by Ed Mizzi
The Hamilton Centre was involved in another successful Outreach Program, this one at Lester B. Pearson high school in Burlington. Tanya Grigor, a science teacher at the school, invited the centre to share some astronomy knowledge and skills with her grade nine science students, hoping that it would broaden their horizons and expand on the astronomy curriculum she teaches.
Bob Prociuk and Ed Mizzi spend 2 days at Pearson (Dec. 5 & 6) and discussed several topics, using related slide shows. These included the Solar System, relative sizes of planets and stars, exoplanets and extra-terrestrial life, and how to view the night sky, from naked eye techniques to using binoculars and telescopes. A quick lesson on how to use a Star Finder (Planisphere) and a question and answer session rounded out the classes.
Bob and Ed also set up one of the club’s 8” Dobsonian telescopes at lunch hour and several staff and students were treated to a view of the Sun along with several sunspots. It was like a mini sidewalk astronomy session with students from grades 9 to 12 participating.
Bob and Ed also planned to return to the school in the evening (7:30 pm – 9:30 pm) to give students a look at the waxing Moon and other objects in the night sky. However, that event had to be cancelled. But the teacher is hoping that we can return in the New Year during a clear evening in January or February, so Ed will be putting out another call for volunteers over the next several weeks.
In conclusion, both Bob and Ed said they had a great time with the students and that it was well worth the visit. They encourage others to get involved in Outreach as it is both fun and rewarding.