Aerospace Engineer Stephen Leete reports on his first classroom session as a ReSET volunteer at a school near his workplace, the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center:
I started my volunteer activity at the nearby Catherine T. Reed Elementary School today. I spent about an hour in the classroom of Mr. Pitts and his 26 fifth grade students. I used the AstroCappella Nine Planets song, powerpoint, and scale model activity. I gave out HST lithographs about the planets. I also talked about the formation of the solar system, detecting exo-planets using the Doppler effect and Kepler’s partial occultations, how Pluto came to be demoted from planet status, and a few other things. It went very well! I had been thinking of showing different satellite orbits, but didn’t get to it.
I’ll be visiting the school’s other fifth grade class with Ms. Mauldin next week, and alternating for a total of six visits (three per teacher), on consecutive Friday afternoons. I am planning on a Sun activity next (AstroCappella’s Sun Song, materials from SOHO, SDO, etc.). Not sure yet what will come after that.