By June 5, 2019Engagement


Using JWST science to survey public engagement activity, inspire amateur astronomers and showcase UK involvement to the public.

AstroBoost follow-on project: call for applications now open

The AstroBoost follow-on project is now seeking applications from astronomy societies based anywhere in the UK. In a similar fashion to the original AstroBoost, this exciting project is aimed at societies who are currently active in public engagement. Participating societies will receive public engagement resources and training related to the Webb Telescope. They must be able to commit to sending 2 people to the training day, held in Edinburgh, 20 Mar 2020 11am-6pm. There is also an evaluation requirement.

Deadline for submissions: 6 Jan 2020. Successful applicants will be informed by 13 Jan 2019. Please submit just one application per society. The application form can be found at the following link:

Astroboost phase one is now complete and ready for launch! Follow the links at the bottom of this article to view the reports and/or download the Astroboost resources.

AstroBoost is a project created and managed by Jenny Shipway on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. It is funded by a STFC Spark Award and run in partnership with the James Webb Space Telescope UK Campaign, Guildford and Newbury Astronomical Societies, and Hampshire Astronomical Group. The project has two main strands:

The first is a survey of southern astronomical societies to determine their current public engagement activity, aspirations and barriers. No such data had been previously collected. The large majority of societies count public engagement as central to their aims and are active in this area. Together they engage a large number of people from diverse public audiences.

The second strand is development of a suite of Webb telescope public engagement resources for the use of the three partner societies. The types of resources to be developed were determined from the specific needs of these societies.

The Astroboost resource pack includes:

  • Help sheets with information on some of the science and best practice for delivering activities
  • Activity sheets (some general and some specific to the hardware provided to participating AstroBoost groups)
  • Instuctions for building a mini Lego Webb telescope model
  • Risk assessment templates
  • Presentation script and slides covering key Webb telescope science and technology areas