UCSD-2019: Committees: Education & Public Outreach

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  1. Identify key decisions that must be made (and justified) prior to CD-1,
  2. Make progress on (or actually make) those decisions,
  3. Lay out a timeline and process for making each decision, consistent with the post-decision work and internal reviews that will be needed to complete preparations for CD-1,
  4. Ensure that those timelines and processes are understood and supported by the collaboration, and that we (together) believe we can follow them.

Key Issues

  • What is the overarching design of the EPO program?
  • What is the recording / reporting structure?
  • What EPO plan in Chile would we like to propose and how do we coordinate with local resources?


Remote Attendance

Zoom link


Karkare: CMB Measurement Lab

  • Ay191 class for undergrads at Harvard. Experimental lab course for junior or senior physics / astronomy majors. Build experiment from scratch over the course of a semester.
  • Recreate Penzias and Wilson CMB discovery by building and operating a CMB telescope.
  • Have been able to export this experiment to Wesleyan (professor Meredith Hughes), but it took a lot of effort -- shows that more documentation is needed. Project has run at Harvard several times.
  • Cheap TV receiver as detector, but need a cold (LN2) load. Horn and cone forebaffle are both critical for performance -- need machinist help for construction.
  • Planning to write up project in American Journal of Physics.
  • Are there lower friction versions of this project? If apparatus was already designed / built, students could take the measurement. Experience of building components is still really valuable.

Galitzki: SO outreach

  • Got lots of good advice from Rachel Wolf (DES): need to make policies early on, decide that EPO efforts will be funded.
  • Kasey has form to log EPO activities across the collaboration. Sprawling collaboration, lots of independent activities.
    • Share resources for demos, etc.
  • Also have "flagship programs":
    • junior member mentoring program
    • Chilean program being run by Paolo (site coordinator... now working for CTA). Worked with Chilean artist collective to design prints that illustrate core science concepts. Took these to school for art classes. This evaporated after Paolo left the project, but would be useful to collaborate with other Chilean telescopes (ALMA, CCAT-Prime).
  • SO Youtube channel. Videographer Stuart employed to produce interview with SO scientists, other work. Also working with a company to revamp SO website.
  • Pontifica Universita Catholica runs astronomy summer school. Jeff McMahon will be down there in January
  • Social media: twitter, facebook, youtube. All provide statistics for engagement. This should be helpful for NSF reporting.
    • Cycle through a list of collaborators, who are each in charge for a week.
    • Haven't done instagram in any official way.
    • Tim suggests looking into Hootsuite -- cross-platform management tool that interfaces to twitter, instagram, facebook, etc. Preschedule posts, etc.
    • Nick has password for CMB-S4 twitter account. Do we need to acquire / sit on web domains, social media accounts, etc. (What about changing the experiment name?)
  • SO does an outreach event with every face-to-face meeting. CMB-S4 should do this. Requires advance planning with someone who is local and enthusiastic.
  • Produce a list of contacts at different institutions, so interested people can find a CMB-S4 scientist near them.

McMahon: CMB analysis summer school

  • Jupyter notebooks that work through CMB simulation and analysis. Use only numpy/matplotlib, so people can see everything that goes on under the hood.
  • Taking this to Chilean astronomy summer school. One outcome will be to get notebooks translated to Spanish.
  • These are designed for grad students, etc. Is there a way to do something similar with high school students?
    • Need to have different goals with different groups / audiences.
    • Darcy suggests look at CUNY Astronomy -- they have materials to get people up to speed who come in with little background.
  • HERA has a program where they get REU students from California high schools.
    • Is there a way to fund REU students for multiple summers?

Discussion: what should CMB-S4 EPO program do?

  • Establish tracking for collaboration member activities
    • Encourage collaboration members to work with arts / outreach departments at your own institution.
  • Set up social media and improve public-facing website
  • Actually do outreach event at next collaboration meeting. Where is the next CMB-S4 meeting?
  • Need to pick one or two "flagship projects" -- draft a document describing EPO plan: goals and audiences. Have this ready for next collaboration meeting.
  • Create an EPO email list that collaboration members can sign up for (distinct from EPO committee list)
  • Create a wiki page for people to brainstorm EPO projects. Lloyd will do this right now.
    • Think about existing contacts, i.e. Globetrotters going to South Pole.
  • Can we use interest in cosmology to improve general science literacy? "Astronomy is a gateway science"
  • Do outreach to audience of informal science education professionals. Set up a booth at a conference to publicize the content we are creating. ASTC is North American conference, held annually.