Daniel M. Soref Planetarium at the Milwaukee Public Museum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
General Public: Museum
Mr. Bonadurer was one of the first museum educators to participate in NITARP, and as such, had many observations about how the various presenters at the AAS and those of us in NITARP need to make sure that there is a connection back to the larger picture.
My general impression is how big and varied the whole conference was. I knew the number coming in—but sometimes our imagination fails us. To see all the posters, papers, booths, and talks was truly astonishing.
Also revealed [at the 2012 AAS] was the fact that students rarely mention “creativity” and “imagination” when describing science. This tells me, as a planetarium educator, we must do a better job communicating on how discoveries are made in science.
Overall, most of the posters [at my first AAS] looked very similar. It was generally hard to get the big picture at the top. As a Planetarium person, I always want to know why this important—how does this connect to average Jane or Joe on the street. That can be one sentence—is it origins, technology applications, basic curiosity and discovery. I also want to know where the object(s) they are studying are located--what constellation, distance and maybe the nearest closest star. This simply helps me visualize where people are looking.
Great to see real data taken from real telescopes take shape.
I always knew as an astronomy educator that I will miss out on the joy of discovery. The scientists [I've spoken with before] were often excited and willing to share their work—to describe what they found, and what it all means. I wondered what it’s like to achieve and feel that—to see what’s never been seen! I was always curious on how they did it exactly. Sure, I knew it was a lot of work—lots of math, physics, time, expertise, etc. But I never knew the steps, the details. I never could fathom the depth of what a true astronomer does. Well, thanks to NITARP—now I know. Or at least I have a small inkling of that experience. Yes, it is a lot of time and work! But it’s well worth it.