Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Getting the Word Out

Yesterday I was substituting at River Heights Elementary, one of the schools I had taken the Jr Engineering StarLab to in 2009. One of the teachers at lunch was talking about when to schedule taking his class down to the Clark Planetarium in Salt Lake. I told him how we're working to get a planetarium here in Cache Valley, and about the Faraday's Holiday Event we are planning for December 28. That's right, we have a date. It will be at the Whittier Center once again, from 7pm - 8:30pm. I still have to take the check to the Whittier Center, but if everybody's schedules work out, I hope to be able to do that today. Then we start "officially" advertising it. I'll put it on Facebook, on both the StarHouse Discovery Center group page and my page. I'll also look into putting it as an event that people can RSVP to. I'll post it on Twitter, at the public library, look into getting it on the marquee at the Opera House in Downtown Logan, and of course update our website.

Last year, we had 80 people come to the event, and 7 booths of organizations presenting their work. This year, we hope to have more.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Lazy & Links

So I said I was going to write more. Yesterday, I worked on the StarHouse Discovery Center and Cote du Ciel websites, & got started writing grants. I should probably spend more time today writing grants, but I don't want to. Part of that is that Walmart requires a non-profit organization to already be on the IRS's published list of 501(c)3 organizations. We're not, yet, but our paperwork is in, & we've heard back from the IRS. Apparently, our application is in review, but one of three things will happen to it: 1] it will be approved, 2] it will be approved with changes, or 3] they will assign someone to work with us to get it to the point that it can be approved. This sounds to me like the IRS wants to approve 501(c)3 applications on a general principal, and understands that most people don't understand the tax code at all. If either of those were not true, then there would be no reason for them to work with us to get our application to the point that it can be approved.

Meanwhile, some cool links:

  • Women in Wetlands a few months ago posted a book review, about a young woman who loves chemistry, & uses it to solve a mystery.
  • a friend from the SCA, Ray Zentz got a job offer he couldn't refuse, but too far to commute every day. They didn't have time to find a new home, so they're camping in a yurt in another friend's backyard for the winter! In northern Utah!
  • another SCA friend is teaching astronomy in high school, but her degree is in biology & chemistry. I sent her to the Open High School Earth Systems course for a text book, and Stellarium, 'cause it's fun & free.
  • Saturday, September 25, 2010

    More Writing

    So I recently found the Women in Wetlands blog, and she has a whole series on how scientists have to write (& publish) and suggestions to help people write better. One of her suggestions was to make writing a priority, & the first thing you do when you sit down to work. That way, everything that contributes to procrastinating become interruptions. So I'm going to try that. If I don't have work substituting, then the first thing I do each day will be writing. I may not always write on the blog (I started a story about 10 years ago, this would be a good opportunity to get back to it), sometimes I may be updating content on the StarHouse Discovery Center or the Shire of Cote du Ciel websites, but I'm going to make writing my first priority when I sit down at the computer. I may actually get some grants written, so we can then get a new portable planetarium and start delivering content to the schools once again! I think I will start right now.