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Paper: ExoExplorations: Educational Activities at Home and School
Volume: 531, ASP2020: Embracing the Future: Astronomy Teaching and Public Engagement
Page: 366
Authors: Schmidt, C.; Roche, L.
Abstract: The discovery of exoplanets is an exciting new field. We want to present you with a very simple way of demonstrating to students how scientists find new exoplanets with the transit method. If you have a flashlight, some paper and tape, and a coin or two you can show the way light changes as exoplanets move around their stars. This is one of the activities from the extensive ExoExplorations online curriculum that has been developed by the Friends of the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory in Victoria, BC, Canada. The Friends of the DAO is an education and public outreach charitable organization formed to promote education and public outreach at the Dominion Observatory with its 100 year old Plaskett Telescope and the accompanying Centre of the Universe facility at the National Research Council of Canada. We host tours for the public and school groups, Saturday Night Star Parties, an astronomy lecture series and work closely with the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada to bring astronomy, astrophysics and space sciences to the wider community. Recently, we've been developing a set of educational materials called ExoExplorations. In its current form, it is a series of lessons that brings the topic of exoplanets into the familiar curricular discussion of the Solar System, planets, stars,and galaxies. With eight full sections completed in both English and French, it is aimed at middle school learners and their teachers. It includes a variety of activities, from simple exercises to hands-on demonstrations and the Stellarium application to help explain some of the concepts. It also incorporates many learning extensions, resources and links to current discoveries. We gratefully acknowledge the support of the NRC with an NSERC grant and the federal summer student program. So get out your paper and tape and a flashlight and discover exoplanet transits with us. All of the information on ExoExplorations can be found at
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