Besides taking classes, doing astrophysics research, and learning coding and data science, students at YSPA will have the opportunities to participate in other fun enrichment activities. Several times during the program, we’ll take a day off to do some kind of “one-day” lab, such as developing an instrument payload to study the upper atmosphere of the earth and then launching it to the edge of space with a helium weather balloon. Another project we will take a full day to work on will be designing solar spectroscopes (students will then compare their spectroscope designs, and they will get to keep their instruments). We’ll also do a few half-day labs, which will include studying the chromosphere of the Sun, making color images of nebulae, and measuring the rotation of the Milky Way using a radio telescope at the Leitner Observatory.
In addition to the YSPA curriculum courses taught classes by our faculty, we will have several guest lectures by a diverse group of Yale scientists about their research in variety of disciplines. Some of these guest lectures will be followed by tours of some of the lab facilities at Yale. Of course we will have an official tour of the Yale campus, and we’ll will also host a workshop on college essay writing.
Every Tuesday night at the Leitner Planetarium is a public night, when we offer public planetarium shows and set up several small telescopes for public viewing of interesting celestial objects. YSPA students will have the opportunity to participate in these public outreach nights and share their interest in astronomy and their summer research with visitors from the Yale and New Haven communities.
Each week we will also have a full day or half-day field trip off campus. These trips are intended to be fun and recreational. These are some of the field trips planned for 2017:
- A Day in New York: American Museum of Natural History (and Hayden Planetarium), Central Park, Met Museum of Art
- Hammonasset State Park and Beach
- Yale Outdoor Recreation Center (near East Lyme, CT, shown in the photo above)
- Yale Art Museum
- Peabody Museum of Natural History
In addition to all of these academic and non-academic pursuits, we will schedule other fun activities on campus, such as:
- Frisbee and soccer games
- Rock climbing at the nearby City Climb gym
- Movie nights in the planetarium
- Late night board games
- Swing dance lessons with Yale Swing and Blues
- Gardening at the nearby Yale Farm and enjoying pizza from their wood-fired pizza oven
- a talent show at the end of the program (there will be a digital piano and a guitar at the observatory for students to use, and students are also welcome to bring their own instruments)
Finally, on the last day program and after our mini-conference, we’ll have a special closing dinner and closing exercises.
(Dancing under the stars in the planetarium.)