Engaging the Community
Sharing our passion for discovery and commitment to giving back to our local schools, libraries, camps, senior living facilities, hospitals, and other area organizations is vital to our scientific mission.
Carnegie staff connect with the public in a number of ways including classroom visits, community lectures, school science nights, science festivals, visits to community groups, and more. We have a number of outreach resources, including small telescopes and a portable inflatable planetarium that we can bring to schools, libraries, and community events.
We plan and host larger events at our campus and elsewhere throughout the year. Each year we open our doors for an annual Open House at our campus in Pasadena with activities and exhibits for all ages and education levels. Our staff also participate in large STEM festivals throughout Southern California, primarily aimed at reaching K-12 students.
Each Spring we partner with the Huntington Library to provide a unique lecture series covering a wide range of topics in astronomy and astrophysics from how we build cutting edge scientific instruments to the most recent discoveries and research by Carnegie staff. These lectures are streamed live and archived online, and a parallel series is also run at Pasadena City College.
The Observatories is also a partner in the larger City of Astronomy, a network of several institutions in Pasadena that work together to plan city wide outreach events and share resources and community outreach requests.
Each October, when possible, we open our campus to the public for the afternoon. At our family-friendly event we host an array of exhibits, interactive displays, talks, and give people a chance to meet our scientists. Our most recent open house saw ~1,000 guests from the local community and beyond.Virtual Open House 2022
School Partnerships & Classroom Visits
We partner with schools in Pasadena and Los Angeles to bring scientists to science nights, stargazing evenings, science festivals, science fairs and more. Our scientists participate in a variety of ways, bringing interactive activities, telescopes, and our new portable planetarium to kids from K-12. Currently we average 15-20 such events a year, mainly with Pasadena public schools
Meet Our Outreach Coordinator
As our Outreach Coordinator, Jeff Rich organizes our annual Open House, school visits, star parties, and community astronomy nights. He also co-initiated our Mt. Wilson STEM program and collaborates on our annual Astronomy Lecture Series at the Huntington.
In addition to his educational efforts, Rich is an astronomer who researches the processes that shape galaxy evolution and formation, primarily through detailed observational studies of galaxies in the nearby universe.Email Jeff