Planetarium Director, Sara Schultz, completed her doctoral degree this summer from the University of Wyoming. Her degree is in Curriculum & Instruction with a focus on Science Education, in particular, using the planetarium as a teaching tool. Her doctoral research investigated the nature of formative assessment in the form of assessment conversations (i.e. strategic questioning) present in planetarium presentations across the U.S. From this research she plans to create professional development opportunities for planetarium educators to train them in using more strategic questioning with their audiences. Feel free to swing by and congratulate the new doctor!

In addition, Schultz presented papers in five national and international virtual conferences this summer. They included two regional planetarium conferences: The Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota Planetarium Society in partnership with the Indiana and Illinois Planetarium Societies (ii-WIMPS); and the Western Alliance Conference (WAC) for all planetarium regional associations in the western half of the US. Internationally, she presented at the Live Interactive Planetarium Symposium (LIPS) and two papers at the International Planetarium Society (IPS) biennial conference. Lastly, she presented at the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) annual conference and has been asked to be an invited speaker at next year’s conference. She has one more virtual conference to present in at the end of August, and then will have a break until October. It has been a busy summer!