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Dark Sky Discovery Project ( pdf )
Dan Hillier (Royal Observatory Edinburgh, UK Science and Technology Facilities Council, Scotland)
The Dark Sky Discovery Project is seeking to support good practice in astronomy communication and education throughout the UK and Ireland. It is harnessing the inspirational appeal of “Dark Skies” to create new opportunities in this field. It has its roots in the very successful Dark Sky Scotland partnership which was launched by the Deputy First Minister for Scotland in 2007. That partnership has brought new partners, funding and PR to public and school astronomy in Scotland, creating a Dark Sky Team of skilled scientists, science communicators and amateur astronomers to deliver events for audiences in both rural and urban communities. At the heart of its approach are training workshops for teachers, other educators and group leaders to help build their capacity for running activities themselves. Dark Sky Scotland has been particularly successful in working with environmental and outdoor learning organizations. The Dark Sky Discovery project is inviting organizations in other parts of the UK and Ireland to form similar partnerships that build on their own expertise and experience to plan and deliver similar activities in their own area. Some 30 organizations are already involved and the project is raising funds to support a two year programme of activities.