Monday, June 15, 2009
Calgary Activities and Teacher Training
Today, I’d like to highlight a few of the great things that the Calgary IYA group did in May. They’ve certainly given me some good ideas, and I hope they’ll inspire some of you as well. You can find out more about what they’ve been up in our IYA Readers' Gallery and thanks to Alan Dyer for the report.
On May 16, staff from the TELUS World of Science-Calgary brought telescopes to the annual Canmore Children’s Festival, where they showed the Sun to hundreds of enthusiastic kids and adults. What a great way to get kids interested in astronomy! They even had some unusual visitors—see the picture on the left (by the way, I’d really like to know who that character is).
On May 26, TELUS World of Science and the University of Calgary hosted a Science Café on Black Holes: Cosmic Menace or Simply Misunderstood? Black hole experts David Hobill and Warren Anderson handled questions for two hours during a very lively session. As you can see from the picture on the right, the venue was packed to capacity.
And then on May 27, TELUS hosted a special event to mark Canadian astronaut Bob Thirsk’s launch into space for his six-month stint on the International Space Station. VIPs from the University of Calgary (where Thirsk got his engineering degree), members of the Thirsk family and 100 schoolchildren got to watch a replay of the launch and talk live with a Canadian mission controller. In the picture on the left, U of C President Harvey Weingarten introduces mission controller Laura Lucier
I haven’t even mentioned the Lilac Festival, the TELUS World weekly observing sessions (attracting 80-150 people each!) and the two Open Houses at the University of Calgary’s Rothney Observatory. You can see more pictures HERE and check out all the Calgary past and upcoming events HERE.
Now for the teachers out there … the Galileo Teacher Training Program is an IYA program aimed at improving the teaching of astronomy and science in classrooms around the world. By 2012, the GTTP will create a worldwide network of “Galileo Ambassadors,” who will train “Galileo Teachers,” who, in turn, will train other teachers in ways to better teach astronomy and science. Please see the GTTP website for more information. John Percy (University of Toronto) and Julie Bolduc-Duval (Cegep de Thetford) are the Canadian GTTP coordinators, and they would love to hear from anyone planning teacher-training workshops or similar events. Secondary teachers might be interested in a three-day “Astronomy Camp” workshop (August 17-19) that John is organizing with the Science Teachers Association; visit HERE for more information.
That’s it until next time. Keep sending us your pictures and reports. In future IYA News & Views, I want to talk about some of the wonderful IYA artistic and cultural events that are taking place this year—please let me know of anything you’re doing that I can feature here. Oh, and here’s a link you have to check out "A Boy Claims he was Hit by a Meteorite" (the title says it all). By the way, Phil Plait’s Bad Astronomy blog is excellent—you should also check out his review of the new Star Trek movie.
Until next time,
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