Outreach

I am passionate about sharing astronomical discoveries with the world. I am always looking for opportunities to speak with groups of all ages as well as working with educational organizatoins to plan enrichment activities.

I can attend in-person events in the Greater Victoria region but I am also happy to communicate via Skype. If you are interested in collaborating on an outreach event, please contact me via email: henry at planetngo.ca.

Public lectures

I enjoy speaking to people of all ages and all levels of astronomical knowledge, from school groups to amaeteur astronomers. My topics cover the range of astronomy and planetary science although I specialize in speaking about exoplanets (planets around other star systems) and life as a scientist. Some recent talks:

Royal Astronomical Society of Canada's Star Party, Metchosin, BC. July 2017.
Aspen High School Skype-A-Physicist, Aspen, Colorado. March 2017.
Sequoyah High School Career Day, Pasadena, California. December 2016.
Costa Rica-US Bridge Program Webinar. December 2016.
Institute for Educational Advancement Mini-Lecture, Pasadena, California. January and July 2016.

Planet finding activity from NASA
Planet Hunters tutorial

 

Educational enrichment activities

In addition to public talks, I've worked with several local organizations to design enrichment acitivities for smaller groups of students.

Build-a-satellite activity with the Huntington Library and Gardens

The Orbit Pavillion is a visiting exhibit at the Huntington Library and Gardens in Pasadena, CA showcasing the International Space Station and 19 satellites studying various Earth systems. It was built by artists in collaboartion with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. I collaborated with the Huntington's Education department that welcomes 6th grade students from local schools to view the Huntington's science galleries and participate in activities related to this visiting exhibit. I designed and taught a satellite building activity.

Students learned about key components of a scientific satellite based on real examples from the exhibit and then designed their own scientific satellite to study the Earth. Finally, they got to build their satellite out of candy and take it home to eat!

Candy satellite kits ready for students
Candy satellite kits ready for students
A tasty candy satellite
A tasty candy satellite
Another yummy satellite
Another yummy satellite

Exoplanet Detectives with the Institute for Educational Advancement (IEA)

The IEA is a non-profit organization serving gifted children and their families in Pasadena, CA. Working with their staff, I designed a 2 hour workshop for students to explore the science behind how exoplanets are discovered and characterised. I designed and taught two separate workshops for younger students (Grades 2-4) as well as slightly older students (Grades 5-8).

In these workshops, students learned the history of planetary exploration. They discovered how scientists use the Kepler space telescope to find new planets with the transiting technique. They worked with real data to classify the planets detected. They imagined what other exoplanets might look like and built a scale model of their imagined planetary system. Finally, they learned about citizen science efforts in exoplanet detection and how they could contrbiute to exoplanet science at home with Planet Hunters.

Planet finding activity from NASA
Planet finding activity from NASA
Planet Hunters tutorial
planethunters.org citizen science tutorial

 

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