Classroom Astronomer

A woman holding a t - shirt with a martian on it.

Ask an Astronomer

Do your students have tough astronomy questions that you don’t have the background knowledge to answer? Would you like your students to have the opportunity to chat with a professional astronomer? We’ve got you covered! Dudley at Siena is offering Ask the Astronomer sessions with Dr. Mindy Townsend for grades K-12.. In these 45min Q&A sessions, Dr. Townsend will happily answer any questions about the solar system, stars, galaxies, black holes, exoplanets, or whatever your students think of. Book one of these enriching experiences today!

Who is Dr. Townsend?

Dr. Mindy Townsend is the Dudley Astronomer with Siena College in Loudonville, NY. After pursuing political science and law and passing her bar, she returned to her original passion for space and astronomy and received a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Kansas where her dissertation focused on how very massive galaxies grow. She has over 5 years experience conducting outreach and communicating science with K-12 students and the public.

How does it work?

Dr. Townsend will work with you to schedule a time where she either visits your class in person or remotely. With the remote option – your students can log in digitally and chat with her as a group. Sessions will last up to 45 min and can be hosted through Skype, Zoom, Google Classroom, or any other digital platform your school is using. Students can ask questions verbally, or type them into a chat box. It’s not necessary to provide Dr. Townsend with any questions ahead of time, though many teachers have found it useful to ask their students to prepare some questions beforehand.

How many students can participate?

Classroom sessions work best with groups of 30 or less.  Remote sessions can hold as many students as your platform allows. Dr. Townsend can set up a Zoom meeting for up to 100 participants, or she can join any digital session set up by the teacher. Sessions work best if the students are around the same grade level.

How do I schedule a session?

Email to check availability and schedule a program. All schools and grade levels are welcome! You don’t have to be a NY state school to participate.

How much does it cost?

Ask an Astronomer sessions are $150 per session.