Thursday, December 5, 2013

The UA Science: Sky School

One of the most satisfying parts of my job as Director of the Mount Lemmon Sky Center has been working to develop the UA Science: Sky School, housed at the SkyCenter campus.  It has been transformational for me, having the opportunity to work alongside some amazing graduate students as we create a truly unique and immersive science school.  Each time we have a public school visit I am reminded why I work in higher education, at a public university.

This week, Arizona Public Media produced a piece for the TV show 'Arizona Illustrated Science', which I have embedded below.  The spot does a nice job capturing the experience from the perspective of the students, their science teacher, and our graduate student staff.  I have been receiving a lot of personal accolades since this aired, and the truth is that our success results primarily from the remarkable core team of individuals who are giving of their time, energy and hearts to our program.  Ben Blonder, Rebecca Lipson, Pacifica Sommers...all are amazing, creative and visionary.

Clicking on Pacifica or Ben's names above will take you to their blogs, which are well worth a visit.  On her blog, Pacifica provided some insight into her role in the Arizona Illustrated piece, stating "I find it easy to talk about the UA Sky School with the media because it is important and powerful. That power comes from reality and rigor. This is not nature camp or space camp. The instructors are prepared with knowledge about unique opportunities to emphasize important scientific standards and the resources to investigate them, but our activities are not simulated and our lessons are not canned. Students on the four day stays especially interact with actual scientists, using actual mountains and plants and telescopes, to do actual original research. The potential to have an epic experience in scientific discovery or outdoor adventure is tangible."

Watch the video- it speaks for itself.  (You can read the accompanying web story here.)

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