Astronomer Unlocks Mysteries of Space for MI Fifth Graders

Astronomer Unlocks Mysteries of Space for MI Fifth Graders
Posted on 05/05/2017
Astronomer Unlocks Mysteries of Space for MI Fifth GradersCincinnati Observatory Astronomer Dean Regas presented to Mason Intermediate fifth grade students on April 18 and 19.

After posing the question of where students hoped to travel in their lifetime, students gave a wide range of answers - with Mars being a very popular, and Regas noted a possible, scenario. One option off the table? Venus. "You'd end up a pile of goo," he explained to giggling students as he then discussed the problem for humans with Venus's atmosphere that's composed of droplets of sulphuric acid.

Regas, who is a renowned educator, national popularizer of astronomy and an expert in observational astronomy, trained all fifth grade science teachers on Mitaka and Stellarium on February 17 during a Mason City Schools Personal Learning Day. 

"This presentation is a wonderful addition to our space science curriculum, a 10 week unit. Dean presents in a way that really engages the students on their level, hitting on the Ohio science standards that fifth graders are expected to meet," shared MI fifth grade Math and Science Teacher Amy Perry. "We have used Dean for many teacher professional development sessions over the years, updating teachers on the latest space science discoveries, but his presentation to the students provides a chance for students meet an expert from the field of study and ask the questions that teachers aren't always able to answer. Since there is so much changing in the field of space exploration, teachers are not always up to date on the information!"

"My team also takes our kids to the Cincinnati Observatory for our annual field trip. There, they get to see Dean in his realm. He shows them the telescopes (that he can't bring to MI) and allows them to take a look at objects in the daytime sky, like the Sun, using filters of course," added Perry.

Regas does such a wonderful job presenting, that MI is currently searching for even more experts in other fields of science to connect with students.
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