James Webb Telescope NASA

Picture of the James Webb Telescope (NASA)
Credits: NASA/Chris Gunn­

Universe of Calculations 

An Online Nationwide Workshop for Math and Science Middle and High School Teachers

Fall 2023

GES 692 class: Computational Astronomy –  A Universe of Calculations 

This online workshop is a professional development class worth 1-graduate credit. The course starting September 9, 2023, will be offered via Zoom on six Saturdays:

  • September 9, 2023
  • September 23, 2023
  • October 7, 2023
  • October 21, 2023
  • November 4, 2023
  • November 18, 2023

at 9 am – 12 pm Mountain Time (11 am – 2 pm Eastern Time, 10 am – 1pm Central Time, and 8 am – 11 am Pacific Time).

During the workshop, the math and science teacher participants will learn about the mathematical applications used in astronomy and space exploration, with the goal of being able to use that knowledge in their classrooms. Through carefully selected materials, the workshop will emphasize the connections between mathematics and space science. Lesson plans for the middle and high school classroom will be developed for courses such as math, physical science, and biology.


  • Earn one graduate credit, with 20 hours participation during the workshop.
  • Maximum of 20 participants for the workshop (first come, first served). 
  • The $40 tuition for the workshop is paid by each participant.
  • Tentative Schedule is available.

    Topics include:

    James Webb telescope, infectious diseases in a colony, Kepler’s Laws, Cepheid variable stars, time dilation, space physiology, space weather, SpaceX launch, and more.

    Mathematical applications and modeling will be done with calculators, with spreadsheets, and with Desmos.

    Course Prerequisites: Successful completion of a bachelor’s degree program, K-12 teaching experience in Math or Science, and familiarity with Algebra, Trigonometry, and spreadsheets such as Windows Excel.

    Acknowledgement: NASA – South Dakota Space Grant Consortium provided funding for this project.


    This workshop is offered by South Dakota Mines in Collaboration with Augustana University.

    For more information

    Dr. Martha Garlick

    Dr. Donna Kliche

    Stay Tuned - There's More to Come

    Educating the next generation of engineers and scientists begins with inspiring an early interest in math and science. South Dakota Mines plans additional programing to help engage students in STEM activities. More information will be available as dates, times and programing is arranged.

    Resources For Educators


    Email newsletter for area math and science teachers.

    Activities for Students


    Weeklong science and engineering summer camps for high school students.


    Annual Science & Engineering Fair for regional students, 6th-12th grade, held at SD Mines.


    Regional mathematics contest for middle and high-school students, held at SD Mines.


    Activities for area students of various levels, held each year at SD Mines.

    GO TO MINES Open House

    An opportunity for local high-school students to learn more about attending SD Mines