Public Programs

As part of its promise to promote the science of astronomy, SMAS has created a series of COMMUNITY OUTREACH PROGRAMS. The programs are free, but donations are graciously accepted and tax deductible. SMAS is a non-profit organization whose only income is from donations, fund raisers and member dues.

STAR PARTIES: The members of SMAS volunteer their talent, time and telescopes to bring astronomy to the public. Star Parties can be daytime or evening events. These programs are free.

Public Star Parties are advertised in the local media, so that anyone in the general public may attend. Locations may include the Nanjemoy Creek Observatory (NCO), as well as various local national, state and regional parks and community centers. All members of the public are welcome to attend these events. Groups are welcome.

Private Star Parties are scheduled specifically for a requesting school, scout troop, group of teachers, science club, etc., and not advertised to the general public. Locations may be NCO or local schools or parks.

Whenever logistically possible, Star Parties also include a Pre-Observing Briefing, either indoors or outdoors. The SMAS Program Coordinator reviews "Star Party Safety Tips" and "What's Up in the Night Sky" (for evening events). The program may also include optional astronomy projects or lessons, which may be related to a school or scout curriculum.

MULTIMEDIA PRESENTATIONS: The members of SMAS provide various indoor and outdoor presentations and displays at Public and Private Star Parties.

SMAS Presents:The Moon: A PowerPoint Presentation
(A free PowerPoint Viewer download is available at PowerPoint Viewer)

Astrophotography - An indoor display of digital and hard copy versions of images created by members of SMAS

Astronomy in Colonial America and Beyond - An indoor static display of large format images and text, featuring Colonial Maryland Astronomers

Scale Models of the Solar System - Available as indoor hands-on demonstrations and/or outdoor large scale static displays

SCHOOL VISITATION: The SMAS Program Coordinator visits schools during the day to give hands-on astronomy lessons to individual classes. The lessons may be related to the curriculum. Schedule availability varies. This program is free.

For more information on any of these programs or to schedule a Star Party or School Visitation, please contact the SMAS Program Coordinator at Programs are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis.

Last Updated: 2/7/16