5th graders video chat with Smithsonian astrophysicist

students sit on the floor of a darkened room; a man's face is on a projection screenFifth graders at Broadalbin-Perth Intermediate School had the opportunity to speak with Smithsonian astrophysicist Dr. Tony Case via video chat Friday, March 6.

Case works at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, Mass., and has worked with NASA to build and launch the Parker Solar Probe, the first man-made object to orbit the sun. The probe, which was launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida in August 2018, is expected to orbit the sun 24 times over the next seven years.

Broadalbin-Perth is introducing new areas of study for elementary students, including space systems, as it transitions to the Next Generation Science Standards. Fifth graders are learning how objects in space affect people and other objects on Earth, including how gravity affects the relationship between the Earth, the sun and the moon.

Additional information about the Parker Solar Probe is available on the NASA website. An article describing Case’s involvement with the probe was published on the Smithsonian’s website soon after the probe launched.