Santa is back and ready to learn!

The aurora is a truly beautiful and mysterious sight. Have you ever seen it or dreamed about seeing it? Have you ever wondered what causes the brilliant light show? Join Santa in this story as he learns all about the science behind the aurora!

Our team has designed this interactive eBook with both children and adults in mind. No science background is necessary to enjoy the story! There are interesting facts woven throughout the book to help plant little seeds of knowledge and curiosity in growing minds. We also included even more “fun facts” this year for curious readers who want a deeper understanding of the science.

Keep scrolling to view an interactive version of the eBook and to learn more about this outreach project. You will also find links to download a free copy for your preferred device and to view a video version of the story.

If you enjoyed Santa Studies: The Aurora let us know! We would love to hear from you on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or by email!


Instructions for features like starting/stopping music can be found here.

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About this project

We started this project last year with the goal of building scientific literacy and strong, trusting relationships with scientists. We received such positive feedback and support that we knew we were meeting an important need. The year 2021 has not been any easier than the last, so we wanted to continue doing our small part with another free eBook to help spread joy this holiday season, as well as promote a lifelong enjoyment of science.

This year was unfortunately also one of tremendous loss for many. We lost a dear friend, Farah Elawar, earlier this year in a tragic accident. Roshan then also lost his younger brother, Sanjay Achal, shortly after. They were both huge supporters of science and learning, so this story is in memory of both of them. Creating this story has been a healthy creative outlet, and welcome distraction.

We have appreciated all of the offers of support for this project, but the Santa the Scientist series is meant to always be free of charge. If you still wish to contribute in some way, please consider donating to:

  • The Calgary Distress Centre in honour of Sanjay Achal
    • Select “Give Now” on page and follow the prompts to complete your transaction
  • The Farah Elawar Memorial Fund at the University of Alberta
    • Enter donation amount on donation page
    • Click “Other” and then search “Farah” and select “Farah Elawar Memorial Fund”
    • Click “Add Gift” and follow the prompts to complete your transaction

About the team

  • Roshan Achal: Roshan earned a PhD in Physics focusing on nanotechnology and atomic-scale manufacturing. He is currently working as a research and development scientist, designing ultra-low power devices. During his PhD he stored and played back the first 24 notes of the Mario theme song using just 62 atoms. He is an avid science communicator who believes that science should be accessible to everyone. Learn more about Roshan here.
    Find him on Twitter: @TheSmilentist

  • Sarah Nersesian: Sarah is completing a PhD studying Immuno-Oncology at Dalhousie University. Her research is focused on uncovering creative strategies to activate or enhance the immune system’s ability to target ovarian cancer. She founded and co-owns a scientific illustrations company, Designs that Cell, which has designed illustrations for over 30 scientific publications, a handful of books, numerous grant figures, and has consulted for a variety of non-profit and private companies.
    Find her on Twitter: @NersesianSarah

  • Pramodh Yapa: Pramodh is a PhD student in Theoretical Condensed Matter Physics at the University of Alberta. He studies the properties of matter when it is cooled to near absolute zero and explores how quantum mechanics leads to the formation of new states of matter. He is currently obsessed with superfluid Helium-3. In 2019, Pramodh was the winner of the Dance Your PhD competition for his swing-dancing rendition of electron behaviour, “Superconductivity: The Musical!”. Outside of various #SciComm activities, Pramodh enjoys playing Ultimate frisbee, recording music or exploring the great outdoors!
    Find him on Twitter: @PramodhYapa
  • Jordan Phillips: Jordan completed her MSc in Interdisciplinary Geophysics at the University of Alberta, and has a background in environmental geoscience. In her MSc, she studied the public perception of hydraulic fracturing, induced seismicity, and the oil and gas industry in western Canada. Jordan is also an experienced freelance editor who specializes in maintaining the voice of authors while enhancing structure and clarity. She is currently working as a project manager with the REDEVELOP Program, based at the University of Calgary.
    Find her on Twitter: @GeophysGinger

eBook Instructions

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