I was very impressed with the attendance at the SkyWatch Lecture "Curiosity on Mars: Roving the Red Planet". Seeing pictures taken only the day before was astonishing. The speaker, Laurie Leshin, did an outstanding job!
Years into my teaching I saw a brief presentation about Dudley Observatory and their outreach program, "Rising Star Internship". Once I was accepted to this program I worked with other teachers to assemble my own telescope. This immediate "hands-on" involvement made be familiar with the telescope and how it works. I teach in a small, rural school district. The telescope I received from Dudley has allowed me to be active with my school district. I have been to a number of homes in the community to teach small groups of students about the planets, stars and telescopes. From Dudley, I also received background information and reference material to help guide me in my education. Dudley has given me the tools with which to work on the New York State and National Science Standards. Through my work with the Dudley Observatory many more children and adults have experienced the night sky.
I had a very positive experience working with Dudley’s archives. Arguably, Dudley is as much about history as it is astronomy. I realized its rich past upon probing various documents. For instance, director Curtis Hemenway proved a pioneer with his experiments in micrometeorites during the 1960s and 1970s. In addition, I received a glimpse into the inner workings of the board through minutes of meetings. Each board member possessed his/her ideas over the Observatory’s direction. On a final note, my time at Dudley allowed me to directly apply my studies in history and archives.
DUdley Observatory is a great public institution in New York's capital district. THough there has not been an actual observatory for many years, Dudley has been holding public events introducing people to the night sky; training Rising Star interns, their parents and teachers, to use telescopes and show things at public events; sponsoring lectures by knowledgeable speakers and authors; and generally keeping astronomy, its uses, and its history, alive and growing. It was great fun to be part of the recreation of a historic group photograph during their anniversary a couple of years ago. Author Dava Sobel was the guest of honor.
My experience with the people here, while fairly limited, was extremely positive. all of them were always willing to help with any problem and very interested in trying to enrich the experience of volunteering; I got the feeling that they did a great deal more for me than I did for them. I never participated directly in any of their events, so I can't comment on that, but with that group of people I can't imagine it could be anything but spectacular.
The Dudley Observeratory have become much more active in promoting Astronomy in recent years by hosting public outreach event and more recently, the yearly lecture series which I find extremely informative. I've assisted at some of their programs and am amazed at the interest and results they are getting. They are definitely an asset in this neck of the woods.
The Dudley Observatory has served as a model in the community in its science and astronomy outreach. The Observatory manages a fulfilling annual internship program and coordinates lecture series and astronomy educational events. If there is an astronomy event scheduled in the area, you can always count on a Dudley representative to be there with a telescope and educational materials.
Dudley's collection of historic books and astronomical artifacts is impressive, as are its education and outreach activities, at both the professional and amateur levels. Especially exciting is Dudley's role in bringing the excitement of science to the public. Dudley's vision says it all: The Dudley Observatory, chartered by the State of New York in 1852, is the oldest independent organization in the country supporting research and education in astronomy and the history of astronomy. Our vision is to be a nationally recognized center for educational outreach and historical research in astronomy that is vibrant and expanding its impact, programming, and resources through both its own unique efforts and partnerships with other leading organizations.
Dudley has several interesting and important roles in astronomy and our society. It is an historical observatory with world class contributions. It an the repository of several historical telescopes and several ultra-precise mechanical clocks. In addition it has a modern role of bringing modern astronomy to the public, and another in inspiring middle and high school children to enjoy science through the excitement of direct observation of the skies, and of rapidly-movbing modern astronomy. Its board members and staff are excellent and devoted individuals.
A classic example of a non-profit that makes their mission rather accessible to the community with very little funding. Great programs for people interested in the topic, for students, for teachers, etc.
Dudley is an observatory that is enriched by its inspiring history, yet tireless in creating new valuable experiences for youth, students at all levels, and adults. Astronomy has traditionally been the discipline that has drawn people toward science with its awe-inspiring mystery and beauty. Dudley's staff know how to nurture that curiosity with a mixture of casual star parties and excellent lectures from renowned guests.
The Dudley Observatory is an organization that works towards providing education about astronomy and the history of astronomy. Its focus is on astronomy that is accessible to all, which is why instead of a physical "observatory" with a turret, Dudley has started the Rising Star Internship Program. I personally became involved with the Dudley Observatory by participating in this program, in which 8-inch telescopes (which are big enough to make out Saturn's rings and Jupiter's moons) are given out to high school students and educators who are taught how to use them. These students and educators then use the telescopes (which are theres to keep) to attend public observing events and show celestial targets to the public. The telescopes are highly mobile and we have taken them everywhere from Saratoga State Park to SPAC to the streets of Schenectady to show off and teach about the heavens. Some other programs Dudley has been involved in are a variable star research project, an astrophotography program, lectures by astronomers and researchers in related fields, public observing events, and school presentations. Dudley's mission is get people excited about astronomy, about its history, and about science in general. It has had an amazing impact on everyone who has ever volunteered for it, attended one of its programs, or even just taken their first look at Saturn'
It is an honor to speak to the many activities that the Dudley Observatory offers to people of all ages. I am so very impressed with the dedication (matched by no other) of the staff and volunteers to develop programs and bring the wonders of the universe to all of us. There are outstanding educational programs and a superb lecture series that allows us to see these wonderful scientists in action. The Rising Star Program actually gives a telescope to those accepted and allows the recipients ( both teachers and students alike) to augment their knowledge base and then pass that knowledge to others. Just check it out, go to the Dudley Observatory website and you will be very impressed!
As the coordinator for the Dudley Astrophotograpy and Research (K)nights group, I help other community members hone their skills. We are working on several citizen sky projects, such as the Epsilon Aurigae Variable Star project and Galaxy Zoo. We have also been learning different astrophotography techniques and practicing our new skills.
In addition to former staff positions, I have volunteered for Dudley off and on since 2003. Since 2003 Janie Schwab, the Executive Director has moved the mission of the Observatory from a library and archive facility out to the public, offering many programs and lectures targeted to students, young adults and science teachers. These programs have reached thousands of people and gotten them excited and hooked on science and the stars.
Dudley is an amazing organization that does an amazing amount given its small budget. The lectures and other public events are great, as are the educational programs. Great bang for the buck!
I attended an excellent week-long seminar for middle school teachers co-sponsored by the Dudley Observatory. I learned the basics of sun-viewing, star, galaxy and nebula-watching in a nighttime viewing and generally got very excited about pushing more astronomy into my earth science curriculum. The ideas I was exposed to came from NASA, longtime eteacher experts in the field and others devoted to the astrosciences. Without this course, I wouldn't have the enthusiasm and ideas to pump up my teaching. Thanks!
I had high expectations for the professional development (PD) program offered in conjunction with the Dudley Observatory, and I was extremely satisfied with the experience. The variety of learning opportunities offered was vast, the speakers were exceptional, and the other participants pushed my thoughts on how to reach all students. During the observational astronomy evening, middle and high school students were able to demonstrate their understanding and passion for astronomy. This excitement was made available by the individuals working for the Dudley Observatory.
Dudley Observatory has tought me values about lfe and what I want to do with my future. Some nights we were in SPAC showing the public practically anything they wanted see through our telescopes and some nights we were setting up tables at various locations with packets of information about getting started with astronomy. I have had people go up to me while I volunteered with Dudley and told me how much my telescope has changed their life. If I didn't live almost 2 hours away, Id be volunteering with Dudley as much as possible.