On a bright Wednesday in October, the Active Astronomy Roadshow and the UML Astronomy Club worked together on a table for the Kennedy College of Sciences 3rd annual Block Party.
At the table we had several posters going over our work in Haiti and the overall work of the Lowell Center for Space Science and Technology (LoCSST), some candy, stickers, two telescopes, and a gravity simulator. Students and staff got the opportunity to look through our new Coronado Solar Telescope and see sunspots moving throughout the sun.
When a group of students came around, we got the opportunity to use a sheet of lycra, a heavy rock, marbles, and golf balls to simulate the motion of satellites in Space.
We hope to continue getting our name out in the uml community and are excited to see what the rest of the year brings us. Can’t wait to figure out what to do for next year’s table!
On Thursday, April 27, the Active Astronomy Roadshow traveled to Francis T. Bresnahan Elementary School in Newburyport to participate in their STEM Expo. The Roadshow brought two teams, one leading a High Altitude Balloon activity and the other leading an activity on gravity and the Fabric of Space-Time.
The High Altitude Team, consisting of Danae, Tsogt, and Dr. Laycock, had students looking at what high altitude balloons are used for and how to engineer develop different mechanisms for different purposes. Students got the chance to use a remote control release mechanism to release a camera that was recording them. Afterwards, the students got to watch the videos they made and see how they looked from high up in the gym.
The Gravity Team, consisting of Tom, Alex, and Ruchit, explored the concept of gravity, orbits, and the bending of Space-Time. Students got the chance to look at how differing amounts of force alter orbits, how Space-Time is bent by massive objects, and about the scientist behind these ideas. Students rolled different size balls on a sheet of Lycra to try and orbit a rock and tried to figure out the different forces needed to get the best orbit.
We were so impressed with the questions that the students were asking and how engaged they were with all the different activities. We hope to be back again next year!