Monthly Archives: November 2004


7365 Tedford Road
Prince George, BC
V2N 6S2

General Meeting Minutes

Date: November 24, 2004
Location: PGAO 7365 Tedford Road

Chairperson: Gil Self
Recording Secretary: Glen Harris
Executives Present: Glen, Wayne, Gil
Members Present: Maurice, Robin, Art, Greg, John

Meeting called to order at 7:45 p.m.

1. Previous Meeting Minutes
October 20, 2004 Annual General meeting minutes
November 10, 2004 Executive meeting minutes
Motion to Accept October 20, 2004 Annual General meeting minutes as circulated.
Moved: Maurice Seconded: Wayne Carried

2. Treasurer’s Report:
As of November 23, 2004
Club Account Gaming Account
Total Income $1622.43 Total Income $96.51
Total Expenses $0.00 Total Expenses $0.00
Total Income/Expenses $1622.43 Total Income/Expenses $96.51
Total Net Worth $1622.43 Total Net Worth $96.51

Motion to accept the Treasurer’s report as presented.
Moved: Gil Seconded: Glen Carried

3. Correspondence
Various RASC Centres newsletters, GST rebate cheque, GST application form, and Terasen bill.

4. Old Business
TELUS grant application has been submitted.
Gaming grant has been submitted.
Sky and Telescope subscriptions have been sent in.

5. New Business
Wayne and Robin have been preparing for the upcoming Youth Day activities to be held on Friday November 26th. Response to date has 8 participants for the morning session and 11 for the afternoon session.

6. Upcoming Events
November 26 Youth Day 9:00 am and 1:00 pm Wayne and Robin
November 26 Guide/Brownie tour 7:30 pm Gil and Wayne
December 8 Christmas Pot Luck dinner at the Observatory. 6:30 pm.

Meeting adjourned at 8:05 p.m.

7. Presentation
Greg gave a lecture entitled Gyroscope Precession and General Relativity.

January presentation:
CCD processing by Wayne

November 2004

Hawaii-show-October,200444 sunset-mauna sunset-observatories-maunakea

Photographer: John Ascah
Object: Mauna Kea Observatories
Image One: Looking north from the top of Mauna Kea (mountain) on the Big Island of Hawaii. October 19,2004 about 1800 hours Pentax istd 1/60 sec f 6.3 iso200
Image Two: Looking northeast from the top of Mauna Kea on the Big Island of Hawaii October 19,2004 about 1800 hours Pentax istd 1/250 sec f6.3 iso200
Image Three: Sunset looking south from top of Mauna Kea on the 4 Big Island of Hawaii October 19,2004 about 1800 hours Pentax istd 1/50 f6.3 iso200

2004-11-10 Educational Environment Report

Structuring an Educational Environment at the RASC Prince George Centre by Robin Riordan

All the preliminary work for establishing a viable education centre at the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Prince George Centre, has been accomplished. That is to say, the physical plant is established in the form of an observatory, and a classroom. Now we can embark on the tasks needed to fulfill our mission statement, “We are a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of astronomy and science in Prince George and the neighboring northern Canadian communities.”

Public Presentations March-June 16 Presentations
August-November 16 Presentations

This represents 32 presentations. I would suggest that we have 8 programs developed for the coming 2005 – 2006 year. We could offer one program for the four weeks in a month. Then move to the next program. Or, alternatively, offer one program on one day only per month. All other Fridays could be reserved for public schools, community groups, and UNBC. The one thing that is critical is that the public be made aware of a program being offered in addition to just seeing the telescope. There are always casual visitors and they are always welcome to view. We may want to adopt a two programs per week approach, one program targeting adults and another focusing on children.
It appears that we will be seeing about six professional development days per year: October, November, January, February, March, and May. Materials and activities must be developed and maintained for these. Wayne and I plan to offer two sessions this month rather than the one offered in October. During the October PD Day, we had a full house.

The Brownies came in search of their Black Star merit badges this month. As it turns out the Girl Guides council uses the criteria outlined by the Canadian Astronomical Society. I have copied these criteria and recommend that we develop programs specifically designed to target these criteria.

The visits by the Vanderhoof school system are a real plus. I only hope that in the future we can get some communication with the teacher about how they feel we can best help them achieve their curriculum goals. And I would hope that this program could expand to communities other that Vanderhoof. This should not represent any additional development since we have a provincial wide curriculum. We might consider sending a questionnaire to area teachers asking how we can help them implement their new curriculum. Another possibility would be to visit area schools during a faculty and make a brief presentation about what we are and what we might be able to do for them. Questionnaires could be passed out at this time and collected later.

