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Astronomy names award winner

Unique, multimedia approach to sharing astronomy with local community separates Washington club from the rest.
Out-of-this-world Award 2006
Astronomy magazine editors selected Celestial North, Inc., an astronomy club in Freeland, Washington, to win the inaugural "Out-of-this-world" Award for public programming. This annual award honors ongoing outreach programming — not one specific event — as conducted by any educational or civic organization.

The $2,500 prize rewards Celestial North, Inc.'s sustained efforts to involve the Puget Sound community in the science and hobby of astronomy. Astronomy magazine editors chose Celestial North, Inc. from 32 clubs throughout the United States, including Puerto Rico, that submitted entries.

Celestial North, Inc.'s award-winning outreach includes:
  • A biweekly astronomy news radio 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, Inc. invites kids to participate on the 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, Inc. committed to putting 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 Escambia Amateur Astronomers' Association in Pensacola, Florida, and the West Kentucky Amateur Astronomers of Golden Pond, Kentucky.

    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 also 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, and thank you to all the clubs that entered," Astronomy Editor Dave Eicher said. "Your tireless efforts and unwavering commitment sustain our beloved hobby. Indeed, today's public programs inspire tomorrow's scientists, astronomers, and astronauts."

    To learn more about all the entrants in this year's Out-of-this-world Award please visit their web sites, listed below.
    San Diego Astronomy Association
    San Diego, CA
    www.sdaa.org/

    University of Denver's Chamberlin Observatory
    Denver, CO
    www.du.edu/~rstencel/Chamberlin/

    Southwest Florida Astronomical Society
    Cape Coral, FL
    www.theeyepiece.org/

    Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium
    Fort Myers, FL
    www.calusanature.com/

    Escambia Amateur Astronomers Association
    Pensacola, FL
    www.eaaa.net/eaaasection.htm

    Astro Day Institute
    Hilo, HI
    www.astroday.net/

    Sangamon Astronomical Society
    Springfield, IL
    www.sas-sky.org/main.html

    West Kentucky Amateur Astronomers
    Golden Pond, KY
    wkaa.net

    North Shore Amateur Astronomy Club
    Groveland, MA
    www.nsaac.org/

    Astronomical Society of Greenbelt
    Greenbelt, MD
    www.greenbeltastro.org/index.shtml

    Tri-State Astronomers
    Hagerstown, MD
    www.tristateastronomers.org/

    Westminster Astronomical Society
    Sykesville, MD
    www.westminsterastro.org/

    University of Michigan Student Astronomical Society
    Ann Arbor, MI
    www.astro.lsa.umich.edu/sas/

    Ford Amateur Astronomy Club
    Dearborn, MI
    www.boonhill.net/faac/

    Eisenhower Astronomy Club
    Chaska, MN
    www.hopkins.k12.mn.us/pages/district/CommED/fc-observ.html

    Rochester Astronomy Club
    Rochester, MN
    www.rochesterskies.org/index.html

    St. Louis Astronomical Society
    St. Louis, MO
    www.slasonline.org

    Alliance for Astronomy, Inc.
    Wentzville, MO
    st-charles-astro.org

    National Public Observatory
    Radium Springs, NM
    astro-npo.org

    Rensselaer (RPI) Hirsch Observatory
    Troy, NY
    www.rpi.edu/dept/phys/observatory/home.htm

    Miami Valley Astronomical Society
    Bellbrook, OH
    www.mvas.org

    Cincinnati Observatory Center
    Cincinnati, OH
    www.cincinnatiobservatory.org

    Norman North High School Astronomy Club
    Norman, OK
    www.norman.k12.ok.us/710/organizations/index.htm

    Barinas Astronomy Group
    Yauco, Puerto Rico

    Barnard-Seyfert Astronomical Society
    Brentwood, TN
    www.bsasnashville.com

    Gallatin High School
    Gallatin, TN
    ghs.sumnerschools.org/astronomy.htm

    Brownsville Alliance for Science Education
    Brownsville, TX
    www.phys.utb.edu/base

    Richmond Astronomical Society
    Richmond, VA
    www.richastro.org

    Roanoke Valley Astronomical Society
    Roanoke, VA
    www.roavas.org

    Celestial North, Inc.
    Freeland, WA
    www.celestialnorth.org

    Tacoma Astronomical Society
    Lakewood, WA
    www.tas-online.org

    Mukwonago area schools
    Mukwonago, WI
    www.mukwonago.k12.wi.us
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