National Aeronautics and Space Administration
From Sound Waves to Microwaves: "Listening" to the Oldest Light of the Universe with the Planck Mission
All web seminar participants use online tools that allow them to mark-up presenter's slides or share desktop applications in addition to engaging in chat with others online and answering poll questions

This Web Seminar took place on December 16, 2009, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Presenting was Dr. Jatila van der Veen, visiting Project Scientist at the University of California, Santa Barbara. In this Seminar Dr. van der Veen discussed the Planck telescope mission and the ways that music can help uncover the secrets of the Universe.

This was the third of four Web Seminars sponsored by NASA promoting the International Year of Astronomy. In this program, Dr. van der Veen talked about the observations of the Planck telescope and the role of music in understanding and interpreting the Universe. She also discussed Dark Matter, Dark Energy and the shape of the Universe. In addition, Dr. van der Veen presented a number of resources and tools for teachers to use in the classroom.

Thirty-eight (38) participants were present at the live Web Seminar in addition to the presenter and NSTA staff. Participating educators represented the states of California, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin. Three participants attended the Web Seminar from countries outside the United States: Brazil, Qatar, and Romania.

Seminar participants received one of the NSTA SciGuides. A certificate of attendance was deposited into participants My PD Record and Certificates area in the NSTA Learning Center for completing the evaluation form at the end of the program.

Here are some comments provided by the participants at the end of the Web Seminar:

  • “As an informal educator with the Amateur Astronomers Assoc. of Pittsburgh and as a Night Sky Network Coordinator for the same, I have occasion to teach about the CMB. This introduction to Plank fits nicely with the WMAP info. Well done.”

  • “It gives useful information to help students understand the Big Bang and why scientists think it occurred.”

  • “I teach about the CMB in class and this has given me some more background on it and resources that I can use to help my students understand.”

  • “I like the higher end physic concepts presented. It gives me ideas how to present them more to students.”

Thanks to the participants and the presenter for the learning opportunity, the interactions, and a job well done!


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