Last week at RAMS, Mrs. Doire arranged for a presentation by, Kimberly Arcand, a scientist for the Chandra Space Telescope and NASA. One of Kim's responsibilities is to intercept binary code from the telescope and then create color to give meaning to what we see in space, which was a perfect companion to the international celebration of the Hour of Code.
Kim began by talking with the students about NASA and her professional background.She then gave a brief overview of the spectrum of light so that kids understood the coding activities that followed. The kids then moved from simple coding activities where they change the color of a box, to a complicated a coding activity where they color exploding and newly born stars in the galaxy.
This visit was so valuable because Kim helped to give the students context for the coding activities that they were doing. In addition, the students were very interested to know that what we see with our own eyes is so limited and it takes a scientist and computer programming to interpret data from a telescope!