Directions for Wildcard


  • Organize and execute an educational activity during the lecture and star-gazing event.
  • Potential activities include operating the 3DWall or operating a portable telescope in front of Pupin or on Low Plaza.
  • Be in contact with the Lecture Captain and Roof Captain before and during the event to coordinate planning.
  • Positively represent the University, the Department, and our profession.
  • N.B. If the weather is cloudy, you should do your independent activity, if it is clear, you might be "drafted" into assisting with observing on the roof or operating a telescope on Low Plaza.


  • You should coordinate with the Lecture and Roof Captains ahead of time to coordinate planning.
  • Since you're acting pretty independently, make sure to plan appropriately and put everything away when you're done.
  • You should plan what activity you want to do. Potential activities include:

3D Wall and Classroom

  • For this, you must be trained on the 3DWall beforehand. Talk to Greg Bryan or one of the past Wildcards.
  • Gather the computer, keyboard, mouse, and 3D glasses from Greg's office beforehand. Practice.
  • Set up the chairs and tables as a theater in the classroom facing the 3D wall.
  • Be ready for attendees to arrive directly after the lecture. You should be at your post 30 minutes after the lecture started.
  • For best effect, operate the wall for 10-15 minute long segments. At the end of each segment, turn on the lights, and allow people to leave/arrive.
  • During breaks, you can talk about the Milky Way panorama in the classroom.
  • Make sure people don't steal the glasses; they are useless without our setup.

Outdoor Observing

  • Pick your targets in advance--stick with very bright objects like the Moon, planets and binaries.
  • You must abandon if the weather is poor. Keep an eye on the forecast.
  • Bring one of the smaller Dobsonian telescopes outside and setup in front of Pupin or on Low Plaza.
  • Depending on your strength, you could bring the 4.5" Dob, the 6" Dob or even the 8" Dob.
  • Make sure to bring a couple of eyepieces of different focal lengths, depending on what you want to observe.
  • Once you have set up, invite passersby to check out views through the telescope.
  • Don't forget to mention that the lecture/observing is going on simultaneously in Pupin.


  • Run a miniature lab (~15-20 minutes) of your choosing:
    • Demonstrate how to make a dry-ice comet using the comet-making instructions in the lab equipment.
    • Scales of the Solar System
    • Other...
  • Walk around campus demonstrating the poor light fixtures for preventing light pollution.
  • I am sure there are more activities that can be done. Just run it by the Outreach Director before you do it.