RASC Regular Meeting November 13, 2017, Using Astronomy as a Foundation for First Nations’ Education

RASC Regular Meeting
TELUS World of Science – IMAX Theatre
FREE and open to the public.

7:00 PM Pre-meeting mix and mingle.
7:30 PM Guest Speaker

Bruce Rout
Using Astronomy as a Foundation for First Nations’ Education

This talk describes an astronomy education program at Siksika Nation High School east of Calgary. The Siksika reserve is located in a relatively dark zone which is also radio quiet. This program resulted from a solar astronomy educational outreach program from Stanford University which received support from the Siksika Nation Board of Education, IEEE SIGHT and the Astronomical Teacher Training Institute.

The culture and traditional values of Siksika in particular, and the Blackfoot Confederacy in general, are based on a cosmological epistemology resulting from tens of thousands of years of astronomical observation. This grass-roots project was designed and instituted to help re-establish self-determination in education at Siksika Nation, to promote the rediscovery of past knowledge, and to continue scientific investigation using the methods and principles of the local people.

Bruce Rout is a founding member of the Astronomical Teacher Training Institute, a society formed to assist teachers in using astronomy for education in both the sciences and the humanities. Bruce has a Masters degree in mathematics from SFU, a Bachelors degree in astrophysics from U of A, teacher certificates from New Zealand, British Columbia and Alberta, with more than 20 years experience as a math and science teacher. Bruce is a member of the American Astronomical Society, the Canadian Association of Physicists, the Society of Amateur Radio Astronomers and IEEE SIGHT. Bruce has done research and published papers on galactic structure (AAS, ADS), Athabasca Oil Sands (AOSTRA), mathematical modelling (National Resourcing Task Force RCMP) and education (BC Ministry of Education).