Clemson Area Astronomers of Senceca, South Carolina, Photo: Ram White
The Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP) announced the winners of its 2011 awards for excellence in astronomy education. Many of our club members have won awards, and this year two Night Sky Network members won again!
The Las Cumbres Amateur Outreach Award, honoring outstanding educational outreach by an amateur astronomer to K-12 children and the public, goes to Lonnie Puterbaugh of Brentwood, Tennessee. Lonnie turned a minivan into a mobile display center and observatory called The Astronomy Channel. He travels hundreds of miles to share The Astronomy Chanel with astronomy clubs and organizations, and also presents locally. His van has a variety of electronic gear that lets him entertain and inform the public about astronomy even if clouds prevent sky observing. His programs include music, video and electronic images of celestial objects. Lonnie is active with two Night Sky Network clubs: Barnard-Seyfert Astronomical Society of Tennessee, and Von Braun Astronomical Society of Alabama.
The Thomas J. Brennan Award for excellence in astronomy teaching at the high school level is awarded to Mark S. Reed of Jackson High School in Jackson, Michigan. Reed has taught astronomy there for 23 years, and also teaches at Jackson's Lumen Christi High School. Among his accomplishments is the revitalization of the high school's Peter F. Hurst Planetarium, of which he became director in 1992 and which he uses extensively in his innovative teaching. He has assisted in the retrofit of the Jackson County Intermediate School District's Camp McGregor Observatory, where he is a lead teacher helping local high school students learn about CCD imaging. Mark is a member of the Amateur Astronomers of Jackson, Michigan. Read more about the 2011 ASP Annual Award Winners.