2013-10-18 / Community

Scholars’ Students Get Schooled In Science


Mr. Hilgendorf’s 11th grade AP Science class attended a special lecture. Mr. Hilgendorf’s 11th grade AP Science class attended a special lecture. On Monday, September 30th Mr. Hilgendorf and his 11th Grade AP Chemistry class from The Scholars’ Academy, were invited to The Thomas J. Volpe Lecture Series at St. Francis College. The guest lecturer was Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist and Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden

Planetarium. Dr. Tyson was born and raised in New York City. The son of St. Francis graduate Cyril ’53, he was educated in the public schools through his graduation from the Bronx High School of Science. Dr. Tyson went on to earn his B.A. in Physics from Harvard and his Ph.D. in Astrophysics from Columbia.

Dr. Tyson's professional research interests are broad, but include star formation, exploding stars, dwarf galaxies, and the structure of our Milky Way. He is currently working on a new version of the landmark science TV series, COSMOS.


Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist and Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium, speaks to the Scholars’ Academy 11th grade AP Science class at St. Francis College. Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist and Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium, speaks to the Scholars’ Academy 11th grade AP Science class at St. Francis College. The invigorating lecture was focused on the role of science in the modern world and in especially the United States. The talk basically was a call to arms for the youth of America to embrace and study science, this message was taken to heart by the future scientists taking AP Chemistry.

On a lighter note, during the talk Dr. Tyson made sure to mention his upcoming TV series, COSMOS, which will air on Fox in the spring of 2014. This series is an updated version of the classic PBS series hosted by Dr. Carl Sagan.

Interestingly enough, to end the talk, Dr. Tyson referenced Carl Sagan’s essay and picture called “The Pale Blue Dot.” The entire AP Chemistry class recalled reading the essay and reflecting on its message when they were in 8th Grade Earth Science.

The Scholars’ Academy AP Chemistry class would like to thank the hospitality of Judy Ricciardo and Robert Oliva of St. Francis College for inviting the class, and being extremely welcoming.

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