NOVATO/KENTFIELD, CA—College of Marin (COM) will be hosting two events in February to celebrate the cosmos, and the community is invited to join in on the celestial fun.
The first is a Space Day event held at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Academy February 12. The second event, Space Night, takes place at COM’s Indian Valley Campus on February 26. Both events are free and open to the public.
Space Day aims to teach different facets of astronomy to increase the importance and awareness of science in the classroom. COM chose Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Academy as the host site for the science fair-type event to reinforce its engagement with the community and create an opportunity to present the beauty of the cosmos through the equity lenses that are all a part of the College mission and strategic plan.
“They represent the future and how important it is to have a diverse community that makes up Marin County,” said Physics Professor Dr. Antonino Cucchiara.
Multiple stations will be set up for attendees to create a moon out of paper or build their own galaxy. Representatives from Sonoma State University (SSU) will be on hand with their own booth and giveaways from NASA. Proof of vaccination or a negative test taken within 72 hours will be required for entry into the event. There will also be an opportunity to experience a 360-degree virtual reality tour of the Universe. Students from COM’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) program will conduct demonstrations of their most recent projects, and student representatives from COM’s Umoja Learning Community will be on site to provide information about the program.
“We’re not going to have future astronomers or astronauts if we don’t build from the foundation of our community,” Cucchiara said.
Space Night, held at IVC’s recently opened Jonas Center, is a fundraising event designed to sustain STEM engagement in the Marin City and Canal area communities. It is also an opportunity for COM faculty and students to engage with 8th graders at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Academy through hands-on science demonstrations and help grow their excitement for science.
UC Santa Cruz subject expert Dr. Natalie Batalha will speak about the successful launch of the James Webb Telescope and its capabilities of finding new worlds, planets, and other celestial objects. Representatives from NASA and SSU will also be presenting.
Attendees will be able to view the stars through telescopes set up by Marin Stargazers, weather permitting. COM STEM students will host virtual reality activities, and space grant students will have their most recent demonstrations displayed for viewing.
For more information on the two free community events, please contact Antonino Cucchiara at firstname.lastname@example.org.
February 12, 9 am - 1 pm
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Academy
200 Phillips Dr., Sausalito, CA 94965
February 26, 6 pm - 10 pm
Bill and Adele Jonas Center, IVC
1800 Ignacio Blvd., Novato, CA 94949
RSVP by texting 'Stem2' to 41444.
Learn more about COM's STEM program.