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Citizen Science Astronomy for Classrooms 

March 16 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

SETI Talk with Daniel Peluso 
Tuesday, March 16
7-8 p.m. 
Watch on Facebook and YouTube

Learn about how students are using the Unistellar eVscope smart telescopes to engage in citizen science and exoplanet research! With the eVscope a novice astronomer can partake in exciting astronomy observation even from the heart of a city thanks to intelligent Light Pollution Reduction. 

Our team (University of Southern Queensland, Unistellar, American Modeling Teachers Association, and Global Hands on Universe) is developing a novel citizen science astronomy observing research program at K-14 schools in collaboration with the SETI Institute using small Unistellar eVscope smart telescopes. The program will develop an inquiry-based astronomy and exoplanet curriculum influenced by the successful Modeling Instruction pedagogy. Efforts for this project will target K-14 schools and education centers in the United States, Australia, and other parts of the world when possible.

Combining astronomy citizen science with a dedicated inquiry-based astronomy curriculum may improve both astronomy research as well as STEM education. For exoplanet research, the team will utilize strategic follow-up campaigns for NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) to keep ephemerides “fresh” using the Unistellar citizen science network. For STEM education, we will explore the benefits and disadvantages of engaging teachers and students in exoplanet and astronomy research with these eVscopes. The American Modeling Teachers Association, Global Hands on Universe, and the SETI Institute will assist with curriculum outreach and development, as well as community raising for the project with education centers.

Desired outcomes from this project include: a combination of professional and citizen science observations to enhance exoplanet and other astronomy research; improve teacher recruitment, morale, and retainment; increase student STEM skills and motivation; and improve astronomy and science education and interest to the general public. 


About Dan Peluso

Dan Peluso is an astrophysics PhD candidate with the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) studying/researching remotely from the Bay Area, California, and is also a Unistellar Education Associate and researcher with the SETI Institute. Peluso’s PhD project is multi-disciplinary focusing on NASA TESS exoplanet follow-ups, asteroseismology, and astronomy education research.

For the astronomy education and SETI research, Peluso is developing a global exoplanet citizen science network for education using Unistellar Enhanced Vision Telescopes (eVscopes) so teachers and students can observe exoplanets and learn science by doing science. Peluso has years of experience as a high school science teacher and hopes to connect with educators and students from diverse and underserved backgrounds to build this network.

Peluso also enjoys photography, music, film, and is an active singer-songwriter and musician. You can check out his most recent musical project, Falling Andes, on Spotify and Apple Music, but he is excited to share that he is currently working on a brand-new TBD titled music project for release in mid-2021. 


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March 16
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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