It was an interstellar experience for some 200 teachers and students from GTA high-schools on Nov. 26 when the Department of Physics & Astronomy hosted its annual high school teachers’ evening.
Thanks to generous sponsorship from Cineplex Entertainment and its CEO, Ellis Jacob (MBA, ’76), the students and their teachers, who hailed from GTA high schools, were treated to dinner and a movie. But not just any movie, they saw the new Hollywood blockbuster Interstellar, directed by Christopher Nolan and starring Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine and Matt Damon.
Interstellar had a special significance because it features legendary physicist Kip Thorne as an executive producer. Thorne worked closely with Nolan to advise on the physics that underpin the film’s science-packed plot.
After the film, the audience participated in a question and answer session with York University Professors Patrick Hall and Sean Tulin. Students as well as their teachers kept the professors on their toes as they peppered them with questions about time travel, black holes, gravity and many other topics.
Following the event, many teachers wrote to express their thanks. “I want to thank you for putting on an excellent evening for our students. My kids were overwhelmed by the whole experience. They love the movie but, far and away, the Q&A afterward is all they talk about! It really was a first-rate night,” wrote one teacher.
Guests received a copy of the new 2015 York University Observatory calendar, which features stunning astronomical images taken by the students of the Observatory
The Physics & Astronomy night was part of the Faculty of Science’s 50th anniversary celebration, which aims to raise awareness, recruitment and raise funds for the Faculty.
In addition to Jacob and Cineplex Entertainment, Professor Paul Delaney and his dedicated team of volunteer students from the York University Observatory played an important role in making the evening a success.
For those in the York community who are interested in having their own interstellar experience, copies of the 2015 calendar are available in the York Bookstore, through the Observatory, or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.