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New tools for teachers


The latest teaching kit from Perimeter helps turn household items into tools that explain the universe.

Balloons, rubber bands, an elastic bandage, and a handful of metal washers don’t sound like the stuff science insights are made of.
 
But for students across Canada – and around the world – these everyday items are helping to unlock some of the deepest mysteries of the universe.
 
The latest teaching kit from Perimeter Institute, Perimeter Inspirations: The Expanding Universe, was hot off the press in November when 18 Teacher Network Associates came to the Institute for some first-hand instruction in using the resource in their classrooms.
 
It was a train-the-trainer session that included a keynote talk by Perimeter’s Kelly Foyle about the Hubble telescope.
 
“All of the activities are really hands-on,” says educational outreach coordinator Tonia Williams. “Washers strung between elastics help show the properties of the expanding universe. Drawing a wave on elastic bandages and stretching them demonstrates how light gets red-shifted.”
 
The Expanding Universe is the fourth installment of the Inspirations educational series, with lessons suitable for grade nine astronomy through senior physics courses. Perimeter’s curious cartoon duo Alice and Bob guide students through topics like the big bang, basic properties of the universe, emission spectra, the cosmic microwave background radiation, and more.
 
Local workshops for teachers across the country – led by participants at the November session – are already being planned. Interested educators can find sessions in their area, or they can request one be held in their area by contacting Williams.
 
Perimeter Inspirations: The Expanding Universe is free to Canadian teachers and available at the Perimeter store for educators around the world. To get a taste for the pack, check out “Why is it dark at night?” from the Alice and Bob in Wonderland animation series, below.
 
 
– Tenille Bonoguore
 
 

About Perimeter Institute

Perimeter Institute is the world’s largest research hub devoted to theoretical physics. The independent Institute was founded in 1999 to foster breakthroughs in the fundamental understanding of our universe, from the smallest particles to the entire cosmos. Research at Perimeter is motivated by the understanding that fundamental science advances human knowledge and catalyzes innovation, and that today’s theoretical physics is tomorrow’s technology. Located in the Region of Waterloo, the not-for-profit Institute is a unique public-private endeavour, including the Governments of Ontario and Canada, that enables cutting-edge research, trains the next generation of scientific pioneers, and shares the power of physics through award-winning educational outreach and public engagement. 
 

http://www.perimeterinstitute.ca/

For more information, contact:

Manager, Communications
(519) 569-7600 x5071

“Washers strung between elastics help show the properties of the expanding universe. Drawing a wave on elastic bandages and stretching them demonstrates how light gets red-shifted.”
 

– Tonia Williams