Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Sun, Rain, & More Sun

Today, the main activity I had planned was making sextants & trying them out. It looked like it was going to be a nice day, but 5 minutes after we went outside, it started raining. So we went back in & made sundials. By then it had stopped raining, so we went back outside, this time to the football field. And it started raining again. By the time most of the kids had all four of the measurements I wanted them to take, someone from the school came out to say we needed to stay off the field and track while they are wet. So we went as far as the asphalt, let the last few kids take their last measurement, then went back inside.

Michelle Larson, an adjunct professor from the USU Physics Department came and spoke for about half an hour about how she became an astronomer. She shared some images from the Yohkoh Public Outreach Project which she worked on. She brought a sunspots in visible light and X-rays matching game, which each student was able to take home with them, and a Solar Storm puzzle.

After Michelle left, we still had 45 minutes, and everything I had planned was already done, including the "extra, just in case things take less time than expected" sundials. So I gave everybody a blank sheet of paper, & used the overhead projector to explain, briefly, how telescopes work, & the three main types of telescopes. I drew, & had the kids copy, a diagram of a refractor telescope, a reflector telescope, and a catadioptic telescope. I passed my binoculars around as an example of a pair of small refractors, and showed them some of my sketches of Venus, Mars, Jupiter, & Saturn that I had made using my 8" Dob.

I am going to get paid for teaching this summer camp. I found out today that I need to turn in an invoice to the Logan City School District for it. So after I got home today, I made that up. I also made a survey for the kids to fill out at the end of the day tomorrow. Getting paid for doing what you love is awesome.

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