The Sky’s the Limit at Pearson High School – Outreach

By Ed Mizzi

Well, another successful Outreach event was held at Pearson High School in north Burlington.

It began during the day on November 28 when Ed Mizzi spoke to 2 grade nine science classes, using one of his several astronomy slide shows. The discussion included the Solar System, Milky Way and the scale of the Universe, helping the students understand the vastness and diversity of outer space. The students were quite interested and asked several questions about the planets, stars and other celestial bodies. They also answered almost all of Ed’s questions and were very engaged with the discussion. Ed also talked a little bit about astrophotography and displayed a few of his own photos.

Later that day, Ed met with the students (at 6:30 PM) in the school parking lot, where he set up one of the club’s 10” Dobs. The sky was not great but they did have an opportunity to see the Gibbous Moon up close and there were lots of oohs and awes and “that’s really cool” comments. Ed had help from Bob Prociuk and Erin Vassair. Bob passed around binoculars and helped with a short Q & A under the night sky. Erin explained a smart phone app to the students and how to use it. She also encouraged the students to nourish their interest in astronomy by reading and possibly joining a club someday. She especially encouraged the young ladies present, explaining that the hobby was still a male dominated one and needs more women to get involved.

It was a great day for all it and left Ed, Erin and Bob with a super feeling of satisfaction that they had peaked the curiosity of these young individuals and provided them with a small sample of just how fascinating astronomy can be.

The next Outreach event occurs on Dec. 15 at a high school in Mississauga. That one will be a daytime event where Ed will, once again, use slides to help broaden the horizons of more grade 9 students. If you wish to see one of Ed’s lessons to help you learn more about one facet of outreach, feel free to join him. More information will soon be posted on the Forum.

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