Cassian Pirard Ph.D
Services & Objectives
Below is a list of specific scientific activities that are (or will be) available. I'm still developing these programs and in the future it will also include science camps for different age groups & interests etc. However, if you wish to have a customized science day not included in the activities below, do no hesitate to contact me.
The main objectives of these science activities are:
- Having fun with outdoor scientific experiments, modelling and observations
- Learning the basics of rational thinking and scientific methodology
- Avoiding activities for fun where science is just a excuse with little educative outcome
- Concerting with school teachers to design activities linked with the classroom.
Geology Field trips
- Half or Full-day field trip for student groups (5-10): Introduction to Earth Sciences
adapted for different age groups from 8 years old to adults, this field trip includes
basic elements of geology with some emphasis (depending on age group and
interests) on mineralogy (mineral prospection, mineral identification), landscape
interpretation (mapping, geomorphology), sedimentology (current and past
sedimentation) and general petrology (understanding rocks as witnesses of the past).
Following interests and schedule, several locations are currently accessible including:
- Limestone cliffs with coarse calcite crystal veins & cave network
- Oligocene sediments and their comparison with recent river sediment
- River banks pebbles displaying more than a dozen different rock type.
- Mae Ping to Doi Inthanon Chiang Mai province geology (full-day only)
- Pha Chor Canyon for extreme erosion processes of Oligocene sediments
- more locations to be added as I explore the province.
Typical learning outcomes from these trips includes but not limited to:
- Distinction between rocks & minerals
- Distinction between the three main types of rock
- Field tools (chemical, physical & biological) for rock and mineral identification
- Basic understanding of the geological cycle
- Basic conceptualization of the geological timescale
Introduction to rocks & minerals half-day FT
Left: Localisation on a topographical map - Center: Hydrochloric reaction on calcite - Right: Identification of geomorphological features
- Weather permitting, starting from sunset, this activity includes stargazing (identifying
celestial objects and constellations, some stories on the history of astronomy and its
ancestral use, mythologies, etc.), use of binoculars and telescope to observe fainter
objects and details. Depending on the audience, more advanced physical concepts
(optics, nuclear physics, astrophysics, cosmology) can also be introduced.
In the tropics, 95% of the sky is visible throughout the year so observations will vary a lot
depending on the season. Ephemerides of planets, satellites, comets are taken into
account for observation nights. Unplanned limitations are cloudy weather, fog, haze
with or without a full moon.
As a guide, objects that can be observed through binoculars or telescope during
these events includes:
- Stars, Double and Multiple stars (various colours, brightness, etc.)
- Planets (Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune)
- Dwarf planets (Vesta, Ceres, Pallas, Iris, Hygiea)
- Satellites (Moon, Ganymede, Callisto, Io, Europa, Titan)
- Comets, asteroids, artificial satellites, International Space Station, meteoroids
- Open clusters, planetary nebulae, Stellar clouds, supernova remnants
- Globular clusters, Magellanic clouds, Milky Way and Galaxies
- Moon (craters, mare, highlands, etc.)
- Sun (spots, transits)
Biology Field trips
- Development stage - This trip will be half or full-day field trip for student groups (5-10):
and would include an introduction to Field biology adapted for different age groups
from 8 years old to adults and observation of collected material under a microscope.
This field trip will include ornithology (birds in wetlands, dry forest, plantations,
wet forest and mountain environment, with migrating bird depending on the season),
arthropodology (insects, myriapods, arachnids and others, as Chiang Mai is a world-
known hot spot for these animals), botany in different type of ecosystem (wetlands, dry
forest and plantations, dipterocarp forest, rainforest and cloud forest, etc.
Geography Field trips
- Development stage - This trip will be half or full-day field trip for student groups (5-10)
and would include both human and physical geography for 14 years old to adults.
The field trip will include an overview of land use in northern Thailand, the administrative and physical structures of villages in Thailand, the distribution of farmland around villages, distinction between various agricultural lands, farming practices and their role in a global economy. A emphasis will also be put on the protection of forest land and its importance for the future of Thailand.
Open-Air Lab Days
- Planning stage:
Once the infrastructure is in place, days of experiments of physics and/or chemistry adapted for different age groups and different levels of understanding will be organized.
These science days would include a series of fun (and sometimes large scale) experiments where student would collect data, analyze and interpret the result and in some cases, come with a predictive model.
These full-day events might be extended to an overnight camp with astronomical activities at night and additional activities on the second day.