White House Astronomy Night: A Celebration of Science, Technology, and Space

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White House Astronomy Night: A Celebration of Science, Technology, and Space

Summary: 
Scientists and amateur astronomers are also invited to host events and expand access to STEM experiences for the next generation of scientists, engineers, and inventors

Astronomy has long been one of the most accessible sciences for children and adults alike – around the world people gaze at the moon and stars with wonder and curiosity, inspired to ask questions about the universe and the world in which we live.

President Obama looks through a telescope during the 2009 White House Astronomy Night.
President Obama looks through a telescope during the 2009 White House Astronomy Night. (Photo credit Chuck Kennedy)

“There are a lot of mysteries left and there are a lot of problems for you students to solve. And I want to be a President who makes sure you have the teachers and the tools that you need to solve them,” President Obama said to middle school students, astronauts, and citizen scientists during the first-ever White House Astronomy Night in 2009.

Since then, the President has recognized the unique contributions of scientists, engineers, mathematicians, tinkerers, and entrepreneurs, hosting five White House Science Fairs, the first-ever White House Maker Faire, and the first White House Demo Day.  The Administration has also led efforts to improve opportunities for all students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education to inspire students to pursue careers in science, technology, and innovation-driven disciplines. 

Today, we are excited to announce that the White House will host another Astronomy Night on October 19. The event will bring together scientists, engineers, and visionaries from astronomy and the space industry to share their experiences with students and teachers as they spend an evening stargazing from the South Lawn.  In addition to inspiring students and stargazers from across the country to learn about the newest astronomical discoveries and the technologies that enable us to explore and live in space, we are continuing progress on the President’s call to action to expand access and opportunities for students and adults to participate in the wonders of science and space.

We hope that scientists and amateur astronomers will join us in celebrating the White House Astronomy Night by hosting your own events at observatories, schools, planetariums, museums, and astronomy clubs nationwide on October 19. Tell us how you plan to participate! If you or your organization is interested in hosting an observing night or watch party in conjunction with the White House Astronomy Night, tell us about it here.  

In addition, if you are a professional society, university, foundation, company, or other organization, you can get involved by making a commitment to expand access to great STEM experiences for more students and adults. If you want to take new actions to help inspire and educate the next generation of scientists, engineers, and inventors, we want to hear from you. Tell us about new commitments you’re ready to make.

Together we can give every student, teacher, and adult the opportunity to experience the wonder of science, space, and exploration! 

Questions? Contact us at AstronomyNight@ostp.gov.

Meredith Drosback is Assistant Director for Education and Physical Sciences at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Tamara Dickinson is Principal Assistant Director for Environment and Energy at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.