Reporting on your club's outreach events is key to maintaining membership in the NASA Night Sky Network. Regular event reports keep your club qualified to receive toolkits, free handouts (when available), and NSN award pins, and also gives your own club members a record of how past club events went. Having these online records can prove handy for outreach in locations with unique requirements, understanding how many visitors attended events, and in recording which club members volunteered their time and telescopes during outreach or other club activities.

The NSN website's tools give clubs the ability to report on these events to NASA via the event log system. Andee Sherwood, NSN trainer and coordinator for the Los Angeles Astronomical Society, has some tips below on how to log your club's events:

How To Report on Your Events Using the Event Log Systemscreenshot of NSN open items form

When you first post an event on your NSN club calendar, you will view an option asking you to be reminded to log your event or not. If you click Yes, you will receive a message to log an event on the right hand side of your home page under Open Items, after the event happens. Here is what to do next:
  



1. Click directly on the reminder and a page will open, listing the event you may wish to log. Then click on the "Log This Event" link to open the event log form.
    listing of open items to log 

Alternately, you can list past events for your club, or click on the event from the club calendar. Open the event and click on the gray Log This Event button to open the log form.                       log this event button screenshot

2. Next, you will need to fill in a few mandatory items:
  • Name of Primary Presenter,
  • Length of Event
  • Number of Club Members
  • Total number of Visitors/Audience
You can also enter in a few optional data points, including demographic information, topcis covered, photos, comments, and toolkits used.

3. If you used any activities, resources or printed material from one of the toolkits at this event, please be sure to click to open the Toolkit drop-down menu, found under the "Provide a few comments..."  text box.
 
toolkits used dropdown screenshot

4. Once the Toolkit menu opens, you can note usage of materials or activities from NSN Toolkits or other NASA materials*

5. Scroll down, then select whether or not you wish to display the log information publicly.

6. Then select "Approved" under "Log Status" if you are satisfied with the report. Scroll up if you want to review it and add any further data. You can also edit thee log afterwards if needed.

7. Click "Submit All Changes" and your event report will be saved and submitted. 

submit changes buton for nsn

*You do not not need to use the entire toolkit to qualify. Please note that you also have the option to note that other materials or activities were used such as NASA handouts, NSN activities that do not require physical materials, lithographs, and so on in the "other NSN Resources" option. We have more on that below

How Are Reports Used?

The event log system is the best way to let NASA know you are using their resources for your outreach events. The records of your club's outreach events show NASA how many people were exposed to NASA science as a result of your club's outreach and what materials, activities, and other resources are used the most. That is why it's important to report on how many people were at your event and what resources were used, including NSN toolkits and other NASA-related items. 

We of course love your additional demographic details, anecdotes,and photos in the logs, but we totally understand that not everyone has the time to exhaustively record every last detail of every event. As long as you record a rough estimate of the numbers of people served by your club and the resources used in your outreach, our goal of better understanding your club's outreach, your audiences, and the NASA science they are exposed to is met.

Final Note on Recording Toolkit and Resource Use
For example, if your club held an eclipse event  and you used  NSN-donated eclipse materials, such as the solar eclipse glasses, handouts, or even used featured NASA eclipse apps, you can check the “Other NSN Resources.” option under “Toolkit Used” to mark that your club used NASA resources to when educating the public about astronomy! Of course, if your club also items from a specific NSN toolkit, like the planet models and sun poster from "Exploring the Solar System" or the Earth-Moon yardstick eclipse model from "Shadows and SIlhouettes", by all means please mark those toolkits down as used! Some activites don't require phsyical itmes but are indeed part of a toolkit, and can be marked as having been used as well. 
 

Last Updated:November 30, 2018
 
 Logo for Night Sky Network featuring child and astronomer observing the skyNight Sky Network members are committed to bringing astronomy to the public!  NASA/JPL, the ASP, and additional partners proudly support member clubs' outreach events with a variety of free materials and tools in exchange for posting and reporting their events to the NSN calendar system, including: outreach toolkits, quarterly prizes, handouts, webinars with NASA scientists, along with increased visibility for upcoming events posted to the public calendar.

logo for Facebooklogo for TwitterLogo for YouTubeLogo for Instagram
Follow us on Facebook Twitter and Instagram for the latest NSN news and outreach photos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel for recordings of our monthly astronomy webinars, as well as archives of our Outreach Toolkit demonstration videos.  #NightSkyNetwork #AstronomyOutreach

Logo for the Astronomical Society of the PacificThe NASA Night Sky Network is managed by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. The ASP is a 501c3 non-profit organization advancing science literacy through astronomy.