Launch Pad Astronomy Workshop, held in Laramie, Wyoming, is now accepting applications for its 2012 session.
Funded by the National Science Foundation, Launch Pad is a free, week-long “crash course” in astronomy and science education. As a public outreach program, its mission is simple: teach established writers accurate science, specifically in astronomy. In turn, writers are expected to spread the message via their work to a much larger audience–an audience that includes those who may be future scientists.
Professor Mike Brotherton, PhD, a professional astronomer and science fiction writer, heads the program. He is assisted by Professor Jim Verley, PhD, who specializes in how to teach science-based curricula. Writer and scientist, Geoffrey A. Landis is this year’s guest instructor.
Lectures, labs, and field trips cover the fundamentals. Topics include stellar evolution, the scale and measurement of the universe, and observation across the electromagnetic spectrum. Additional discussions deal with black holes, space flight, and world-building in science fiction. Hands-on time with telescopes and a visit to WIRO Observatory round out the experience.
Note: Due to budget constraints, this may be the last year Launch Pad is offered. The application period for 2012 runs from March 1 to March 31st, 2012.