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Paper: IYA2009 Programmes in Canada: The “Big Picture” in June 2008
Volume: 400, Preparing for the 2009 International Year of Astronomy: A Hands-on Symposium
Page: 308
Authors: Hesser, J.E.; Lane, D.; Langill, P.P.; Percy, J.R.
Abstract: The Canadian partnership—Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC), F´ed´eration des astronomes amateurs du Qu´ebec (FAAQ), and Canadian Astronomical Society (CASCA)—is implementing elements designed to offer an engaging astronomy experience to every Canadian during 2009. Our goals for all themes envision creating long-lasting impacts, especially in the education and inspiration of youth. Wherever possible we seek to leverage and extend existing programmes, and we aim to provide materials in both English and French. To make IYA2009 successful, both the RASC and FAAQ have committed significant funds over and above their extensive in-kind contributions of volunteer time. Through the ‘Galileo Moment’ theme we aim to get more than one million Canadians to look through a telescope, or participate in cultural and outreach events that bring a strong sense of personal astronomical discovery. An Astronomy Kit of physical and/or virtual components is under development. A partnership led by Cape Breton University faculty proposes extensive participation by Canada’s Aboriginal Communities, including a series of activities designed to bring elders and youth together. Reinvigoration of the RASC’s long-standing efforts to create Dark Sky Preserves is another cross-cutting theme. Outreach programmes of Canada’s major planetaria and science centres, a national astronomy lecture series, as well as partnerships with arts and cultural organizations, offer hopes of reaching both traditional and non-traditional audiences in fun, engaging ways. Individual volunteer efforts are emerging to implement in high-traffic locales From the Earth to the Universe astronomical image exhibits from material developed by both IAU and Canadian curatorial teams. Our proposal for commemorative stamps has been accepted, and efforts are underway to secure commemorative coins, as well. The Canadian Space Agency has agreed to launch in 2010 a DVD with names of the Canadians who register their Galileo Moment experience. Fund raising is underway in earnest. See for current information.
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