The OAD Ideas List – seeking your help to make the OAD better…

This is like our ideal to do list for the OAD – stuff that we would really like to implement because we believe it would make the OAD better – but we simply don’t have the hands to do it. We’re therefore putting it out there in the hopes that some of the many awesome people in the world could help us implement some of these ideas. If you are very keen you could also score an OAD Visiting Fellowship and come spend some time at the energetic OAD headquarters in Cape Town.

We’re also open to your suggestions of course. If you have some cool ideas that could make the OAD better please do send it to us ( and we can brainstorm together before adding it to this list.

1)      Website: The OAD website is based on a WordPress platform. As the OAD has grown, so has the amount of information hosted on the website. In order to make the website easier to navigate and more accessible, we need to improve on certain aspects such as layout, menus etc.

2)      Database: The OAD has funded over 100 projects since 2012. Again, all of this information is available on our website but we want to create an SQL (or other query) database to make this information searchable and easily available.

3)      Graphic Design: The OAD has produced several communication products (flyers, brochures, newsletters, posters, Yearbook) with the help of fantastic designers. But we are always looking for new, creative ideas. Examples: designing OAD branded items such as stickers, notebooks etc.

4)      Development of a volunteer management system: An online tool that will enable astronomy volunteers to match up with education volunteer opportunities automatically. To prevent reinvention we could just integrate with using their APIs.

5)      Recommended projects platform: The OAD needs volunteers to hack together an online platform that will enable potential funders or supporters to easily search the list of recommended OAD projects for tags, keywords, location, funds needed, etc. This platform could allow for crowdfunding or volunteer matching.

6)      Translations:  There are several key items in need of translation and volunteers are invited to contribute. Some examples are: OAD brochure and flyer, OAD general presentations, OAD newsletters, etc. Please get in touch if you are able to translate or proof read a translation.

The IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach (OAO) and National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) are developing a new platform, “Astronomy Translation Network” to share resources for astronomy education and outreach in different languages by connecting volunteer translation efforts in a global network. The main goal of the platform is to identify resources to translate and match translation needs with volunteers. For more details on the project, please visit website at

7)  Help communicate astro4dev stories: The OAD and its networks are a gold mine of good news stories and interesting anecdotes, not to mention tons of really cool photos. If you have ideas about how to tap into those stories and spread them, your assistance will be most welcome.