The final draft of the British Columbia Curriculum will be ready by the end of the month. This document will allow us to develop programs that target concepts that are being covered by a particular age group.

I have ordered educational catalogs from Canada and the U.S. They will be arriving at the observatory shortly. I have also subscribed to several newsletters the will come to Tedford. Please feel free to open these and read. They are addressed to me simply because the forms require a name. We can all have fun with the catalogs of educational equipment. We need to purchase educational materials. And I don’t mean new $200 eyepieces 🙂 (although I would really like a filar micrometer nah).

At some point we are probably going to want to go to the funding well. In preparation for this we need to keep good record on attendance, and who is served. We should also develop an aboriginal component to our programming. In fact, I am working on that already. We can start by looking into an application for funds from the Canadian Space Agency. Their grants range from $100 to $5,000. I can think of two immediate funding needs: money for duplication of materials to be distributed to area science teachers, and money for transportation for school children to the observatory. These are not glamorous grants but they are essential.

I would recommend that we begin to consider partnership schemes. A simple exemplar might be:


Finally, we need to begin to think of how to evaluate our effectiveness. Whether a granting agency is involved or not we need an evaluation mechanism in place to help us see what we are doing right and what could use some improvement.

Along these lines I recommend that we develop a questionnaire that we could send to the scout leader, and teachers who bring groups to the observatory. The questionnaire should contain specific items as well as some open-ended questions.

This is just food for thought. The real formulation and decision making is going to have to be done by committee. Empowerment is the key. Often, those who do not participate do not choose to remain outside; they simply feel ‘uninvited’. We really need teachers, like Wayne. I will be contacting teachers and principals in the local schools and see what I can stir up. And I am sure that among our membership there are some who would love to do some teaching. We also really need to identify someone who is interested in space science. It really appears that Canada is going in this direction and we are a perfect venue for providing students with exposure to space and science. I must admit that I will have to begin training myself in the area of space exploration. I would urge all of us to spend some time in that area.


7365 Tedford Road
Prince George, BC
V2N 6S2

Executive Meeting Minutes
November 10, 2004

Date: November 10, 2004
Location: #30-1839 1st Ave.

Chairperson: Brian Battersby
Recording Secretary: Glen Harris

Executives Present: Gil, Brian, Glen, Robin, Wayne, Maurice, John, Greg, Doug, Jim
Members Present: Rod
Guests Present:

Time Meeting Called to Order at 7:42 p.m.

1. Previous Meeting Minutes
Meeting minutes from October 6, 2004 were circulated
Motion to accept minutes as circulated by: Gil Seconded by: Wayne

2. Treasurer’s Report
Club Account Gaming Account
Total Assets $1390.95 Total Assets $96.51
Total Liabilities $0.0 Total Liabilities $0.0
Total assets/Liabilities $1390.95 Total Assets/Liabilities $96.51

3. Correspondence
Leisure Services, CCRA Charity Return, TELUS bill, various education kits

4. Committee reports
Grant Application Committee:
With the exception of a void cheque, the gaming grant is now ready for submission.
Gil will submit an online request to TELUS for funding to cover the cost of a new projection screen.

National Representative Report:
John will be in Toronto on November 26th and will drop in on the RASC folk.
John is working on an article detailing the history of the club for submission in the Journal.

Outreach and Education Committee Report:
Refer to the attachment for Robin’s report.

Observing/Tours Committee Report:
No tours are currently booked.

5. New Business

  • Robin and John were issued building and gate keys.
  • Sarrin Mueller is our newest member. Current membership as of 2004/11/03 stands at 42.
  • The RASC manual was handed out to the new executive.

5. New business (continued)

  • There was a lengthy discussion on the vision and future path of the club. Outreach and Education will be the focus, but small steps will be taken with an opportunity for feedback from participants in the form of a survey. Our efforts can then be evaluated and improvements made where required.

6. Upcoming Events
Nov 16: Leonid meteor shower 8:00 pm Observatory
Nov 24: General Meeting 7:30 pm Observatory
Dec 8: Pot Luck Christmas dinner 6:30 pm Observatory

Open Houses every Friday to the end of November
Member’s Nights every Saturday to the end of November

Next General meeting:
Main talk: Greg – ‘Gyroscope Precession and General Relativity’

6. Adjournment
Motion to adjourn by: Glen
Seconded by: Brian

Adjourned at 10:00 p.m.