Astronomers to Share Wonders of the Universe with Students

Students will interact with researchers at June AAS meeting in Indianapolis.

May 07, 2013, 12:49 ET from American Astronomical Society

WASHINGTON, May 7, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Indianapolis-area middle- and high-school students are invited to enjoy a FREE out-of-this-world experience next month during the 222nd meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) at the Indiana Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis. Sponsored by Associated Universities, Inc., the AAS's special event for students occurs on Tuesday, 4 June, from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. EDT. It kicks off with a presentation by astronomer Gail Zasowski, an expert on our home galaxy, then continues in the Exhibit Hall, where the students will meet other astronomers from all over the country and participate in a variety of hands-on educational activities. The exciting event will inspire the students to think about pursuing careers in STEM disciplines, that is, in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Gail Zasowski is a National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellow at Ohio State University, where she studies star clusters, interstellar dust, and the stellar structure of the Milky Way Galaxy. She earned her B.S. in physics at the University of Tennessee and her M.S. and Ph.D. in astronomy at the University of Virginia. While in graduate school she participated in the "Dark Skies, Bright Kids" program serving rural elementary schools in central Virginia, and she continues to devote herself not only to research but also to science education and public outreach.

The AAS's student-outreach event is FREE to local student groups and home schoolers accompanied by teachers or other chaperones. It offers a rare opportunity for middle- and high-school students to talk with real scientists and engineers at the forefront of astronomy. For more information and to reserve space for your student group (deadline: 20 May), see Questions may be directed to Debbie Kovalsky at or 202-328-2010 x110.

The AAS offers complimentary press registration to local print, broadcast, and online media representatives who wish to cover the event (

The AAS, established in 1899 and based in Washington, DC, is the major organization of professional astronomers and planetary scientists in North America. Its membership of about 7,000 also includes physicists, mathematicians, geologists, engineers, and others whose research interests lie within the broad spectrum of subjects now comprising contemporary astronomy. The mission of the AAS is to enhance and share humanity's scientific understanding of the universe.

SOURCE American Astronomical Society