‘Starry Night: Texan Astronomy’- Sarah Twidall takes our 8th grade students on a journey through space
Recently, our 8th grade students were invited to visit the local ‘Zeiss-Grossplanetarium’ where Texan astronomer Sarah Twidall gave a presentation on the night sky, star constellations, nebulae and planets.
Making use of storytelling, Sarah Twidall thrillingly presented the topic of the night sky and guided us through the vastness of space. With a story about two cowboys riding through the night and looking at the stars, she drew the audience’s attention to the pole star, Polaris, first. Mesmerized by the brightness of the star, the audience had no trouble finding it in the dark night sky. Through Twidall’s story, we not only learned about the star’s location but also about its usefulness for navigation due to its stable position.
The highlight of the presentation was undoubtedly the exploration of star constellations and nebulae (see photo below the text). First, the students were introduced to famous constellations such as Ursa Major - the Great Bear, Ursa Minor - the Little Bear, the Swan, the Eagle and Cassiopeia.
What’s more, S. Twidall talked about a nebula - a cloud of dust and gas so beautiful, one immediately wanted to take a picture.
Following S. Twidall’s joyful journey through the constellations, the planetarium treated us to a short, immersive experience of our solar system. The students were transported to a selection of planets, learning about their unique characteristics.
All in all, the images provided by the planetarium's advanced projection system, were truly captivating and left us wanting to see and learn more.
The trip to the planetarium presented the 8th grade students with an exceptional opportunity to explore the wonders of the universe while applying and improving their English language skills. We hope the experience not only expanded the students’ knowledge but also ignited a sense of curiosity with regard to our universe and astronomy. In the spirit of our science-oriented school, it is important to us to foster a love for science and offer our students opportunities for further education according to their school subjects and interests.
We would like to thank the team of the Zeiss- Grossplanetarium for the invitation to this extraordinary event.