Teaching, Mentoring, & Outreach

My first exposure to professional astronomy came in the form of a short-term teaching position, in which I had the opportunity to introduce astronomy to advanced high school students, many of whom had no prior experience with the subject. I began to fully comprehend the incredible benefits of taking part in public outreach. It is also my belief that, of the natural sciences, this field is superlatively dependent on outreach as a means to recruit astronomers of the future.

My experiences to date include:

  • Spring 2018 & Fall 2018: Guest at “Meet an Astronomer Day”, Springfield Prep Charter School (Springfield, MA)
    • Visited the first-grade class to answer their questions about astronomy and life as an astronomer
  • Summer 2018: Astronomy Pre-College Summer Program Coordinator & Teacher
    • Directed an intensive two-week pre-college program covering Modern Astronomy
    • Oversaw a team of 8 graduate student teachers in offering traditional lectures, hands-on lab activities, observing nights, and a final project analyzing HyperLEDA survey data with Python
    • Delivered lectures on the Celestial Sphere, Energy (as it applies to astronomy), and Gravity in Newtonian and General Relativistic contexts
    • Maintained a course website for students to access material:
      people.umass.edu/pkamieneski/summer2018.html
  • Summer 2016 & 2017: Astronomy Pre-College Summer Program Teacher, University of Massachusetts Amherst Dept. of Astronomy
    • Planned curriculum and delivered lectures as part of an astronomy summer course for high school students
  • Fall 2015 – Fall 2017: Research Mentor, University of Massachusetts Amherst Dept. of Astronomy
    • Supervised and mentored four undergraduate students (Dylan Paré ’17, Kendall Sullivan ’18, Neil Shah ’18, Silvana D. Andrade ’19)
  • Fall 2015 – Fall 2016, Fall 2018Teaching Assistant, University of Massachusetts Amherst Dept. of Astronomy
    • Astronomy 100 (Exploring the Universe)
      • Taught weekly lab sections
      • Developed new problem sets for course
      • Graded problem sets and exams
  • Fall 2013 – Spring 2015: Teaching Assistant, Bowdoin College Dept. of Mathematics
    • Math 1600 (Differential Calculus)
    • Math 1700 (Integral Calculus)
    • Math 1750 (Advanced Integral Calculus)
  • Summer 2013: Teaching Intern, St. Paul’s School Advanced Studies Program, Concord, NH
    • Assisted in developing and teaching a 6-week astronomy course for NH high school students
  • Fall 2012 – Spring 2014: Student Grader, Bowdoin College Dept. of Mathematics
    • Math 1800 (Multivariate Calculus)
    • Math 2000 (Linear Algebra)
    • Math 2208 (Differential Equations)