appeal to young people and is particularly effective in stimulating interest in science and engineering at an early age.
The committee emphasizes below programs relating to precollege education. Several additional proposals have been described in the document An Educational Initiative in Astronomy (Brown, 1990) and in the study by the Policy Panel in the Working Papers (NRC, 1991) of this report.
The committee recommends that NSF establish, at one or more of the major U.S. observatories, an office for astronomical education with responsibility for involving professional research astronomers in educational activities, for making available material about astronomy, for assisting with teacher workshops, for promoting student involvement in research, and for providing guidance on curriculum matters.
The education offices at NASA centers are doing an excellent job with limited resources and should be strengthened.
The committee recommends the expansion of summer programs and workshops at universities and national research centers for paid in-service training of science teachers.
Such workshops provide excellent opportunities for science teachers to gain direct experience with modern astronomical research and to make contacts with astronomers who are committed to improving science education. Workshops are particularly effective when they attract master teachers who are developing curriculum materials and training other teachers.
The committee recommends that NSF establish a national Astronomy Fellowship program that will allow each state to select an outstanding high school student as a state fellow in astronomy.
The state fellows would serve as paid science interns during the summer months at one of the major national or private observatories, where they would participate as assistants in the research of the professional staff. The program would show young people that a career in science is feasible and exciting. The committee suggests that one of the national astronomy research centers act, in cooperation with the appropriate agencies and other major astronomical institutions, as the organizer and coordinator of the Astronomy Fellowship program.
The committee recommends that the American Astronomical Society establish an annual prize in recognition of outstanding contributions to secondary or college science education.
The educational programs in astronomy should be a joint effort involving both the educational and the research branches of the relevant agencies. The