This year's conference takes place at the David Strong Building at the University of Victoria on Thursday, April 25th, 2013 from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm.
Space Science Symposium 2013: Guest Speakers
Gordon Walker : Space Travel & Astrobiology
Gordon Walker is a professor emeritus in Astronomy & Astrophysics at UBC. His field of research uses stellar spectroscopy and photography to study and detect extra-solar planets and stars. Professor Walker plans to deal with the dynamics of going into space and the dawn of space travel, the impossibility of human interstellar travel, the scale of the Universe and also to talk about the realisation that space has properties as defined by Einstein's special and general theories and how they lead to black holes and gravitational lenses. He will also speak about his role in the discovery of extra-solar planets, and complex molecules in interstellar space ending with his current interest in astrobiology.Previous conference themes include: Criminology, Controversies, Political Action, Communication, Social Responsibility, Consumerism, and Propaganda. The annual theme is incorporated into the curriculum of core courses during the year, and then explored through lectures, presentations, and workshops at the conference.
Lyle Tavernier : Video conference on the Mars rover Curiosity
Lyle Tavernier is an Education Specialist for NASA’s Digital Learning Network at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He specializes in providing STEM education through distance learning technologies and incorporating mobile applications into his content. Lyle has presented at the 2011 and 2012 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Space conference, as well as the 2012 National Science Teachers Association on the topics of distance learning and STEM education. NASA’s Digital Learning Network was recently awarded the Best Practices Platinum Award for Distance Learning Programming by the United States Distance Learning Association and has received multiple Teacher’s Favorite awards from Berrien RESA. Prior to his work at NASA, Lyle was a SMART technology trainer, instructional technology coach, Discovery Education Network STAR, new teacher mentor, science fair coordinator, gifted and talented education coordinator, member of the RIMS CTAP Technology Leadership Network, and a classroom teacher. He is currently working toward a master's of science degree in geosciences.
Geoff Steeves: Towards an Astronaut
Geoff Steeves is an adjunct professor at the International Space University (ISU) and will be teaching at their Strasbourg headquarters this summer. Among the topics he can speak about include his experiences competing to become an astronaut, where he made it to the final round of competition. He currently still corresponds with a number of astronauts.
Geoff Steeves is also developing an educational space comic book which you can learn about here ( www.staracers.com) - you can download the comics for free - they are aimed at a younger age group though (Gr 4-6).
You can find out more from the About section of his website: www.phys.uvic.ca/gsteeves
Dr. John R. Percy: Astrobiology & Exoplanets
There are tens of billions of galaxies in the universe, each with hundreds of billions of stars, many with planets, and all made out of the same chemical elements as our solar system, and obeying the same physical laws. Is there life out there? If so, is it primitive, or like us, or more advanced? How could we tell? Will we ever make contact with it?
John Percy (PhD Astronomy 1968 University of Toronto) is a very active Professor Emeritus at the University of Toronto, in Astronomy & Astrophysics, and in Science Education. He was a founding faculty member of the University of Toronto's Mississauga campus in 1967.
His research deals with the nature and evolution of the stars, and he has published over 200 research papers and three books in these fields, most recently "Understanding Variable Stars" (Cambridge 2007).
Luc Simard :"Thirty Meter Telescope: Science, Technology and People"
Imagine a telescope so powerful that it would let you see a loonie coin being held by someone in Calgary—from Victoria. Sound far-fetched? The technology is closer to reality than you think.
An international team of scientists and engineers is currently building the world’s largest and most advanced optical telescope—the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT)—and University of Victoria researchers are playing a key role in its development. With its 30-metre diameter mirror, the TMT will have nine times the light-gathering power of the largest telescopes in use today and more than 10 times the resolution of the Hubble Space Telescope.
Simard’s research interests are the formation and evolution of distant galaxies. “I’m an astronomer who has learned to translate science into engineering and engineering into science. You can’t take courses for this. It has to come by osmosis, although others call it ‘baptism by fire,’” he laughs.
Bob McDonald: “Vacations in Space”
Bob McDonald has been communicating science internationally through television, radio, print and live presentations for more than 30 years. He is the host of CBC Radio's Quirks and Quarks, the award-winning science program with a national audience of nearly 500,000 people. He is also a regular reporter for CBC Television's The National as well as Gemini winning host and writer of the children's series Head's Up.
Presenters at the conference typically include academics, activists, politicians, business people, and experts of all sorts.
Russel Robb: UVic Telescope tour
Russel Robb is a Senior Scientific Assistant for the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Victoria. He will take students on a tour of UVic’s on campus telescope. He has been an author in over 84 publications, since 1977.
If you are interested in attending this year's conference, or would like to offer your services as a presenter, please contact:
Jon Willis: The search for life in the Universe
Jon WIllis is an assistant professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Victoria. He specialises in observational astronomy and teaches a popular course each year on the search for life in the Universe on which the talk is based.
His talk will be an overview of modern scientific thought on the possibility of life beyond Earth and the current research being done to find it; the likeliest locations of life in our Solar System; the hunt for planets around other stars; the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI).
For more information about the conference contact:
4C Challenge Program Coordinator
Esquimalt High School
847 Colville Road, Victoria, BC, V9A 4N9
Phone: (250) 382-9226 Fax: (250) 361-1263 Email: email@example.com