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Improving Science Literacy with Rachel Freed

In this episode, Tony Darnell and Dustin Gibson sit down to talk with Rachel Freed, president of the Institute for Student Astronomical Research (InStAR), to discuss her work in the astronomy community and other exciting things happening in astronomy!

About Rachel Freed

Rachel Freed Sonoma         As featured on Sonoma News highlighting her field research in Australia at the Mount Burnett Dome.

Rachel Freed has been in the hobby for over 20 years, dedicating her time and research to help students excited about astronomy gain scientific literacy and opportunities to be more involved in astronomy. As co-founder ofInStAR,she works with other astronomers to find ways to improve the way students can be educated about astronomy and finds ways to make it more accessible worldwide. Freed works at the Robert Ferguson Observatory, providing virtual sessions for people who want to use the observatory remotely and more! Sit back and enjoy this exciting podcast with Rachel Freed!

Time Stamps for the Improving Science Literacy Episode

2:11 - Getting to know Rachel Freed 

4:45 - The most fascinating part of astronomy for Rachel Freed 

7:53 - Working with the Robert Ferguson Observatory & astronomers

10:31 - How things have changed in her field with COVID-19

12:23 - Astrophotographers and outreach now 

15:09 - Goals in leveraging astronomy fascination into understanding science

18:34 - Robotic Telescopes, Student Research and Education (RTSRE)

19:39 - Educational partnerships around the world & creating resources for educators 

24:00 - Institute for Student Astronomical Research - what it’s about, how it helps, and more.

27:45 - Future of the hobby & Starlink satellites 

31:27 - The impact of getting involved in astronomy programs as a student 

32:14 - The impact of Starlink satellites for astrophotographers & finding a middle ground

38:46 - What are people interested in researching the most: double star astrometry, exoplanet astrometry or CubeSat astronomy? 

45:16 - Current state of science literacy & needs to improve 

52:40 - Social media & its impact on kids in regards to education 

1:00:21 - Advice for students interested in getting started in astronomy


What had the most impact on your passion for astronomy? Let us know in the comments below!


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