The Georgia College Science Education Center is one of 200 international programs chosen to host community events in partnership with NASA to raise awareness and celebrate the success of the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). In partnership with the Science Education Center, NASA has shared a multitude of resources including curriculum and educational program models, NASA representative guest speakers, handouts, and community collaboration opportunities. With these resources, the Science Education Center developed a large community event in addition to several smaller community events.
From August 2021 – January 2022, Georgia College's Science Education Center hosted a statewide engineering design challenge tasking students to build their own version of the JWST. Each team of students required an adult sponsor from their school, community center, or youth group. Students' models were displayed at the Georgia College State K-5 Science Fair held in March 2022. With over 60 submissions from around the state, pictures and videos of the model submissions were judged on accuracy, stability, and creativity by a group of local astronomers and science faculty members. The winning model was announced at the awards ceremony of the State K-5 Science Fair.
Emily von Khoblauch and Mahika Kayyar from Garrison School for the Arts in Savannah, GA. submitted their model and won First Place for the JWST Engineering Design Challenge. Both students were present in Milledgeville, Ga on March 10, 2022, to accept the award and represent their school. They will receive a classroom remote-controlled exploratory space model and curriculum resources for their teachers and classroom.
In addition, Garrison School for the Arts will host a STAR PARTY, an evening of star gazing and planet observation using telescopes sponsored by the Georgia College Department of Chemistry, Physics and Astronomy. Students will be able to observe the Moon, Jupiter, and Saturn. The event will be free of charge for the school and the students that participated in the JWST will be recognized. The Science Education Center's director, Dr. Catrena Lisse and former Astrophysicist with NASA, Dr. Laura Whitlock, will lead the evening's festivities with science shows and Q&A sessions about JWST. More details will be announced about the STAR PARTY.