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TEACHING Girl Scouts

Dr. Martina Arndt in the field on one of the 12 total eclipses she's observed.

AN Interview with Dr. Martina Arndt ABOUT The Total Solar Eclipse by Lynn Luczkowski:
Q. Can you share your affiliation with and affinity for the Girl Scouts?

My daughter Hayley was a Daisy, Brownie, and Junior Girl Scout. The Girl Scouts empowered my daughter and thousands of young women and girls, providing foundational principles in compassion, courage, confidence, character, leadership, entrepreneurship, and active citizenship. Collectively, these have been achieved through activities involving camping, community service, and earning badges by acquiring practical skills.


Q. What advice do you have for the Girl Scouts as they embark on earning a Moon Over Vermont Total Solar Eclipse patch?

Regardless of your interests or educational path, shoot for the stars. I encourage you to participate in a science and space badge regardless of your age and interest because the sky will always be there waiting for you to explore. It is a huge classroom and astronomy is accessible to everyone from using binoculars to look at the moon and planets to learning to use a telescope to even taking data as a citizen scientist.


Q. share how you expanded & evolved your passion?

There are many ways to expand and evolve your interest in astronomy and there are even ways to be a citizen scientist- someone who shares their observations with other amateurs and scientists. Citizen scientists can make all sorts of observations with just their eyes (counting meteors, for example) or binoculars (looking at comets) or through their own telescopes (observing variable stars.) Light is the main way we can learn about astronomy and there are kinds of light that are not visible to our eyes but hold vast amounts of information about our universe. There is so much information out there – read an explore and consider watching the reboot of Cosmos with Neil deGrasse Tyson. It might inspire you like the original did for me.


Q: As a child when you first became enamored, what did you do to advance your interests and learning?

I was about 11 years old when I started watching Cosmos, featuring Carl Sagan and I was struck by the beauty and vastness of space. Practically everyone looks up at some point and wonders about stars in the sky. I ended up majoring in Astronomy at Wellesley College where I was able to meld my interest in astronomy with my interest in photography. When Dr. Habbal hired me after college, I became a solar physicist and did my graduate work studying the Sun at the University of New Hampshire. Since then, I have also worked with students on observing exoplanet transits and variable stars...


ADVICE AND FOOTNOTES: FROM DR. ARNDT...The sky looks different 90 minutes before and 90 minutes after the total solar eclipse. I encourage you to take notice and take notes. Consider taking the temperature or getting a light sensor, perhaps build a pin hole camera to view the eclipse. ###

MEDIA: For more information, visit: Dr. Martina Arndt | Bridgewater State University

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