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Previous story Don't miss tomorrow's Meteor Shower Monday night viewing party – BCLocalNews

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If you have been out watching the night sky the last few weeks, you might have seen a shooting star or two, or maybe a few more.

On Aug. 12, the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory south of Penticton will be holding a special viewing of the Perseid Meteor Shower, and your best bet at seeing more than just a couple shooting stars.

Read More: ‘It’s the sky putting on a show:’ How to catch the Perseid meteor shower in B.C.

Since July 17, the Earth’s travels through space have put it the path of another celestial traveller, the Swift-Tuttle comet, whose fragments are burning up on entry. As Earth has been passing through the comet’s tail, countless meteors have showered the sky, although the ones people tend to notice have been at night.

The meteors, streaking out from the constellation of Perseus, will be coming mostly from the northeast. During the peak of the shower it is possible to see up to 80 meteors an hour from the observatory. The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada’s Okanagan Centre will be providing free telescopes to visitors, and astronomers Ken Tapping, Tom Landecker, Alex Hill, Tony Willis and Mark Garstin will be giving talks and taking questions at the observatory.

Read More: Perseid meteors return for August show

The peak of the annual meteor shower is expected to be Aug. 12, with the sightings of meteors slowing down until the Earth passes out the other end of the comet’s tail on Aug. 24. The best nights to view the shower are from Aug. 9 to the 14. It’s late-night viewing, as the Earth’s orbit brings our best views from midnight until dawn.

The DRAO will open their doors to the public at 7:15 p.m. on Aug. 12, the night that the annual Perseid Meteor Shower is expected to peak. The talks from the astronomers will run from 8 until 9:30 p.m. Warm clothing and a blanket or lawn chair are recommended for comfortable viewing.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

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Canadian Astronaut video chats with Kamloops students – CFJC Today Kamloops

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Kay Bingham Elementary was part of the chat thanks to the work of Grade 5/6 teacher Lisa Pye.

“Two summers ago I was looking for information about space because we would be studying space in a unit, and I found an application on the Canadian Space Agency website that said if you would like an astronaut to visit your school, please sign up here,” Pye said. “And I thought, ‘absolutely, we would like an astronaut to visit.’”

Pye was recently contacted by the CSA about the opportunity to participate in a teleconference with Sidey-Gibbons.

The Canadian astronaut discussed how she was recruited by the CSA before answering a variety of questions.

“They were very curious,” Pye said of her students, “they were all excited to ask a question, all of them wanted to talk to the astronaut, and they listened really well, it was a fairly long presentation, so for them to sit still and focus on what was happening and still be interested by the end, was really exceptional.”

When asked if she ever felt like giving up, Sidey-Gibbons encouraged the students to reach for their dreams.

“Hopefully I can pass on to you that you really shouldn’t cut yourself out of the running for anything or give up on something,” Sidey-Gibbons said. “If something doesn’t work out, it surely should not be you that puts that limit on yourself.”

By the end of the presentation students like Paige Smith were inspired to shoot for the stars.

“It makes me feel pretty confident that she had a dream when she was little, and then when she was in her twenties again, and that she is now training and wanting to go to space,” Smith said. “It’s kind of nice to know that dreams do come true sometimes.”

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Asking space-age questions at Kay Bingham in Kamloops – Kamloops This Week

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Grade 6 student Paige Smith was “kind of” nervous when she approached the front of the classroom to read a question, but the answer left her ready to shoot for the stars.

With her query printed in pencil on a square, paper card, Paige looked into a webcam featuring the class’s prestigious guest and spoke softly.

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“Did you ever want to give up during training?,” Paige asked Canadian astronaut Jenni Sidey-Gibbons.

Dressed in a light blue jumpsuit with a Canadian flag patch on her shoulder, Sidey-Gibbons took time out of her morning on Thursday to videoconference with multiple schools, including 75 Grade 5 and 6 students at Kay Bingham elementary in Brocklehurst.

Sidey-Gibbons said that in any career path, there are always disparaging times, which she experienced at the start of her astronaut training. While the training was difficult — such as solving math problems under water — Sidey-Gibbons said she learned to never give up and continue to do her best.

