The Pleiades Star Cluster

Teaching Astronomy to Children

Within New Zealand, June provides the perfect opportunity for astronomers to get out into the community and spark the astronomy bug in children. Not only are we currently in winter, experiencing sunset really early — 6pm in some parts of the country and earlier in the far south — but it is also the Maori New Year, or Matariki as it is called, a time of the year that is marked by the dawn rising of the Pleiades Cluster.

Every year, I get asked by at least one of the local scout groups to introduce the kids to some of the concepts behind astronomy. This month's show of Conversations in Science was all about some of the tactics that I use to explain eclipses, seasons, and our place in the galaxy.


Teaching Astronomy to Kids
(First aired on KLRNRadio, Monday, June 5, 2017)

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Genetics is about much more than DNA

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p align=\"justify\">Regular listeners of Conversations in Science will know that I have a wide breadth of knowledge within the realm of science. Let’s face it, I’m a science geek. However, there are some areas of science where I’m just as much in the dark as those around me. That’s when it’s time to bring in an expert. On this month’s show, I did exactly that.

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p align=\"justify\">It was such a pleasure to invite Dan Koboldt to join Jessie and me as we talked about the field of genetics and the genome project. I did have to rein in Jessie’s bizarre questions (something the two of us still laugh about), but I had no idea that the field had progressed to the point it had. It’s not often that I’m left speechless, but Dan succeeded.

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p align=\"justify\">Take a listen as Dan explains what a geneticist really does and how our understanding of the human genome had led to amazing advancements in cancer research.

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Conversations in Science looks at Genetics
(First aired on KLRNRadio, Monday, March 6, 2017)

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