Edward Ackad, PhD, associate professor of physics, and the troop view the moon with the telescopes they built.EDWARDSVILLE - In line with Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s commitment to community engagement, Edward Ackad, PhD, associate professor of physics, shared his expertise in physics and astronomy with Girl Scout Troop 227 from Granite City to help them earn their Daisy Space Explorer badge.

“The Department of Physics wants to communicate our love for physics with everyone,” said Ackad. “My hope is the troop gained enthusiasm for learning more about astronomy.”

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Ackad led the group through activities to help explain what a telescope is. The troop learned how lenses bend light, that the moon has different textures, and had the opportunity to view the moon with their own telescope they built followed by viewing the moon through a large telescope.

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“We love being able to have the girls meet people from the community and learn in a fun way,” said Kim Smith, Troop 227 leader. “The girls loved building telescopes and then having the opportunity to look through a real telescope for a close-up view of the moon, which some have never done before. As a leader, I think it is important for the girls to be able to experience new things to not only keep scouting fun and exciting, but also so they can grow their knowledge and confidence when learning new things.”

The Department of Physics encourages those interested in astronomy to be part of astronomical viewing sessions that are open to the public. For more information about the viewing sessions, visit siue.edu/artsandsciences/physics/astronomical.

Central to SIUE’s exceptional and comprehensive education, the College of Arts and Sciences offers degree programs in the natural sciences, humanities, arts, social sciences and communications. The College touches the lives of all SIUE students, helping them explore diverse ideas and experiences, while learning to think and live as fulfilled, productive members of the global community. Study abroad, service-learning, internships and other experiential learning opportunities better prepare SIUE students not only to succeed in our region’s workplaces, but also to become valuable leaders who make important contributions to our communities.

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