Friday, April 8, 2011

College takes advantage of local resources, 11.12.10

When asked what they are studying in college, most students in Southwest Georgia probably would not answer with “astronomy.” One teacher in Albany, Georgia, though, is slowly changing that.

Dr. George C. Flowers
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Dr. George C. Flowers, associate professor of chemistry at Darton College, who also teaches several introductory science courses, has been taking some of his classes over the past several years to visit the Wetherbee Planetarium at Thronateeska Heritage Center. Much of the content covered in the planetarium is used to supplement teaching material used in the college classroom.

Jim Friese, Museum Guide and staff astronomer at Thronateeska Heritage Center, thinks Darton is doing an excellent job of taking advantage of area resources available to the students. “I met Prof. Flowers at the science museum’s grand opening and have now lectured for his classes 5 times.” Most of the topics used in the presentations for the students were advanced astronomy topics that Dr. Flowers has been able to use in conjunction with his science classroom material. For example, the most recent topics presented to his students were novas vs. supernovas, and “Island Universes,” a look at different classifications of galaxies.

Through the experience of lecturing for Dr. Flower’s classes, Friese says, he was able to begin authoring his Astronomy Series, a  collection of presentations on recent discoveries in astronomy that have continued once a month from June through the present. Friese also says that through the program Dr. Flowers partially inspired, Thronateeska has been able “to better serve the community.”

Dr. Flowers has also made use of Thronateeska Heritage Center’s science museum, hosting Darton College’s science club kick-off meeting there at the beginning of the fall semester. At least 30 Darton students were in attendance and were able to see a planetarium show.

***Note from Thronateeska: this blog post in no way represents the opinion of Darton College. This was simply Thronateeska’s own special way of saying “thank you” and recognizing the impact their involvement with the planetarium has had on developing our programming.***

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