The Bell Museum is Minnesota’s natural history museum and planetarium. I work as an Astronomy Educator here, running virtual astronomy programs for school groups from first through twelfth grades and presenting live planetarium shows for the general public. I also assist with special events and programming, including our virtual star parties.
Teen Astronomy Cafe
The Teen Astronomy Cafe program is organized by the National Optical Astronomy Observatory. High school students come in on a Saturday to learn astronomy and work through introductory coding exercises. I help students work through these exercises and answer any questions they may have about astronomy, college, coding, etc. Since 2020, the Teen Astronomy Cafe has been held virtually. I have led break-out rooms, guiding students through coding activities, and helped find ways to transition the Teen Astronomy Cafe to the virtual format.
Astronomy Camp is a week-long science camp in Arizona for middle school and high school students. We use hands-on learning activities to help students understand the world around them. Students also have the opportunity to observe through research-grade telescopes on the mountains surrounding Tucson. I was a Camp Counselor in 2018 for the Beginning Teen Astronomy Camp, leading students through activities. In 2021, I was a counselor for both the Beginning and Advanced Teen Camps, which were held virtually. I helped find ways to transition the Camps to the virtual format. I also facilitated discussions with small groups throughout the camps and led sessions about galaxies.
Project ASTRO is a program that connects and trains teachers and astronomers to bring hands-on science education into the classroom. I have worked with multiple teachers, both in the classroom and for evening observing sessions.
Mt Lemmon Sky School
The Mt Lemmon Sky School has programs for school groups of all ages. Students spend the day(s) doing inquiry-based science experiments on the sky island environment of the Catalina Mountains. At night, there are observing sessions.
I have assisted with evening activities/talks and night observing sessions at the Mt Lemmon Sky School. For two years, I mentored a high school student through a science fair project for SARSEF (Southern Arizona Research, Science, and Engineering Foundation).
Physics Discovery Program
I led hands-on physics workshops for K-12 students at Flandreau Planetarium and exhibited at Science City.
As an undergraduate at the University of Illinois, I was part of and coordinated Physics Van (pictured below). With Physics Van, I traveled to elementary schools primarily in central Illinois to perform exciting and engaging physics demonstrations meant to teach basic physics and show kids that physics is fun.
I have led night observing and solar observing sessions, and have given talks at local elementary schools and retirement communities. I have also mentored students through the Tucson Women in Astronomy Mentoring Program.