AAVSO: American Association of Variable Star Observers

Bringing Astronomy Alive—Student Engagement at John Abbott College (Abstract)

Volume 47 number 2 (2019)

Karim Jaffer
Physics Department, John Abbott College, 21 275 Lakeshore Road, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, QC H9X 3L9, Canada

Abstract

(Abstract only) The approach to Introductory Astronomy at John Abbott College puts the depth and direction of content in the hands of the students, utilizing the partnership with RASC Montreal Centre to mentor students in observational techniques and public outreach. Recognizing that students have access to recent discoveries and current data that best represent the direction of space sciences, each student is given an opportunity to put their stamp on the learning outcomes of the course. Combining this with regular (weather pending), non-compulsory observing opportunities and public outreach events with RASC Montreal Centre allows students to embrace the field in a manner that best suits their interests and motivation, resulting in incredibly diverse term projects, and in several initiatives that have moved beyond the scope of the Introductory Astronomy Course. Other departments and courses are now taking advantage of the Astronomy activities to engage their students beyond the classroom.