(OLD) JOB DESCRIPTION AND PHILOSOPHY OF EDUCATION
As director of the Allentown School District Planetarium, located at Louis E. Dieruff High School in Allentown, PA, I am charged with the coordination, scheduling, teaching, administration and maintenance of a district-wide astronomy program. Coverage is considered K-12 in scope, but major emphasis is placed on grades three, four, five, eight, nine and ten. A classroom orientation is provided to elementary pupils in preparation for their planetarium visit. In addition to these duties, I teach four introductory semester courses in astronomy, two at both city high schools, and I provide numerous programs each year to community, scouting and church groups.
Astronomy 471, the junior-senior elective course which I teach, focuses on the solar system and sidereal subjects. Archaeoastronomy, the formation of the solar system, the geology of planets and the moon, the sun as a star, the evolution of stars, and constellation identification are all possible subjects for inquiry. The planetarium is used as a primary teaching tool to show the various motions of solar system objects (including the earth) and to foster the simulation of accurate sky representations. Currently, I am synthesizing my teaching experience into a textbook-workbook which will be used by my high school students in their junior-senior elective course.
As an astronomy educator for two decades, I have developed hundreds of overhead projection transparencies to demonstrate celestial concepts, a personal collection of 8000 slides and a library which numbers in excess of 1000 astronomy titles.
My goal as an astronomy educator is to emphasize the beauty and excitement, as well as the science of astronomy. I try not only to educate my students, but also to create within them a positive framework from which they can continue their cosmic explorations.