Science Olympiads is a nation-wide program where teams of middle and high school students compete in a series of events in different Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields. These test or project based events provide students with a tremendous opportunity to explore topics not otherwise covered in a typical school curriculum. Since 2012 I have been a volunteer coach for the Iolani High School Science Olympiad team, preparing students to compete in the astronomy event. As a former Science Olympiad participant myself, I am glad for the chance to give back to the program :).
Professional Development Program (PDP)
The Institue for Scientist and Engineering Educators (ISEE) Professional Development Program trains participants in inquiry-based learning techniques and how they can be incorporated in STEM education. Part of the program includes designing, organizing and leading an inquiry-based lab activity for high school or college aged students. As a participant in 2013, I worked with fellow IfA grads Nick Lee (team lead), Evan Sinukoff, and Megan Ansdell to design a "light and optics" themed lab activity for advanced high school students. In 2015 I returned as a team leader to design an inquiry-based lab on astronomical data reduction with Heather Flewelling and Kelly Lockhart, both at IfA.
Outreach at the IfA
With the high visibility of the IfA in the community, we have a great opportunity to teach the public about astronomy. I have thoroughly enjoyed taking part in many teaching/outreach events, including:
- Gemini Observatory's Journey Through the Universe Program (2013 - present)
- Stargazing/guest lectures/planetarium shows at local schools and libraries
- Monthly Stargazing at the Honolulu Zoo Program (2012 - 2013)
- IfA Open House: Scale Solar System
- Public comet/solar eclipse/lunar eclipse viewing