The Galactic Center Institute is committed to education & public outreach.
By educating the public as well as future generations of scientists, we are not only
sharing our exciting work, but we are also a part of the
mission of continuing scientific exploration in years to come.
We strive to inspire and educate:
- the general public about the importance of cutting-edge research and technology by broadly disseminating discoveries about black holes,
which have immense popular appeal.
- the next generation of scientists about emerging methods for studying black holes and emerging
technologies that are essential for the next generation of telescopes.
- the women and others who are under-represented in the
physical sciences through mentoring and the visibility of a program that is led by a woman and that has an unusually diverse workforce.
Working with the Galactic Center Group provides opportunities to
both gain profesional knowledge in physics & astrophysics involving objects under the
gravitational influence of a supermassive black hole and working with the development of cutting edge
optical instrumentation. The former student page shows a selection
of the career path some of our students has taken.
Educational Material for Public Use
A Journey to the Center of the Milky Way.
This is an introduction to our Galactic Center research
and is made by graduate student Breann Sitarski and Dr. Angelle Tanner. This tutorial introduces the center of our Galaxy and discusses the
processes occuring there.
Galactic Center Slide Show.
A Powerpoint presentation by Dr. Jessica Lu, originally written for the
UCLA Planetarium. The show is for viewers of all ages and
is a pictoral journey into the center of our galaxy. It also
explores the nature of the supermassive black hole. Notes
explaining each slide acccompany the presentation are included, making it very useful for classroom/educational settings --
Best viewed in Slide Show mode
3D Interactive Animation of the stars orbiting the supermassive
black hole at the center of the Milky Way. Our collaboration with
the Cosmus group is an effort to make current science available
to the public for classroom use or for planetarium
and museum settings.
Selected Museum Exhibits
Topics involving the Galactic Center Group's research has been feateured in several museum exhibitions.
Recommended Books and other Materials
Keck Observatory - Photograph by Lauri Hatch ©
Professor James Larkin is demostrating how gravity works. Credit: iPLEX, UCLA ©
Journey through the Universe is a week long public outreach event hosted by Gemini Observatory in Hilo, HI, where scientists visit ~3000 classrooms!
For several years, members of the Galactic Center Group have participated in this very successful program which promotes sustained education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
Breann Sitarski participated in this year's program.
Breann visited seven different elementary school classrooms where she demonstrated how to make a model of a comet using household materials.
Also after showing a movie of
Comet Ison , she worked with students by helping them think about whether the comet survived its closest approach to the Sun, based on what they saw. The observation-based learning teaches the students how to think critically, helping them become little scientists.
Dr. Gunther Witzel was a featured speaker during the monthly event All Space Considered at Griffith Observatory.
Exploring Your Universe is an inter-departmental public outreach fair by the
physical science departments event that has been held in November the past four years.
The 2014 Exploring Your Universe was co-hosted and coordinated by
the Galactic Center's Graduate Student
and took place on November 16. Over 5,500 members of the local LA community and surrounding area attended the event.
The Galactic Center Group participated in the Exploring Your Universe for the first time in 2014.
The 'gravity demo' especially attracted a lot of curious minds. Professor Larkin
demonstrated with marbles how gravity due to a black hole affects other objects.
Click here for Division of Astronomy and Astrophysics oureach program: Astronomy Live!