b1811600-dd84-400a-a953-6ba1360a624b SMSPacific Science Center... on Jan 24-25 2004, several EAS volunteers gave a great deal of their personal time participating in the Pacific Science Center's "Mars Mania!" outreach event. Together with other local astronomy groups, we greeted museum visitors and shared with them all our excitement and inspiration in exploring the planet Mars.

Here, volunteers Maia Pereyda and Kevin McGrath greet a curious visitor to the Eastside Astronomical Society's demonstration table.

In addition to volunteering so much time, Kevin also brought a few surprises with him to hand out to the younger visitors. He personally put together, and gave away, several "ready-to-make" planisphere kits, as well as quite a few Mars isochohedrons (for assembly into small globes).

Maia put in the most hours and actually volunteered for the entire weekend! She was so dedicated she even suffered getting a parking ticket just to make sure she was always there helping out.

We all did our best to bring attention to the event and inspire visitors. Here Tom Gwilym is pictured along with Ellis Corets and EAS's newly acquired 12-inch SCT "Big Blue" telescope.

Tom, the current overseer of Big Blue, did the very hard work of transporting and assembling this huge scope, greatly helping to bring more visitors and attention to our gathering.

Ellis greeted all those who came by, and shared his wonderful wisdom and knowledge of astronomy. He also brought a portable TV/VCR, which continuously played tapes of the latest Mars info at our table.

From part of a project sponsored by EAS, and constructed by students from Spiritridge Elementary School in Bellevue, our little LEGO Robotics model of the MER rovers brought much enthusiastic interest from young visitors. EAS volunteers patiently worked with children and saw to it that our rover explored a pretty good portion of the museum that weekend!

During the event we also shared the first exciting images from the rover Opportunity, which had just landed on the evening of January 24th.


Several hundred visitors came through the event area, many of whom came to the table to ask questions about Mars, but also to ask about EAS and what we do.

Pictured here with Ellis is Eckart Schmidt, who is seen during a rare lull in activity at our table. Eckart not only helped with the visitors, he also worked on folding scores of brochures to hand out. We all joked how valuable Eckart is for EAS, being a rocket scientist, and look what he's assigned to do for us - folding paper!

Eckart also put together and brought large posters displaying recent EAS newsletters, so that visitors could read them and see how wonderful Judy's newsletter is.

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The wonderful part about volunteering is also being able to spend time with good friends. What a great opportunity to share in our interests and have fun too!

Pictured here are Paula Clark and Scott McElhone, together with Maia. Paula brought her usual great sense of humor and strong enthusiasm. We just couldn't have done this without her.

And of course, in spite of Scott worrying about things not working out right, things worked out fantastic - due to all our volunteers helping out as much as they did!

- We of the EAS helped create public awareness and understanding of Mars exploration . Great thanks and congratulations are due to all of us!
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