Outreach Award

Outreach Award Coordinator:

Maynard Pittendreigh
1281 Serena Drive
Winter Park FL 32798
Telephone: 321-400-4312
E-mail: Maynard@Pittendreigh.net


The Astronomical League has been highly successful motivating League club and society members to not only get out and observe, but to also record and submit their observations for appropriate recognition. The stated goal for the Observing Programs is that they offer encouragement and certificates of accomplishment for demonstrating observing skills with a variety of instruments and objects. The success of the Astronomical League’s various Observing Programs and awards is but just one of the League’s many benefits to its member clubs and societies.

The Astronomical League’s Outreach Award encourages and recognizes the work of individuals who promote the hobby of astronomy. The Award was designed and coordinated for many years by Mike Reynolds and Mike Ramirez.   Maynard Pittendreigh is the current coordinator.

There are many reasons why the Astronomical League values outreach activities:

1. Outreach is paramount to the survival of our hobby. Our clubs need new members of all ages, and outreach programs by clubs or individuals are important to the growth of our hobby.

2. Outreach can also enhance the lives of individuals in our schools and communities. Astronomy is a worthwhile hobby and has much to offer individuals and society.  Through outreach programs, we offer children and youth a door into mathematics and sciences which may become future career fields.  Outreach to older adults can introduce them to astronomy as a new challenge that can enrich retirement years.  Outreach for intergenerational groups can enhance a family’s life together.

3. The highly-successful League Observing Programs are popular and inviting. By making Astronomy Outreach on the same level as other League Observing Programs, it promotes the importance of outreach among our many members. It would also encourage clubs and societies to become more involved.

4. Astronomy can often be a solitary activity.  Outreach programs connect individual astronomers in a way that enables these individuals to share, teach, and mentor one another so that we all enjoy our hobby to an ever greater extent.

5. The Astronomical League is the organization that has historically tied together amateur clubs and societies. The League is, therefore, the best vehicle to recognize and reward individual outreach efforts. The League already recognizes efforts by clubs/societies for Astronomy Day. Yet we need to practice outreach on more than one day per year – and many of us do just that. It is often the individual who makes this happen.

6. You cannot have too much outreach nor recognize outreach efforts often enough!

Requirements and Rules

This certification is available to members of the Astronomical League, either through their local astronomical society or as members at large.  If you are not a member and would like to become one, check with your local astronomical society, search for a local society on the Astronomical League Website (click here), or join as a member at large (click here).

1. To qualify for the Astronomical League’s Outreach, Stellar Outreach and Master Outreach Awards, you must be a member of the Astronomical League, either through an affiliated club or as a Member-At-Large. When you make a submission, the Outreach Award Coordinator will confirm your membership with the Astronomical League is current before awarding certificates and pins.

2. You MUST make a submission on the excel spreadsheet available here. It is preferable that this submission form be sent to the Outreach Award Coordinator via email.  If the submission is a narrative format rather than on the excel spreadsheet form, you may be asked to resubmit using the correct form.

3. When you make submissions for the second and third level of this award, it is in your best interest to use your original excel spreadsheet submission by adding the additional information.  This allows for you to make the best of the hours you have spent.  For example, if your Stellar Award submission has a total of 62 hours, the form automatically counts two hours toward your Master Outreach Award Level.

Levels of Awards and the Requirements for Each

The concept is to award outreach just as the Astronomical League currently recognizes Observing Programs (each Observing Program offers a certificate based upon achieving certain observing goals): based on a number of outreach events and hours. There are three levels of recognition:  Outreach, Stellar Outreach, and Master Outreach.




Outreach Award 1.A minimum of five events.

2.Each event must last at least two hours.

Certificate and pin
Stellar Outreach Award 1.Must have received the Outreach Award.

2.Must have an additional 50 hours of outreach programs (above the minimum of ten for the basic level of the Outreach Award).

Master Outreach Award 1.Must have earned the Outreach Award.

2.Must have earned the Stellar Outreach Award.
Must have an additional 100 hours of outreach programs.

3.Must provide a narrative of his or her outreach activities.  You may describe what works well for outreach programs, or describe a unique outreach program you have designed and implemented.  This may be submitted to the Reflector by the Awardee after receiving the Master Award, but publication will be up to the discretion of the Reflector editor.

Certificate and pin

This structure of tiered recognition encourages the initial recipient to continue with his or her outreach efforts. As with all League Observing Programs, the Astronomical League’s Outreach Awards are numbered. And as with other League Observing Programs, all Outreach proposed awards need to be certified by the local club or society president. Members at Large may make submissions directly to the Outreach Award Coordinator.

Submitting for Certification

To receive your Outreach, Stellar or Master Certificate and Pin, review the submission instructions (PDF file) for recording your events, fill out the Outreach Log Spreadsheet form and send the completed Outreach Log Spreadsheet, to the Outreach Award Coordinator.

Upon verification of your submission and of your active membership in the Astronomical League, your recognition (certificate, pin, etc.) will be sent to you or to the awards coordinator for your society, as you specified.  Your name will also appear in an upcoming issue of the Reflector magazine and in the Astronomical League’s on-line database.  Congratulations.  Good luck with your next observing challenge.

Outreach Award Coordinator:

Maynard Pittendreigh
1281 Serena Drive
Winter Park FL 32798
Telephone: 321-400-4312
E-mail: Maynard@Pittendreigh.net

Related Links:

Outreach Program FAQs
Search for your Observing Program Awards

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