Multiverse Blog

Ruth Paglierani
/ Categories: In-Focus

Taking a New Look at the Sun

[This week's blog post contributed by our own Ruth Paglierani, reporting on last month's workshop for informal educators.]

people in a darkened classroom holding up pieces to their eyes

Splitting light with diffraction gratings.

We held a very cool workshop for Informal Heliophysics Educator Ambassadors (IHEA) in early February, 2015. Nineteen informal educators from around the country met with us in chilly Chicago to practice using an exciting collection of NASA educational resources. They also had lots of time to talk with mission subject matter experts, peer through solar telescopes and experience the sky in a portable planetarium. Mission collaborators for the workshop included the ICON, IBEX, THEMIS, MMS, SDO, and Van Allen Probes missions, and cross-division collaborators, as well from Astrophysics.

It was a full week indeed!

We were fortunate to have informal educators coming from all sorts of places, including science centers, planetariums, museums, afterschool programs, parks, libraries and community organizations.  Now that these educators are home, they are busy using the materials they were trained on and are leading their own workshops for classroom teachers, mentoring other informal educators, and also making plans to work with local informal audiences. Webinars and online collaboration will keep us in touch as we move ahead in our work.

people in classroom

Safe telescope viewing with a solar filter.

As with all workshops, we try to get an idea of what participants take away from the experience. So far we know that they increased their understanding of space science in many ways, they know much more about NASA missions and they are more confident with the solar topics and materials than when they walked through the workshop doors. And this is only the beginning.

Stay tuned for highlights from these educator-lead workshops. They are doing some very creative and inspiring work! And stay tuned for future opportunities to join the IHEA community--we will post upcoming professional development opportunities and details as they become known.

Contact: Ruth Paglierani,


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