Starlab, such a gift to students

Yesterday, at Salt River Elementary School, our students got to experience astronomy in a whole new way. We had StarLab here for two days.

It’s impossible for any kid to sit out this lab!

StarLab_SREThis 2-day experience was made possible through ASU’s School of Earth and Space Exploration.  (Don’t I sound like a line from NPR!) Translated: We have some really smart, passionate post-doc students working with StarLab to conduct 8 sessions each day.

Two things StarLab struck me about bringing an inflatable planetarium to a school.

  • This is what the whole ‘pop-up’ phenomenon has taken after. If you’ve not heard, there’s a new fascination with ‘pop-up agencies’ and pop-up marketing booths at events such as South By Southwest.
  • The notion that planet Earth is so tiny when compared to the universe, and how much in science is left to be discovered.

For students the latter could be a powerful catalyst, incentivizing them (even wide-eyed first graders) to consider a career in the sciences.

As for the former, just the fact that you could view galaxies and constellations in a portable space like this, smashes that stereotype that science is boring, and/or hard.

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