Mason Intermediate fifth grade science teacher Adam Bally
his students that ‘The Sky is Not the Limit’ by using Personal Solar Telescopes to bring outside learning into the classroom. With financial assistance from the Mason Schools Foundation, Bally used the solar telescopes to provide a safe, hands-on way to view the Sun and its constant activity.
Bally was very excited to use these on May 9 to see Mercury's transit across the Sun, which can only be seen from Earth with technology like a PST.
“I had been in communication with the Cincinnati Observatory in planning this event. It provides a rare and unique opportunity for students to literally see a planet crossing over the face of the sun.”
The foundation purchased two telescopes - which provided a 14:1 ratio of students to telescope learning per class. This allowed Bally to better implement the technology into his lessons. The solar telescopes take students “Above and Beyond” by offering a safe, hands-on way to view the Sun and its ever-changing activity, including solar flares, prominence, sun spots and atmospheric activity. Interactive learning with real-time observations aid in explaining how tools and technology have helped advance our current understanding of space.
“This technology positively impacted student achievement and helped them make connections to the learning we have done during our space unit. I also had the "wow" factor from many students as they had never truly looked at the Sun in a safe way,” shared Bally. “With the PST's, I have been able (weather permitting) to provide engaging and meaningful lessons in addition to using it for impromptu moments with my students during FLEX time. Whether it’s a planned lesson or an impromptu use of this technology, I feel it engaged students with hands-on, interactive lessons and enhanced classroom learning,” said Bally.