As a newly minted, 1 year old professor, this is the deep end of the astronomy edu cation pool. I am swimming in the insights and experiences of people with more experience than me. I recommend attending an Astronomical Society of the Pacific meeting for this very reason. This is where you can find the answers to questions you hadn't yet realized were questions. It will take a while for me to assimilate (and type; I am using a nook), but here are three tidbits. If you give a planetarium show about supernovas providing the elements of life, and your visuals show supernovae, your audience will walk out raving about your cool show that taught them about.... how supernovas occur. The visuals were the story, not the voice-over narrative. When talking to cultures other than your own, realize science IS a culture. It is not just 'objective' but has its own stance. To communicate, you must understand your listener, not just yourself. You can figure out the weight of the Earth in 30 seconds, as per awesome teacher Philip Deutschle. Imagine a scale, stand on it, your weight is X pounds. Now turn the scale upside down and stand on it. What does it read? The same X pounds. That is the weight of the Earth (case closed.) [epiphany: mass is how much stuff exists, weight is how it expresses itself, and the Earth pulls you as much as you pull it!] I suppose my true walkaway is, if you wonder whether us stargazing spacey types have relevance to daily life, rest assured many of us believe we best connect to people when we can connect people to the universe. Alex
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