Harper College hosts ‘Not the End of the World’ solar observing event Dec. 22
Updated: February 12, 2013 2:58PM
View of the sun
Harper College astronomy instructors have a hunch the world won’t really end – per doomsday predictions – on Dec. 21.
When it doesn’t, they’ll celebrate with a free mid-day observatory party allowing the public to look collectively to the heavens, where, they insist, the sun will shine for another day.
The “Not the End of the World” solar observing event will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. Dec. 22 at the Karl G. Henize Observatory on Harper’s main campus, 1200 W. Algonquin Road in Palatine. Held one day after the Winter Solstice — the longest day of the year and the day that the sun is lowest in the sky in the Northern Hemisphere — the event should provide a close-up view of sunspots and solar prominences, large loop-like features extending from the sun’s surface, through the observatory’s large main telescope.
The observatory is on the northeast side of campus, with parking available in Lot 8. Harper typically provides free public viewings every other weekend through the spring, summer and early fall. The observatory will not be open in the evening following the sun event, and the event will be canceled by Harper instructors if the weather is too cloudy to easily view the sun.
Program for top tech jobs
Mobile app development is predicted to be the top tech job in 2013, and Harper College is launching a new certificate designed to introduce area residents to the industry.
The two-course certificate, comprising an introductory course that begins in January and an advanced course later in the spring, offers a tutorial on the tools and mechanics used to build applications. The courses also require students to design, build and present apps themselves.
It comes on the heels of increased demand for workers in the “app economy” – one that has created nearly 500,000 jobs since its inception in 2007.
“Application development is the next budding frontier of the mobile marketing and social media industry,” says instructor Angelos Bravo, who has experience as an IT programmer, project manager and chief information officer, and holds a Ph.D. in computer science. “This certificate is a good tool for marketing yourself in the field.” Bravo says the noncredit classes, offered through Harper’s Continuing Education Department, provide a solid introduction to the basics of IT and computer science. The certificate program will focus on the development of apps for iPhone and iPad, the largest mobile app providers. The first course meets Saturday mornings from Jan. 12 to March 16. Call (847) 925.6300 or visit www.harpercollege.edu/ce.
New electric vehicle charging stations
Drivers of electric vehicles now have a spot to charge their cars on the Harper College campus – part of an ongoing campus effort to become more environmentally friendly.
A new two-vehicle charging unit has been installed in Parking Lot 14 near the Wojcik Conference Center on the main campus, 1200 W. Algonquin Road in Palatine. The stations are part of the ChargePoint network, whose technology allows users to reserve charging time and receive a notification when their charge is complete. The unit’s launch comes amid the growing popularity of electric vehicles in the U.S., and is a finishing touch on a parking lot reconstruction that also included other environmentally friendly projects in line with Harper’s green initiative. The new parking lots have landscaped medians filled with native plants that naturally filter water runoff, helping to prevent pollutants like battery acid or oil from reaching and contaminating nearby ponds. It has nearly an acre of additional green space and nearly twice as many trees. The charging stations cost $2 an hour, and charge a vehicle at nearly twice the speed as a regular home outlet.
Tips for jumpstarting your career
Finding a new job is routinely among the most common New Year resolutions – and one of the most frequently abandoned.
Nancy Wajler, Dean of Workforce and Economic Development at Harper College, has tips to help jobseekers stick with it in 2013 and get a leg up on the competition. Wajler, who heads up the College’s Career Stimulus program for under- and unemployed area adults, anticipates the new year will yield more available jobs with an emphasis on web-based searches and hires.
“The economic and political backdrop should be more stabilized in the aftermath of the presidential election,” she says, “and that can influence the jobless recovery rate, prompting more businesses to hire.”
Career Stimulus has served 3,500 jobseekers since its inception in 2009, helping about a dozen earn jobs monthly.
Wajler offers these five tips for advancing your career in 2013: Seek out accountability; make volunteering your priority; increase your marketable skills; document your success; leverage social media.