05 October 2013 outreach pennstate

I decided to volunteer for AstroNight, an annual outreach event held by the astronomy department, supposedly a smaller variant of its bigger brother AstroFest which I haven't attended yet. I took my new 1.4 aperture with me - I wanted to test it out.

Regretfully the weather wasn't good. Some of us feared that the people that really wanted to do the observing wouldn't come at all. Nevertheless, a lot of people showed up, and all volunteers had a lot to do.

Initially not knowing my place, I ended up being a greeter. I have never seen so many people in Davey. It seemed like the place to be at! The two main elevators just brought waves, and waves of new people. Sometimes I greeted people twice. It didn't matter I think - they just asked more questions instead!

There were many stations; non-newtonian fluids, lots of 3D shows, various talks, planetarium shows, observations (mostly showing them the telescopes - but supposedly the weather got a little bit better with time), comet making, simple spectrographs, quizzes with prizes, and whatnot related to astronomy & astrophysics.

In all it was very similar to the outreach activites I've done back in Iceland, as a part of the math & physics community there. Thus, empirically I conclude; people from two different continents seem to behave in a very similar manner at science outreach activities.

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