Astronomy Outreach at Canadian Martyrs School, Burlington

by Ed Mizzi

On Thursday, June 15, Ed Mizzi visited a grade 5/6 class of gifted students and spent the entire day discussing astronomy with them. There were 18 children in this class belonging to Ms. O’Hara and they were seriously engaged with the discussion, slide shows, movies and activities provided.

As his typical, Ed began with showing them relative sizes of objects from planets to stars and from galaxies to the universe. There was a fascinating discussion about extra-terrestrial life and space travel, as well as what the first Mars missions will entail.

Ed showed the class 2 planetarium applications, Stellarium and Sky Safari and how to utilize this great software. He also told them about the upcoming solar eclipse and taught them how to view it safely with the viewers provided by RASC National. The students were also given one of the several copies of SkyNews provided by National and they were excited to receive them along with the solar viewers.

He also described the two types of telescopes and how they function, along with a discussion on binoculars and how they work. Ed talked about viewing the night sky in 3 ways, naked eye, using binoculars and using telescopes.

Hopefully the children will share what they learned with family and friends, and who knows, there may well be another Roberta Bondar or Chris Hadfield among them.

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