On Saturday, September 27, 2014, Vanderbilt Dyer Observatory’s own Nathan Griffin and his band, The Mables, performed a special concert under the stars at the Dyer Observatory to help fund scholarship students for the 2015 Dyer Observers Summer Science Camps.
In July 2013, rising 5th-8th graders got hands-on experience in understanding how the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) works at the Vanderbilt University Dyer Observatory space science summer camps. Over the course of five days, campers put together a functioning realistic models of the HST that included working computers, reaction wheels, solar panels, and cameras. When completed, the telescopes were suspended and campers remotely controlled the cameras and also moved the telescopes wirelessly from left to right via laptops. One the last day of camps, participants demonstrated their 1/12th scale models to the founding HST project scientist and Vanderbilt University research astronomer, Dr. C.R. “Bob” O’Dell. As campers explained the components of their models to Dr. O’Dell, he then elaborated on the similarities to the real HST’s systems. In addition to building the HST models, campers were also engaged in many other activities that infused additional NASA Summer of Innovation (SoI) content, including making their own discoveries of infrared light, connecting to robotic telescopes in Australia via the Internet, making comets out of dry ice, and using the Vanderbilt University Dyer Observatory telescopes to observe objects at night and the Sun during the day.
Scholars from Bailey STEM Magnet 6th grade in partnership with Vanderbilt University Dyer Observatory presented an exciting program at the culmination of a 6-week project-based learning (PBL) unit, The Mighty Sky, on Friday, February 22, 2013 to the Bailey STEM Magnet Middle School community and invited guests. The Bailey Choir performed selections from the album “The Mighty Sky” with singer/songwriter Beth Nielsen Chapman. The scholars depicted lessons learned by demonstrating scientific concepts. During the 6-week PBL, the Science and English/Language Arts teachers incorporated TN State Science Standards and Common Core Standards present in the lyrics into their classroom lessons and Dyer’s Rocky Alvey and Billy Teets taught the astronomical science concepts to the scholars. “The Mighty Sky” is an album of songs about science and astronomy, meant to inspire, to teach, and also to remind us of the Universe’s stunning mysteries and wonders.
WSMV Channel 4 News and Terry Bulger also covered the event (advertisement begins before video).
Dyer Observatory Outreach Astronomer Dr. Billy Teets video-conferenced with Mrs. Lois Finney’s sixth grade students at Joe Shafer Middle School on February 15. Among the topics of discussion was the close fly-by of Asteroid 2012 DA14 that would occur later that day.