The Stars Come Out At Hillside!

Late last month, the Hillside 8th graders shared some of what they learned in their astronomy night with the Hillside Community in during Astronomy Night. The students each developed a travel advertisement for a location in our solar system. Brochures, posters, and even sandwich boards worn by Ari and Andreas told guests of the wonderful sights and activities to be found at destinations such as the Asteroid Belt, Titan, one of Saturn’s moons, and Saturn. Potential travelers were also warned of hazards such as being poisoned by hydrogen sulfide clouds on Venus, or freezing to death on Neptune.

Although the advertisement projects were wonderful, the highlight of the evening for me was watching the students’ presentations on their chosen astronomy topics. The students prepared well and presented themselves professionally, teaching their parents, peers, and teachers about their chosen topics. We learned about the astronomical significance of ancient European megaliths, the life and discoveries of Johannes Kepler, the causes, myths, and history of eclipses, the life cycle of stars, the life of an astronaut, the history and future of Mars exploration, the fields of astrochemistry and astrobiology, and the potential for deriving energy from space based solar power in the future. It was a fascinating evening, and I think the students impressed even themselves with what they were able to accomplish.

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