2014 General Assembly in Victoria

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The Victoria Centre's Involvement in Pal Virag's Travelling Astronomical Education Project - Bill Almond

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by Bill Almond

For the past few years Victoria centre member Pal Virag has been touring schools with his Travelling Astronomical Education Project, captivating his young audiences with professionally produced audio-visual productions of the Solar System and Canada's involvement in space exploration and the International Space Station.

In a joint effort, the RASC Victoria Centre has sponsored Pal's request for funding from the Canadian Space Agency and the Vancouver Foundation to develop and produce the shows. With each new development in space exploration funding must be sought to keep the shows up to date and interesting, besides providing the means to travel to schools around southern B.C.

Pal came to Canada from Hungary seven years ago, where he was a production engineer and technical instructor. As a teacher he creatively searches for new avenues to present space exploration in innovative ways. For example, he has transformed the traditional slide show into something new and far more interesting for his audiences by incorporating a novel dome-shaped screen to compliment his regular rectangular screen. How he overcomes the curvature and distortion inherent in such a device is a tribute to his ingenuity by adding stunning realism to curved solar system bodies.

Each show incorporates more than 300 high-quality, digitally-enhanced slides projected through a battery of slide projectors, backed by a recorded narration, appropriate music and sound effects. The result is superbly educational and entertaining for audiences of all ages.

Young children in B.C.'s schools need to be made aware of Canada's contribution to space exploration and the growing opportunities for careers in the industry that will become available to them. The propects are exciting and the Travelling Astronomical Education Project is filling an important need.


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Last updated: December 12, 2013

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