Day One, Year Two!

I’m Mark, a mentor in the NASA All Stars program. Being a mentor really means that I participated in the first year of the program, and know a few things more than the new teachers. It also means that my blog page should contain blogs from last year. Notice that I really didn’t get the habit of blogging then, and this is really my first full entry. (Full entry? Well, I’ve had numerous first attempts about a paragraph long that were pretty stupid sounding, so I never published them.)

So today’s student session is nearly over. The students and teachers took turns reading the article by Don York about the impact of optical astronomy on our current understanding of the Universe. Everyone is blogging, reflecting on new information they learned, things they found particularly interesting, and writing a question they have. Tomorrow, Don will be presenting his story about optical astronomy in person. The students, teachers, and even we mentors, will have an opportunity to ask Don our questions.

This week, we will have speakers addressing astronomy in terms of other wave bands of the electromagnetic spectrum, such as X-rays and gamma rays each day. Students and teachers will continue blogging their respective views on what is presented, so that next week, we can begging projects that will result in lesson plans in astronomy. These lesson plans will be added to NASA’s resources for teachers.

I’m off for the next few days for a major family gathering. I’ll write more as events unfold.