MPS Alumni Dr. Alex Trowbridge Visits Polson Middle School

On December 21, 2020, the day of the “Great Conjunction” and the winter solstice, Polson Middle School grade eight science students hosted Dr. Alex Trowbridge to answer their questions on Astronomy. The visit comes as students wrapped up their unit on Astronomy.  Dr. Trowbridge, a former Polson student and a 2010 graduate of Daniel Hand High School, recently earned his Ph.D. in Planetary Science from Purdue University. His expertise in this area allowed students to ask questions about the universe and learn about Alex’s journey from Hand to Colorado College and ultimately his PhD and recent work experience.

Throughout this unit, students have been engaged in analyzing real-world phenomena such as lunar phases, spring tides, and how the Earth’s axial tilt causes the seasons. Students have also enjoyed downloading apps that allow them to track celestial phenomena and find the International Space Station in the sky as it flies over Madison. Below are some links that students enjoyed using throughout the unit: 

pluto article screenshot


A publication by Dr. Trowbridge about his research of Pluto.

Dr. T talks to students about his experiences via zoom


Dr. Trowbridge explains his experience working with NASA recently on a Mars rover mission. The students enjoyed hearing that Bill Nye was part of the meetings.

Screenshot of Alex T article


An excerpt from Dr. Trowbridge’s article in Nature about his research of Pluto.