One of the first US Galileo Teacher Training Program (GTTP) sessions for teachers was held in San Francisco on September. The workshop took place in the wake of the Astronomical Society of the Pacify (ASP) meeting on Science Education and Outreach.
The GTTP 1 1/2 day workshop was attended mostly by teachers but also by other astro ed professionals.
On day one the presenters were Dennis Schatz from the Pacific Science Center, Andrew Fraknoi from ASP and Foothill College and Rob Sparks from NOAO.
During the session several experiments and activities were demonstrated to the participants: from an intro to Galileo, to a discussion about the best tourist sites in the Solar System. A segment of the 1989 film “A Private Universe” was showed.
Dennis Schatz continued the morning session demonstrating activities that ranged from lunar phases to eclipses. In the afternoon Andrew Fraknoi introduced an activity for students to replicate Galileo’s observations of Jupiter’s moons.
There were also demonstrations on optics, using lenses, vellum screens and laser levelers. This was very useful because all participants received their own Galileoscope. The optics experiments showed participants how to measure the focal length of the 50mm f/10 objective lens.
The GTTP sessions are always great opportunities to learn about usefuland interesting ways to teach Astronomy related subjects to children of all ages.