Wesleyan and W.Va. SPOT to sponsor Universe in the Park

BUCKHANNON — West Virginia Wesleyan College and the West Virginia Science Public Outreach Team (WV SPOT) are sponsoring a Universe in the Park event at Stonewall Resort on Saturday, Nov. 10 at 6 p.m.

Two Wesleyan students, Elizabeth Meier of Bethesda, Md., a senior elementary education major, and Ethan Randolph of Martinsburg, a junior physics major, will give an astronomy presentation about the Sun and they will highlight some of the research conducted in West Virginia with the Green Bank Telescope.

Throughout the evening, they encourage questions from children and adults, alike, and  enjoy discussing topics ranging from backyard astronomy to the latest scientific discoveries.

A planet walk, which is a scale model solar system, will be set up for people to tour before and after the presentation.  If the weather is favorable, telescope observing will follow the presentation. Sky maps will be available to help identify constellations, planets, and bright stars. This event is free and open to the public.

Universe in the Park is an outreach program based on the idea that the best environment in which to introduce the general public to astronomy is outside under dark skies.

Under this program, Wesleyan students travel to state parks on Friday and Saturday evenings and present PowerPoint shows on astronomy topics. Typically, two students present each show. Recent astronomical news is often discussed, such as the discovery of new solar systems, and sky maps are handed out. On clear nights, after the presentation, telescopes are set up to view astronomical objects.

WV SPOT began in 2013 as a partnership between the Green Bank Observatory and NASA. West Virginia college students are recruited and trained to bring presentations about current West Virginia science, technology, and engineering to West Virginia K-12 classrooms, museums, and youth programs. Since then, over 500 presentations have been delivered, and 19,020 student lives have been impacted.

For more information, please contact Dr. Tracey DeLaney, assistant professor of physics, at delaney_t@wvwc.edu.

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