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AUI Working with Chilean Embassy to Advance Astronomy Education, Outreach, and Engagement


In recent years AUI has worked with other stakeholders to advance astronomy education, outreach, and engagement in Chile, as well as between Chile and its international partners. The Chile-U.S. Astronomy Education and Outreach Summit initiative culminated in the release of “Reaching for the Stars: Findings of the Chile-US Astronomy Education and Outreach Summit.

Cumbre de la Red Chilena de Educación y Difusión de la Astronomía attendees

Cumbre de la Red Chilena de Educación y Difusión de la Astronomía attendees (August 10, 2017). Photo by CONICYT.

In November 2016, CONICYT in Chile adopted Reaching for the Stars, and is now working with AUI and other key stakeholders to advance the recommendations made in the document. One such recommendation was the establishment of an annual meeting in Chile that brings together astronomy educators to share best practices, and to explore innovative ideas to advance astronomy in Chile, and internationally. In August 2017, CONICYT, in collaboration with AUI and others, held the first meeting of the Cumbre de la Red Chilena de Educación y Difusión de la Astronomía (Chilean Network for Astronomy Education and Outreach), bringing together nearly 100 astronomy educators and stakeholders for the three-day event. Visit http://www.conicyt.cl/astroeducacion/#programa for more information.

 

Pete McEvoy, Juan Gabriel Valdes, Tim Spuck

Left to right, Pete McEvoy – Vice President, Administration, AUI, Juan Gabriel Valdes – Chilean Ambassador to the United States, and Tim Spuck – AUI STEM Education Development Officer at the Ambassador’s residence for Fiestas Patrias (September 18, 2017, Photo by Roberto Candia)

Most recently AUI has partnered with the Chilean Embassy in Washington DC to bring members of the Cumbre de la Red Chilena de Educación y Difusión de la Astronomía Organizing Committee to the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP) annual meeting in December (https://www.astrosociety.org/education/asp-annual-meeting/ ). The Chilean Embassy is providing financial support for a team of five individuals including Luis Chavarria, Director of Astronomy at CONICYT, Leonor Opazo from NOAO-CTIO in Chile, Jacqueline Soto from Observatorio Astronomico Andeno, Erika Labbe from Universidad Diego Portales, and AUI’s STEM Education Development Officer, Tim Spuck to attend the meeting. The team will be on a mission to:

  • Explore ideas for activities that could be replicated in Chile for the 2019 Total Solar Eclipse,
  • Gather ideas on how to better organize and implement the Cumbre de la Red Chilena de Educación y Difusión de la Astronomía 2018 and 2019 meetings and beyond,
  • More broadly get ideas about best practices in astronomy education and outreach that could be replicated in Chile, and
  • To further build/strengthen the network of astronomy education and outreach with international partners.

The group represents various sectors across astronomy EPO, including government, professional observatories in Chile, astrotourism, universities, and K-12 formal education.