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Faculty Member Provides Space Sessions for Area Schoolchildren

Montgomery Elementary School teacher Kim Lorson and student Robbie Rupert visit the 'Out of This World%3A The Landscapes of Our Solar System' exhibit at The Gallery at Penn College.A recent exhibit at The Gallery at Penn College, coupled with the expertise of a Pennsylvania College of Technology physics professor, provided a fun, educational field trip for hundreds of area elementary and middle school students.

For an initiative connected with “Out of This World: The Landscapes of Our Solar System,” a traveling exhibit that was on display in the gallery March 13 to April 19, professor David S. Richards offered 45-minute interactive workshops in the gallery for students in fifth to eighth grades.

During his interactive sessions, Richards used hands-on activities to help students learn about the fascinating moons and remarkable worlds that orbit our closest star, the sun, explaining how scientists sent spacecraft to other celestial bodies to examine interesting surface features of these peculiar worlds upon which humans have never set foot.

At Penn College, Richards teaches courses in astronomy and the Science of Space Flight. He completed a summer fellowship at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and regularly attends National Science Foundation programs by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Kennedy Space Flight Center. He has taught at the college since 1995 and received an Excellence in Teaching Award in 2007.

In addition to the elementary and middle schools attending the presentations, many area high school students visited the “Out of This World” exhibit. More than 600 kindergarten-to-12th-grade students visited during its monthlong stay at Penn College.

“Out of This World” paired detailed photos taken by interplanetary robotic explorers with the work of 12 of the best-known space artists of the 20th and 21st centuries. Their work is grounded firmly in scientific research using the most current data available but inspired by creativity and imagination.

The exhibit was developed by the Hearst Gallery in collaboration with the physics and astronomy departments at Saint Mary’s College of California.

To learn more about The Gallery at Penn College and upcoming exhibits, visit on the Web , email or call 570-320-2445.

All exhibits are free and open to the public. The gallery is open Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m.; Tuesday and Thursday, 2 to 7 p.m.; and Wednesday and Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed Saturday and Monday). The gallery will be closed Memorial Day Weekend, May 26-28.

For more information about Penn College, visit online , email or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

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