About the author
This website is maintained by Paul Floyd. I would describe myself best as a passionate amateur astronomer with 26 years experience (as at 2016) in running a range of education and public astronomy outreach activities.
Note that you are able to make a comment directly on each blog page.
I am currently a primary school teacher with an active interest (and experience) in the teaching of science and technology in Primary schools. This includes the use of the Australian Academy of Science’s Primary Connections units. I trained as a ‘Primary Connections Facilitator’ with the Australian Academy of Science in October 2010. Where possible, I provide astronomy experiences for the school students I work with (such as organising star nights or daytime visits in a planetarium). I am also able to visit other ACT Public Schools with the portable planetarium currently in my care. For more information on this opportunity, go to the Canberra Portable Planetarium website.
Prior to beginning work as as a school teacher in 2002, I ran my own education business (detailed below under the ‘Astronomy Education Activities) plus worked as an environmental education and outdoor education instructor on a casual basis with a range of organisations.
I have two separate degrees – one in recreation management in planning and a second in primary teaching.
World Wide Web Outreach
As of January 2016, I have been providing astronomy information via the WWW for nineteen years.
This website was originally established in January 1997 to provide astronomy information to schools I visited through a business called Southern Star Education. The website (originally hosted at www.ozskywatch.com) was rated 9/10 by New Scientist magazine in November 2002. The site was moved to its current URL in October 2008.
In March 2015, this site was archived by Pandora (Australia’s web archive). This occurred thanks to the State Library of Queensland nominating the site as a Queensland ‘website of lasting significance’. This is particularly exciting for me as I feel it is recognition for the effort that I have put into creating original content to go on the site. It means that the educational resources I have created will be freely available to schools and community groups into the indefinite future (and long after I cease paying to host the site!).
Other Astronomy Education Activities
For six years and a half years, I operated an education service in South East Queensland (trading as Southern Star Education – now closed) providing portable planetarium programmes to over 31,000 school and adult participants (1993 – 2000). The service visited schools from the Gold Coast through Brisbane through to the Sunshine Coast.
As part of my promotional activities for this now closed business, I initiated the running of Australia’s first astronomy education conference (in conjunction with the Brisbane Astronomical Society) targeting primary and secondary teachers in 1994. This conference eventually became the Queensland Astronomy Education Conference and was convened seven times between 1994 and 2012. An article summarising the 1994 – 2012 history of the Queensland Astronomy Education Conference can be downloaded here: QAEC_article (PDF file format).
In late May 2012, I was lucky enough to be invited to take part in a live national webcast from Questacon (Australia’s National Science and Technology Centre) on the 2012 Transit of Venus. If you are interested, you can watch that presentation here on Youtube.
On 14 November 2012, I traveled to Far North Queensland to webcast the total solar eclipse (my first and it was amazing).
This website has been created by Paul Floyd from material produced by a variety of organisations and individuals as well as original material produced by Paul Floyd.
Material produced by organisations and individuals are clearly labelled as such. In some cases, some material has been released into the public domain and that organisation retains no copyright over that material (NASA is the prime example of this). Please contact me if I am incorrectly displaying material on this site and/or without the original authors permission, and I will remove it if required.
I am slowly adding a range of educational resources to my website. The majority of this material is being published under a Creative Commons licence which allows it to be freely reproduced in its entirety for non-commercial purposes. If that material is not labelled with a Creative Commons symbol and licence information, then it may not be reproduced without explicit written permission from me.
Unless otherwise stated, the views represented on this site are those of the authors (Paul Floyd) only. They do not represent the views of my current or any future employer.