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ASTRONOMY

One-Week Summer Program for Pre-High School Students

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Chart out the stars and constellations so you can look up at the night sky and KNOW what you’re seeing. Create a massive scale model of the planets and the distance between them, gaining a true understanding of the solar system’s enormity. Examine the beauty of refraction and reflection, using prisms like those used in telescopes, and create magical color patterns with the power to control them. Discover the cosmos in this brand-new Pre-High School program!

Students may learn how to measure the height of the sun (without looking right at it, of course!) by creating their own backstaff, tie together the movement of the tides with the position of the moon, and create realistic models of the stunning rings on planets like Saturn and Uranus.

Interested in meteorites? What about asteroid mining? That’s the future, after all. These are additional topics that may be covered in Astronomy. And speaking of asteroids, the US has confirmed missions to deflect them. What else is coming up? How is this done? Do we know if anything is headed our way?

 

This program won’t revolve around reading about planets or looking at photos. We plan to incorporate games, live satellite feeds, interactive models, and much more!

This one-week program, taught by Tufts University researcher Scott Scharlarch, introduces students to topics, techniques, and instruments central to celestial studies in higher education and at leading institutions like NASA.

This is perfect for students who are interested in pursuing more specialized courses not typically available until late high school or college.

 

Young stars in the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC), one of the closest galaxies to our Milky Way.

SUMMER 2024 DATES:

July 22 – 26, 2024 | Olin/Wellesley, MA

More About: Awards – Research Programs – Sample Week 


Topics covered may include:

Ancient Astronomy: 

Ancient monuments such as Stonehenge and the pyramids indicate that basic components of Astronomy have been known for 6,000 years! Civilizations also often used the sky as clocks and calendars to understand the passage of time.

Satellite Data:

Astronomers are constantly collecting data from satellites across our solar system to use in their research. Students will learn how satellite data is organized and analyzed in contemporary astronomy research.

Telescopes:

There’s no astronomy without the telescope! Learn the basics of telescope technology and its crucial role in the realm of astronomy research past and present. 

Star birth: 

How does a star form? What does a baby star look like? What happens when a star dies? Join us as we examine the life and death of a star!

Black holes: 

Gravity so strong not even light can get out?! How many black holes are there? Where’s the biggest one? How do these impact us, if at all?

Instructor: Scott Scharlach

Scott Scharlach is pursuing a graduate degree in Physics at Tufts University. Mr. Scharlach earned his Bachelor’s degree in Physics from Pomona College. He had earlier graduated as Valedictorian of his high school class! Scott Scharlach has authored several published papers that have appeared in astrophysics journals and has made numerous research presentations. He has deep teaching experience as a TA at both Pomona College and Tufts. He worked as a researcher at the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute and at the Mount Wilson Observatory. Mr. Scharlach has a passion for teaching and was a researcher in child development at MIT. A paper based on his research there, “Exploration-Based Learning at MIT,” was presented at the American Association of Physics Teachers. 

Student Comments from Summer 2023

“My teacher was the kindest and funniest person ever. Definitely my favorite BLI class by far.”

“My teacher was amazing. He was enthusiastic about the topics and space. He welcomed questions and always answered them with excitement.”

“I learned a lot of new things. I loved the way my teacher taught. It was extremely interactive and he always made everyone feel comfortable and welcomed.”

Our Programs are Featured on the National Association for Gifted Children Website

 Note: this page represents our best expectations for the program we will deliver, but is subject to change. We will update this page as new information becomes available.

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