After School Universe in San Rafael


in San Rafael, California

Sessions - About the Instructor

NASA's After School Universe was designed to teach pre-high school students the basics of astronomy. I have adapted the program to appeal to younger students in grades 4 and 5 and to include a robotics component. NASA's program consists of 12 sessions and begins with an assessment of students' existing mental models of the Universe. It then moves into a series of sessions about astronomy basics: size and scale, light and the electromagnetic NASAspectrum, and tools astronomers use (such as telescopes and spectroscopes). The remaining sessions provide exciting hands-on exploration of topics that children (and adults) are curious to investigate, such as stars, galaxies, and more. A visit by a scientist or engineer is built into the program so that participants can ask any questions that may have arisen during the program and also interact with a scientist or engineer. The program ends with participants re-creating a model of the Universe, which allows a measure of perspective changes that occurred as a result of the program.

General Links:


Infinity and Beyond: Exploring Outer Space and Robotics Session 2
Grades 4-6 (Morning Class: 9 am - Noon)

Instructor: Alfia Wallace

Explore the Universe, make a telescope, build robots! You will learn the basics of astronomy using NASA's Afterschool Universe curriculum which explores astronomy concepts through engaging hands-on activities and takes participants on a journey through the solar system and beyond.

About the Instructor

Alfia Wallace was trained to teach NASA's After School Universe curriculum by the The Scientists & Teachers in Education Partnerships Program (STEP) at Oregon State University. Alfia was the Technology Specialist at Dixie School from 2002 - 2015 and during the same period she taught G.A.T.E. classes in technology and language to students in grades 4-8 for the Dixie District.  From 2013 - 2015 she developed and taught after school computer programming classes via San Rafael Rec. Since 2008 Alfia and her husband run a science seminar for high school students at Terra Linda High School.  Her website is Professional: LinkedIn