“Hopefully, I can pass on to you that you really shouldn’t cut yourself out of the running for anything or give up on something. If something doesn’t work out, it surely should not be you that puts that limit on yourself,” Sidey-Gibbons told Paige, who was one of three Kay Bingham students to ask a question.

Paige said she wanted to ask that question because sometimes she feels like giving up on difficult tasks.

“But she didn’t give up and she’s now achieving her dream,” Paige said, noting it was fun to get an answer from an astronaut.

The Kay Bingham student has aspirations to be a doctor when she grows up — and Sidey-Gibbons inspired her to keep following her dream.

“Now I feel like if I train and follow through with what I want to be, maybe one day I’ll be a doctor,” Paige said.

The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) invited the students to chat with Sidey-Gibbons about space, her career path and what it takes to be astronaut.

Getting the unique opportunity to speak with an astronaut was a year in the making, teacher Lisa Pye explained.

While researching information for her unit on space in the summer of 2018, Pye found an application to have an astronaut speak at her school. She then added Kay Bingham to the CSA’s list.

“Thirteen months later, they said, ‘How about two weeks from now?’” Pye said.

Pye said she hopes her students will look back on this moment as a landmark event in their lives.

“I know Chris Hadfield got his start watching astronauts and it sounds like Jenni did, too, so it’s something that continually inspires next generation,” Pye said.

She said she wants her students to connect to the rest of the world and be curious about science and technology.

“The world is full of challenges they will be facing as adults, so I want them to be excited to take on those challenges and feel optimistic about what they can achieve as individuals,” Pye said.

Logan Wiebe, who is also in the sixth grade, said he was excited when he heard they would be speaking with a real-life astronaut, adding he finds space to be fascinating.

He said he wants to be a mechanic when he grows up and could see himself using those skills to work on the International Space Station.

The videoconference saw students from multiple Canadian schools ask questions of Sidey-Gibbons, including such queries dealing with life on other planets, difficult parts of training and whether one can tweet and vote from space.

In response, Sidey-Gibbons said that, given the scale of the universe, there must be some other forms of life out there, noted learning Russian to communicate with other astronauts is one of the hardest part of her training and confirming that, yes, tweeting and voting from space are possible.

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Kamloops students get a video visit from Canadian astronaut – iNFOnews

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About 75 students piled into the Kay Bingham elementary school library to hear from Canadian astronaut Jenni Sidey-Gibbons.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Lisa Pye

November 14, 2019 – 4:47 PM

Quite the thrilling day for students at a Kamloops elementary school. A Canadian astronaut paid them a live video visit.

Grade five and six students at Kay Bingham Elementary School gathered in the school’s library today, Nov. 14, for a video conference with Canadian astronaut Jenni Sidey-Gibbons.

Sidey-Gibbons spoke to about 75 students, calling into the school from the Johnson Space Centre in Houston, Texas. Grade six teacher Lisa Pye says the students listened to Sidey-Gibbons’ stories about her training, which the astronaut was able to turn into life lessons.

“Jenni was brilliant, she was friendly and open,” Pye says. “The students were thrilled… She was really encouraging for students to develop resiliency and to persevere towards their goal, which is something we try to reinforce in school.”

At the end of the video 45-minute chat, students were able to ask her questions, such as if she had ever wanted to give up, and when she plans to go to space.

“Part of what they are doing for her training is putting her and the other astronauts under as much stress as possible, so they can see how people respond when they’re under pressure,” Pye says. “She didn’t think they would invite her back, she was nervous that they wouldn’t, and they did. She said it’s a lesson for all of us that even though we are not sure things are going great, it doesn’t mean we are accurate.”

Pye says the Canadian astronaut is still undergoing training and expects to be in space sometime between the next five to ten years, depending on the goals of the Canadian Space Agency. Pye says Sidey-Gibbons trains in an underwater simulator with a life-size replica of the International Space Station, which the children were quite interested in.

“There are several of them talking about how they never really thought about space that much, but now they’re really curious to learn about it,” Pye says. “This has been a launch into a project we’re doing on space where students will learn about all different aspects of it.”

Pye applied to have an astronaut speak to her class last year, and to her knowledge, this is the first time it has happened at the Kamloops school.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Jenna Wheeler or call (250) 819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won’t censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. 

News from © iNFOnews, 2019

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