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COC Canyon Country Campus to Host Spring Star Party

| Gazette, News | April 16, 2013

How big are the stars? What do they look like? Many astronomers throughout history have sought the answers to these questions by looking through a telescope. But even with the aid of telescopes, these far away pinpricks of light remain mysterious.

The ever-expanding universe and its stars — the double star Regulus in particular — will be brought into focus at the College of the Canyons Canyon Country campus’ spring semester Star Party in May.

The spring Star Party will take place from 7:30 to 10 p.m. Friday, May 3, in the Canyon Country campus’ Carl A. Rasmussen Amphitheater. Admission is free of charge and open to the public.

At the event, guest speaker Dr. Gerard van Belle, currently an astronomer at the Lowell Observatory, will share his findings and research on optical interferometry.

A novel approach to star gazing, optical interferometry involves the simultaneous use of small telescopes to create a single large telescope, which provides astronomers with high-resolution images of stars.

“We are very excited to hear Dr. van Belle’s findings on stellar astronomy and direct imaging,” said Ryan Theule, dean of the Canyon Country campus. “This will be a great chance to learn about the universe and a rare opportunity to do so from an expert such as Dr. van Belle.”

While an instrument architect for the Keck Interferometer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Dr. van Belle made the first-ever direct measure of non-spherical stellar shapes, which won him the first annual JPL Award for Outstanding Research in 2001.

After van Belle’s presentation on direct imaging of the stars, he will lead a Q&A session with the audience.
Members of the college’s Physics/Astronomy Club, The Local Group Astronomy Club of Santa Clarita and the Burbank Astronomy Group will also set up telescopes aimed at any celestial bodies that are visible, which attendees can view.

In relation to Dr. van Belle’s presentation, COC astronomy professor Teresa Ciardi will lead a demonstration with the aid of star models, which children in the audience can take home.

“I will also be setting up two hands-on science tables where K-12 students and their families can play and discover some physical properties that we utilize in astronomy,” said Ciardi.

Though some seating will be provided, Star Party attendees are encouraged to get to campus early with blankets, lawn chairs and picnic baskets, to enjoy a festive outdoor atmosphere as the sun begins to set and the night sky emerges.

Food and beverages will also be available for purchase at the event through the Canyons Café on the Canyon Country campus. A portion of the concession sales from the Star Party are being donated to the Dr. Ram Manvi Memorial Scholarship to benefit students who are majoring in the fields of mathematics, science or engineering technology.

Dr. Manvi was the former Dean of Math, Science and Engineering at College of the Canyons and was instrumental in launching the campus’ initial Star Party event in 2009.

On May 3, the COC Canyon Country campus annual spring Star Party will take focus on the ever-expanding universe and its stars by utilizing state-of-the-art optical interferometry technology to create high-resolution images for all to view. Attendees are encouraged to visit the campus and enjoy a festive outdoor atmosphere as the sun begins to set and the night sky emerges.

For more information about the College of the Canyons spring 2013 Star Party, please call the Canyon Country campus at (661) 362-3801.

Santa Clarita Valley Chamber to Hold Mixer in Canyon Country

| Gazette, News | April 15, 2013

The Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a business mixer at the College of the Canyons Canyon Country Campus (CCC) on Wednesday, May 15.

Attendees will have the opportunity to network and learn about various businesses and services offered throughout the Santa Clarita Valley.

“It is very exciting to hold the SCV Chamber Mixer once again at the Canyon Country Campus,” said Ryan Theule, dean of the Canyon Country campus. “This is a great opportunity to showcase the facility and the fantastic student programs we have to offer to the community.”

The Chamber previously held a mixer in 2008 at CCC, a few months after the campus first opened.

Aside from learning about the campus’ highlights and achievements during the past five years, attendees will also have the chance to learn more about the college’s Career Technical Education (CTE) program, which provides students with academically rigorous and relevant education and content in high-wage, high employment potential industry sectors, as identified by the U.S. Department of Labor.

Intended as a “taste of Canyon Country,” this year’s mixer will feature food samples from approximately 15 local restaurants for attendees to enjoy. During the event, students from the college’s Fine Arts division will provide musical entertainment. Student representatives from the college’s Culinary Arts program will also be on-hand to highlight the exciting developments of the successful program.

The mixer will be held from 5:30 to 7: 30 p.m. at the Applied Technology Education Center (ATEC), Quad 7.

Non-SCV Chamber members who wish to attend the mixer can purchase tickets at the door for $20. The cost for SCV Chamber members is $15.

For more information about the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce, visit www.scvchamber.com. To RSVP, call (661) 362-3802.

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