Directions for Lecture Captain


  • Emcee the lecture, including introducing the speaker
  • Coordinate directly with the Lecture Volunteer to set-up and run the lecture and post-lecture talk/slideshow
  • Coordinate directly with the Roof Captain and 3D Wall volunteers before and during the lecture
  • Select and distribute astro swag
  • Answer attendee questions on astronomy, physics and science
  • Close down the lecture hall at the end of the two hours
  • Positively represent the University, the Department, and our profession


Day Prior to Lecture (or earlier)

  • Contact the Lecture Volunteer to determine what the post-lecture talk/slideshow will be and arrange a meeting time before the event (no later than 1 hour prior).
  • Exchange phone numbers with the Lecture Volunteer, Roof Captain, and 3D Wall volunteers to enable you to coordinate during the event.
  • Check to confirm that the computer/projector is working in the lecture hall.
  • Check the supply of handouts for the lecture (outreach calendars, skymaps, and surveys). If any are running low, make additional copies. You should have no fewer than 150 copies of each. Originals of the calendar and surveys can be found in Summer’s mailbox in the office (Pupin 1328).

One Hour before Lecture

  • Get the Lecture Captain box from either the library or Summer’s office (Pupin 1408)
  • Meet the Lecture Volunteer and see that all signs for the event are posted correctly. NOTE: bring the red, standalone post down from the library to the 13th floor elevator area. Signs should all be posted 30 minute before the lecture starts.
  • Select appropriate swag from the library.
  • If you have not already done so, make the necessary copies of the outreach calendar, skymaps, and surveys.
  • Have the Lecture Volunteer put the outreach calendars and skymaps the 4th floor entrance to the lecture hall.
  • Station the Lecture Volunteer at the 4th floor entrance to the lecture hall to hand out surveys as people come in. Make sure they have an envelope to collect completed surveys after the lecture.
  • Set up the wireless microphone for the speaker if he/she wants to use it. Encourage the speakers to use a microphone even when they insist they are loud enough.

Beginning of Lecture (Coordinate with Summer to determine who will say which of the announcements below)

  • The full audience usually doesn't arrive until about 5 minutes past, so start your announcements 2 minutes past the hour (the lecture will begin at about 5 past).
  • Welcome the audience and make any other outreach announcements. Point out the fliers and website for outreach.
  • Announce the next lecture that will take place in two weeks, as well as any other imminent outreach (or astronomical) events.
  • Remind everyone to fill out a survey!
  • Comment on the feasibility of observing that night, if the weather conditions seem uncertain.
  • Comment on what the observing targets are, what the slideshow may be after the talk, and what the wild card is doing.
  • Introduce the speaker.

Immediately After Lecture

  • Help facilitate Q&A for the speaker. Limit questions to 3-5 (depending on length).
  • Inform the audience that they will have an additional opportunity to ask questions of the speaker after you make a few announcements.
  • Announce the weather conditions (you should have received a text message from the Roof Captain) and directions to the roof. If it is cloudy, let people know about telescope tours to roof.
  • Announce the 3D Wall option.
  • Announce the post-lecture talk/slideshow will begin in 5-10 minutes.
  • Remind everyone to fill out a survey and return them to you or the Lecture Volunteer.
  • Invite the children in the audience to come forward to get swag.
  • Thank people for coming, and invite anyone with additional questions for the speaker to come forward.
  • After 5-10 minutes, you or the Lecture Volunteer should start pre-planned slideshow.

After Two Hours (or when the audience leaves, whichever comes first)

  • Announce that the two hours are up, and that the event is over.
  • Shutdown the projection system, store the microphone, and erase the chalkboards.
  • Have the Lecture Volunteer collect *all* the building signs.
  • Bring the lab laptop, the extra swag, and anything else that remains in the lecture hall back up to 14th floor.
  • Put the unused swag back in the library.
  • Put the Lecture Captain box in Summer’s office (Pupin 1418)

The Day after the Lecture (IMPORTANT TO FOLLOW UP ON THIS)

  • Write a blog post on the event (i.e. a paragraph or two) for the outreach website. For examples, see: past events. Send this description to Summer Ash, who will post it.