Galaxy Forum

Nearly 30 educators and other interested parties attended the Galaxy Forum sponsored by the Ad
Astra Kansas Initiative at the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center on August 22.

Galaxy forum panel

The Galaxy Forum panel (above) discussed science education in Kansas

The two-hour program with the purpose of promoting science education in Kansas contained presentations on the Milky Way and also outreach materials.

For example, if our solar system (11 light years across) was the size of a quarter, our Milky Way Galaxy (100,000 light years across) would span the width of North America, according to Fred Gassert of the Kansas Astronomical Observers, Wichita.

fred gassert Gassert (right) presented a Powerpoint slide show created by the Night Sky Network, which is available free for use by educators. To download the presentation, click here. For the accompanying teacher's manual for the presentation, click here.

Click here for bios of the presenters.

The presentations were followed by a panel on science education in Kansas. Kansas teachers are allotted only 42 minutes a week for elementary school science education, according to Jennifer Sinsel, Wichita, who is on the teacher’s advisory board to the National Academy of Science.

The speakers also gave contact information for astronomy outreach resources/presentations available for teachers and educators:


Steve Durst

Steve Durst of the International Lunar Observatory Association spoke
about his organization’s efforts to put an observatory on the moon.



This page was modified on 12/16/09.