Outreach Work

In addition to research, I am also passionate about public outreach, particularly in encouraging young people to pursue careers in astronomy. Below are descriptions of some of the projects I am currently involved in and links for you to learn more.

OSU Planetarium and Star Parties

Since its reopening in 2013 I have been involved with running the OSU planetarium, and I have been presenting shows since May 2014. The planetarium, located on the Ohio State campus, serves the University and central-Ohio communities with educational programs in Astronomy. It is operated by the Astronomy Department and has recently been remodeled with a state-of-the-art digital projection system. We hold free shows every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday during the school year that are open to the public and can also be booked for private shows. For more information or to reserve tickets to a show, please see the planetarium website.

In addition to planetarium shows, the OSU Astronomy Department holds once-a-semester public star viewing nights from the roof of Smith Laboratory called "Star Parties." Since 2013 I have volunteered to help run telescopes and answer astronomy questions for Star Party attendees, and to help run accompanying planetarium shows. For more info about Star Parties and other Astronomy Department outreach events, please see the Astronomy Department's outreach page.

Breakfast of Science Champions

In February and November of 2014 I helped co-lead the OSU Astronomy and Physics Departments' involvement in the Breakfast of Science Champions. The Breakfast of Science Champions brings Columbus city middle school students to the Ohio State campus to have breakfast and participate in science, math, and engineering activities with graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and faculty. The goal of the Breakfast of Science Champions is to encourage students' participation in STEM fields and get them exited about a career in science, math, or engineering. In two BoSC events in 2014, the Astronomy and Physics Departments, along with the Center for Cosmology and AstroParticle Physics (CCAPP), hosted five classes of eighth grade students for breakfast, gave them a planetarium show, and led them in numerous activities designed to teach them about astronomy and the type of work that professional astronomers do. As part of my duties as co-leader, I also participated in pre-visits to three of the schools to introduce the students to the concepts they would be learning more about at the actual event and get them excited for their visit. We received excellent feedback about our participation in the Breakfast of Science Champions, and we hope to continue this success in future BosC events.