WASHINGTON — I spent a wonderful Thursday with 22 science teachers from several Virginia school districts. They are taking a two-week astronomy course hosted by the University of Virginia’s (UVA) Astronomy Department with Dr. Edward Murphy and Dr. Jennifer Maeng as the primary instructors.
The course objective is to give teachers a broad overview of astronomy and a basic understanding of the universe that we live in, with an emphasis on topics covered in the Virginia Standards of Learning for grades 4 through 9.
The group was energetic, interactive and asked really good questions. I spoke about space rocks and the Chesapeake Bay Impact Crater (CBIC), and brought real meteorites for them to see, as well as samples from inside the 53-mile wide crater that impacted what is now Cape Charles, VA 35 million years ago.
Next week, I will give presentations on the future of U.S. Manned spaceflight and the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). We’ll also visit UVA’s Fan Mountain Observatory, which I am really looking forward to seeing.