Marianne J. Dyson

Science Workshops

Workshop at Cherry Hills, Colorado.
Cherry Hills (Colorado) Middle School Workshop

Invite Golden Kite and American Institute of Physics Science Writing Award winner and former NASA flight controller MARIANNE DYSON to share her enthusiasm for space and writing.

Show Me Space!

Why do people float on the space station? What causes the phases of the Moon? Parents and Teachers (and students in grades 5 and up) are shown ways to answer common questions like these and demonstrate science concepts using inexpensive supplies and made-at-home models. Learn what it feels like to go into space, what freefall is, why gravity doesn't pull the station to the ground, how to weigh a weightless rat, how to compare the size/mass of the Earth/Moon/Mars, how far you can jump on the Moon, how far away the Moon is, why modules are round in space, how to pick things up in space, and where the Apollo missions landed on the Moon.

Workshop takes 60 to 90 minutes, but can be divided up into short segments by themes (space physics/biology, Moon, Mars, space station, astronomy). Because the topics are explained using demonstrations, audience size and age range is flexible. If time allows, participants can make demonstrated items or perform demonstrated experiments, or host may supply "kits" with instructions and supplies for them to take home.

Space Science Camp

Students or parents with kids in grades 5 and up role-play being astronauts during a simulated trip to the space station and Moon and Mars. Science topics include gravity, comparison of Earth with other worlds, geography and resources of the Moon and Mars, and the scientific method.

Camp can be set up as morning and afternoon or afternoon and evening sessions with a break for lunch or dinner, or set up as a summer space camp with a session each day or evening devoted to a topic (space station/moon/mars/astronomy/scientists).

Group size is limited from 12 (student) to 24 (adult and student) participants plus at least one adult coordinator. For example activities see Space Activities. If participants will pay a supply fee to attend, additional activities are available such as creating a Martian volcano with hidden artifacts.

Camp requires a large room with three or four work areas or two to four small rooms that can be set up with supplies in advance. The first area is "Earth," the second is the "International Space Station," the third is the "Moon" and fourth is "Mars." If the camp is divided into two sessions with a meal break between, then only two rooms are needed. One room needs to have enough space for students to lie on the floor with their feet up on chairs. The other room(s) should be equipped with tables for all students to work as teams, and include a white board or screen and computer projector for PowerPoint images. Ideally, one of the rooms will have easy access to water and to the outdoors for rocket launches or lunar/sky observing.

Set-up and Clean-up require 30 minutes before and after camp. Therefore, rooms should be reserved for 8 hours for a one-day camp or three to four hours for one segment during a summer week-long camp.

Please see my Author Visit Checklist prior to a scheduled presentation.

Book Sales

Hosts are encouraged to offer Dyson's books for sale in conjunction with their event. Please see Books for Author Visit for ordering information.


NOTE: Fees valid for 2015-16 school year. Discounts available for multiple bookings, referrals, and nonprofits.

$1000 for 8-hour camp or four one-hour Show Me Space workshops.

$600 for two Show Me Space workshops during a half day or evening, or one three-hour segment of camp (by theme).

$350 for a single Show Me Space 60-minute workshop. Discount offered for public libraries.

To Book an Appearance, fill out (as much as you can) and email/mail Appearance Agreement to Marianne Dyson.

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More Information

Columbia Quotes - Quotes from the Columbia crew, families, VIPs, kids, and an explanation of what happened.
- Space timeline, chapter stories (by Dyson, though no byline given), & teacher resources.

Marianne visits the new crew vehicle.
Marianne visits the new crew vehicle during a press workshop in July, 2011. - Astronaut bios and photos by name. - David Brin's list of materials for using science fiction in the classroom. - The National Space Society's reviews space-related books for adults and kids. - Find books, collectibles, interest groups, all kinds of space hobbies. - International Women's Air & Space Museum - Encyclopedia facts and photos about space vehicles, missions, people.

Marianne shows Moon map during Illinois visit in 2004.
Marianne shows kids where the Apollo missions landed during a workshop in Illinois in 2004.

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