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Annual Meeting Announcement: Educators Invited to Astronomy Curriculum Workshop

Pass on the word!

This year, the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO) and Apache Point Observatory (APO) are collaborating on a special astronomy curriculum workshop to take place during our Annual Meeting. The workshop is free of charge and limited to twenty seats. If you are an educator, please consider attending (please scroll for registration information). If you know of an educator within commuting distance to Las Cruces who might be interested in joining us for this collaborative effort to further STEM opportunities, please pass along this information.

American Association of Variable Star Observers
in collaboration with
Apache Point Observatory:

"Your Piece of the Sloan Sky"

astronomy curriculum workshop

Saturday, October 19, 2019 from 12-1:30 pm

Hotel Encanto, Las Cruces

"Your Piece of the Sloan Sky" workshop in Washington state. Photo credit: Sloan Digital Sky Survey & Oliver Fraser. (2015). Retrieved from

About the Workshop

The workshop will be led by Dr. Karen Kinemuchi, APO Support Astronomer; Dr. Stella Kafka, Director of AAVSO; and Katie Grabowski, APO Telescope Operations Specialist.

SDSS telescopes use a combination of fiber
optics and aluminum plates to observe up
to a thousand celestial objects at the same
time. Credit: Sloan Digital Sky Survey.

Apache Point Observatory (APO) and the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO) are collaborating to provide educators with a free astronomy curriculum workshop on Saturday, October 19, 2019 at Hotel Encanto in Las Cruces. Designed for curricula at middle school through college levels, the workshop is focused on supporting STEM education through classroom activities using repurposed telescope “plates” from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS).

The SDSS revolutionized how astronomers study the universe. In the workshop, we will walk through their Voyages resources, an on-line collection of exercises on how to use the plates and SDSS data to teach STEM concepts, emphasizing astronomy.

Astronomy is connected to a broad range of STEM subjects. Through the workshop, we aim to provide teachers with additional resources to engage students, showing them how accessible and achievable a STEM career can be.

For more information and to register

Please click the hyperlinked text to view and download the workshop brochure for more information, and the registration slip to sign up. Please fill out the slip and email it to or send via the USPS to: AAVSO, c/o Lindsay Ward, 49 Bay State Road, Cambridge, MA 02138. Or, if necessary, you may send an email simply containing the required information. 

For planning purposes, we kindly request completed registrations to be received by October 9th. If you have any questions, please reach out to Lindsay or Karen.

Contact Information

For questions regarding the AAVSO and teacher registration, please contact

     Lindsay Ward, either via email at, or phone: (617) 354-0484 x 105.

For questions regarding the SDSS plate workshop curriculum, please contact

     Katie Grabowski at


About Apache Point Observatory

The Apache Point Observatory is an astronomical observatory located in the Sacramento Mountains in Sunspot, New Mexico. The observatory is operated by New Mexico State University and owned by the Astrophysical Research Consortium.



AAVSO 49 Bay State Rd. Cambridge, MA 02138 617-354-0484