Community Cosmos: A Park-based Forum for Empowering Educators in Astronomical Exploration

Teaching astronomy in primary schools: How, why, and in what context?
4th Shaw-IAU Workshop
Tuesday Nov. 15, 2022
UTC: 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.
, Wednesday Nov. 16, 2022
UTC: 6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

We report on our IAU-OAE Teacher Training Pilot (TTP) workshop for K-8 educators. Sited at Halibut Point State Park (HPSP) in Rockport, Massachusetts, USA, this one-day workshop introduces the teachers to the following astronomical topics –
* Exploring Earth from Earth, where teachers consider the shape, geology, and biology of Earth.

* Exploring Earth from Space, where teachers use Google Earth and other visualization tools.

* Exploring Space from Earth, where teachers use star wheels along with desktop and smartphone apps to navigate the day and night sky. Direct and remote telescopic observing culminate this component.

* Exploring Space from Space, where teachers imagine and design robotic spacecraft that could enable them to explore specific worlds in our Solar System.


I have worked as an observational astrophysicist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, astronomy professor at Tufts University, and physical, Earth & space sciences teacher at my hometown high school in Rockport, MA. My research focus concerns the environmental causes and consequences of starburst activity in nearby galaxies. From 2002 to 2007, I served as Co-PI for the New England Space Science Initiative in Education (NESSIE), a NASA education & public outreach program where we brokered and nurtured scientist-educator “partnerships in cosmic discovery.” Since then, I have been mentoring high-school students in authentic research, developing content for The Galactic Inquirer, and more recently, producing video presentations for Doc Waller’s Earth & Space Reports. I am co-author of Galaxies and the Cosmic Frontier (Harvard University Press), author of The Milky Way – An Insider’s Guide (Princeton University Press), and expectant author of Astronomy – A Beginner’s Guide through Space and Time (OneWorld Publishers – in preparation).

Click here for a copy of this poster (PDF file 1.70 MB)