Her major teaching interests are centred around science literacy and scientific skills development in science courses big and small. Sarah’s involvement in scholarship of teaching and learning includes pedagogical research in science education, educational consultancy focussing on active learning and assessment design, and collaborative projects with teaching-stream and interdisciplinary faculty internationally. She was awarded a MIIETL Impact Fellowship in 2015 and recently her skills in faculty development and managing curriculum change have been recognised by a visiting professorship at the University of Tokyo. Sarah’s research in history of astronomy concentrates on astronomical texts and instruments from ancient Egypt, investigating how the sky was perceived and described up to 4500 years ago.
She spends time "excavating" in museum basements around the world looking at fragments of astronomical documents, then translating, categorising, and publishing the results. She incorporates her interest in the role of astronomy in society in her outreach work with McMaster’s William J. McCallion Planetarium, of which she is the Director. The Planetarium, part of the Department of Physics & Astronomy, offers around 300 live educational shows per year to audiences of students, societies, and the local community on a variety of astronomical topics.
Ancient Egyptian astronomy (observational methods, timekeeping, charts, texts, and instruments). Pedagogical research (science teaching and learning in HE).