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Astronomy education was the focus at the inaugural meeting of the Astronomy Education Alliance conference in Portugal the week of Sept. 8. From the classroom to public outreach and even space missions, all forms of astronomy awareness and education were presented and discussed. This new forum was an expansion of the regular conference of the Global Hands-On Universe program, this year held in conjunction with the European Planetary Space Conference.

AWB's President, Mike Simmons, gave a presentation on AWB's education programs, from sidewalk astronomy to new partnerships in formal education. Chuck and Sue Ruehle, founders and managers of AWB's Telescopes to Tanzania program, described this very successful program via a remote online connection just days after completing a successful crowdfunding program for a science center in east Africa. The AWB AstroArt program was presented by Mike Simmons for Daniela De Paulis, the program's founder, in her absence.

Representatives of many of the programs in attendance later met at a different venue to discuss the upcoming International Year of Light 2015. The International Astronomical Union is leading the "Cosmic Light" portion of the year, and much of its effort is being spearheaded by those in attendance. The year presents many opportunities for new programs and partnerships, and AWB is central to some of the discussions.