers gathered in Athens for a workshop, “Touching the Planets, Evaluating Excellence”, to share their experiences of running outreach activities and to hone their evaluation skills. Europlanet is piloting a set of easy-to-use evaluation tools to support outreach providers and educators in measuring and appraising the impact of their activities. The Athens workshop included an introduction to the toolkit by one of its creators, Dr Jen DeWitt from UCL, plus an opportunity for participations to try out four of the tools during interactive sessions.

Workshop participants were also treated to an evening at the National Observatory of Athens Thissio Visitor Centre on the Hill of the Nymphs, overlooking the Acropolis.

Many thanks to Jen DeWitt for leading the sessions, to the Local Organising Committee, Nantia Moutsouroufi, Dr Eleni Chatzichristou and Prof Ioannis Daglis for organising the workshop, to Stratos Koufos for taking pictures of the event, and to Panagiotis Evangelopoulos for the tour of the National Observatory of Athens.

Europlanet Early Careers (EPEC) Network - 1st Annual Week

The 1st EPEC (EuroPlanet Early Career) Network Annual Week took place from 10-15 June 2018 at the International Space University in Strasbourg (France). Around 40 early career scientists from 19 different countries gathered for a week of presentations, workshops, networking and social activities.

EPEC has nine working groups, covering a wide range of activities and issues relevant to planetary science, including outreach. The EPEC workshop included an outreach session with an introduction to science communication and practical exercises to encourage participants to think about how best to tailor outreach activities to different audiences. 

More details, including images from the week and presentations from the working groups, can be found here:

Europlanet Planetary Science Resource of the Week

In June and July, Europlanet resumed its weekly Facebook campaign to highlight planetary science resources for educators, teachers and students.

These resources are high-quality educational activities to be used in and out of the classroom, including some of the resources from the peer-reviewed Europlanet Collections published on IAU astroEDU. All kinds of topics are covered including planetary mapping, the scale of the Solar System, planetary exploration and impact cratering.

If you’d like to feature your planetary science resource in our Facebook campaign, write to us at

Europlanet Webinars

Save the date! The next Europlanet webinar on the topic of "Biosphere 2" will be on on Monday 24th September with guest, Kevin Bonine, Biosphere 2 Director of Education and Outreach.

If you can't wait until then, you can catch up on our past webinars, including June's discussion with Dr Elizabeth Tasker on "Hayabusa2 Mission to the Asteroids".

Updates from Partners
Las Cumbres Observatory Seeks New Education Partners

Las Cumbres Observatory (LCO) is pleased to announce that it is accepting applications for new education partners. It is seeking applications for organised and structured astronomy-education programs with well-defined target audiences. Education partners will observe astronomical phenomena with LCO telescopes and use the data as part of their educational activities. LCO is looking for interesting, engaging, and innovative ideas for astronomy education or outreach projects that make use of LCO's unique capabilities, including our global network of telescopes and scheduling software. Projects that involve monitoring of astronomical events or following up on recent astronomical discoveries are particularly suitable.

Essential information:

  • LCO is offering a total of 1,000 hours of observing time on the LCO 0.4-meter telescope network for use between 1 December 2018 and 1 December 2019 for all projects;
  • Time is only offered for educational projects that are part of organised programs, not to individuals;
  • A full proposal application needs to be submitted and will be reviewed by a panel of experts;
  • Proposal deadline is 1 September 2018.

For full information about this call, eligibility criteria, and how to apply, please visit the LCO website:

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