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Stephen Pompea

Scientist; Manager, Science Education

Stephen Pompea did his undergraduate work in physics, space physics, and astronomy at Rice University, his Master’s work in physics teaching at Colorado State University, and his Ph.D. in astronomy at the University of Arizona. He worked on NASA space instrument projects at Martin Marietta in Denver, where he led a group developing new optical surfaces for advanced instruments in order to reduce stray light and received three awards for inventions. He served as instrument scientist for the NASA NICMOS instrument for the Hubble Space Telescope at the University of Arizona and as infrared instrument scientist for Gemini 8-meter telescopes project. Since 2002, he has been Manager of Science Education at the National Optical Astronomy Observatory in Tucson.

He is the author, coauthor, or editor of 15 books in optics and science education and over 100 papers and has given over 300 presentations at professional conferences. He is well known an innovator in science education and has been PI or Co-I on 8 major NSF-funded national science education projects in the areas of instructional materials development, informal science education, teacher and student research, and teacher professional development.

His latest project is the Galileoscope – a high-quality, low-cost telescope kit for kids (see for details). He served as the US project director for the International Year of Astronomy 2009 and Galileoscope Project and is an adjunct faculty member at the Universities of Arizona and Arkansas.

Contact Information

Phone: 520-318-8285
CV [2.0 MB pdf]
Dr. Steve’s Ten Favorite Ways to Teach about Astronomy

Stephen Pompea is the Manager of Science Education in the NOAO Office of Education and Public Outreach.