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Thunderstorms, solar system and active galactic nuclei: Tassie branch talks to students

1 Sep 2021 3:25 PM | Anonymous

On 16 and 17 August, the AIP Tasmanian Branch organised a series of outreach talks at St Helens District High in rural Tasmania. The talks were given by Jason Dicker and Georgia Stewart and received a very positive feedback from teachers.

Georgia, a PhD candidate in astrophysics at the University of Tasmania, discussed our solar system with the primary school students. This included asteroids and some of the exotic members of the outer regions; naturally the children wanted to know why Pluto was demoted!

Jason is a year 12 physics teacher with over 35 years’ experience, and worked with the senior students. As part of a session on thunderstorms, years 6–8 were entertained by electrostatics with a Van de Graaff Generator and Wimshurst Machine. Bags of lollies were given to volunteers as compensation.

Students in years 9–11 discussed the present knowledge of the wider Universe, including active galactic nuclei and the 2019 picture of the M87 Black Hole.

A lecture was presented for the general public on the Monday night.

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