Science.gov

Sample records for advanced astronomy students

  1. Teaching Advanced Data Analysis Tools to High School Astronomy Students

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Black, David V.; Herring, Julie; Hintz, Eric G.

    2015-01-01

    A major barrier to becoming an astronomer is learning how to analyze astronomical data, such as using photometry to compare the brightness of stars. Most fledgling astronomers learn observation, data reduction, and analysis skills through an upper division college class. If the same skills could be taught in an introductory high school astronomy class, then more students would have an opportunity to do authentic science earlier, with implications for how many choose to become astronomers. Several software tools have been developed that can analyze astronomical data ranging from fairly straightforward (AstroImageJ and DS9) to very complex (IRAF and DAOphot). During the summer of 2014, a study was undertaken at Brigham Young University through a Research Experience for Teachers (RET) program to evaluate the effectiveness and ease-of-use of these four software packages. Standard tasks tested included creating a false-color IR image using WISE data in DS9, Adobe Photoshop, and The Gimp; a multi-aperture analyses of variable stars over time using AstroImageJ; creating Spectral Energy Distributions (SEDs) of stars using photometry at multiple wavelengths in AstroImageJ and DS9; and color-magnitude and hydrogen alpha index diagrams for open star clusters using IRAF and DAOphot. Tutorials were then written and combined with screen captures to teach high school astronomy students at Walden School of Liberal Arts in Provo, UT how to perform these same tasks. They analyzed image data using the four software packages, imported it into Microsoft Excel, and created charts using images from BYU's 36-inch telescope at their West Mountain Observatory. The students' attempts to complete these tasks were observed, mentoring was provided, and the students then reported on their experience through a self-reflection essay and concept test. Results indicate that high school astronomy students can successfully complete professional-level astronomy data analyses when given detailed

  2. Astronomy Development in Nigeria: Challenges and Advances

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Okwe Chibueze, James

    2015-01-01

    Nigeria evidently has huge potentials to develop a strong astronomy community. Much of the strength lies in the great number of intelligent students with the potential of becoming good astronomers. Sadly, astronomy development in Nigeria has stagnated in the past decades owing to poor funding and/or indifferent attitude of the funding bodies, research-unfriendly environment, and non-existence of facilities. Currently, efforts toward fuelling advancement in astronomy are focused on building 'critical mass', establishing collaborations with universities/astronomy institutes outside Nigeria, converting out-of-use communication antennas into radio telescopes, and acquiring out-of-use telescopes for educational and low-level research purposes.

  3. Bringing Students To Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clark, Gilbert

    2013-05-01

    The Telescopes In Education (TIE) Program was the pioneer in robotic astronomy. The first users came online in the spring of 1993. The TIE program was dedicated to K-14 students with the hope of inspiring them to develop a greater appreciation for math, science, and engineering through their participation in astronomy. The program was very successful through 2005 when NASA felt there were enough robotic telescopes in the community to support the students into the future. During the 12 years of supported operations, TIE had over one hundred thousand student operations. TIE then started working with Universities in Australia to help move their students towards careers in the sciences and engineering. We discovered that students in the middle schools were the ones that should be focused on, to successfully bring them into the sciences and engineering. We have crafted a system that should be very successful in this endeavor.

  4. Astronomy Students Learn to Think Big.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Somerville, W. B.

    1989-01-01

    Presents background information related to astronomy for high school students. Discusses the differences between astronomy and astrophysics, and the employment of the astronomy graduates. Lists degree programs in astronomy and related subjects in an appendix. (YP)

  5. The Center for Advanced Radio Astronomy: Graduates, Undergraduates and High School Students Engaged in the Exploration of Astrophysics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, Andy; Jenet, F. A.

    2014-01-01

    The Center for Advanced Radio Astronomy (CARA) is a part of the University of Texas system located in Brownsville, Texas. Under the umbrella of CARA is the Arecibo Remote Command Center (ARCC). The ARCC is a virtual control room where researchers and students (graduate, undergraduate, and local high school students) control and take data utilizing the Arecibo Observatory, the Green Bank Telescope, and the Long Wavelength Array. This poster presents a general outline of CARA programs and recent accomplishments—including on-going pulsar discoveries, the expansion of the Low Frequency All Sky Monitor (LoFASM) to four sites across North America, and the graduation of our second cohort of ARCC Scholars.

  6. Training in Astronomy for Physics Students

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fan, J. H.

    2014-09-01

    In this paper, we describe what we have done with regard to astronomy training for physics students. More and more students are interested in astronomy, they spend their summer holidays and spare time in observations and studying the observation data. Some students are familiar with using the telescope for observations, dealing with absorption line features achieved from the observations. Astronomy was selected as the key subject in Guangzhou city and Guangdong province, the laboratory for astronomy science and technology was selected as the key laboratory of Guangzhou city and that for the education department of Guangdong Province. We also provide a master degree programme for astronomy.

  7. Encouraging Student Participation in Large Astronomy Courses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Willoughby, Shannon D.

    2012-01-01

    Introductory astronomy is one of the most widely taught classes in the country and the majority of the students who take these classes are non-science majors. Because this demographic of students makes up the majority of astronomy enrollments, it is especially important as instructors that we do our best to make sure these students don't finish…

  8. Worldviews of Introductory Astronomy Students

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Green, Chrystin; Wallace, C. S.; Brissenden, G.; Prather, E. E.; Collaboration of Astronomy Teaching Scholars (CATS)

    2014-01-01

    As a part of a larger project to study introductory astronomy students’ worldviews and beliefs about the role of science in society, we examined students’ responses to a subset of questions designed to probe students’ worldviews and how they change after taking a general education, introductory astronomy course (Astro 101). Specifically, we looked at about 400 students’ choices for the top ten scientific discoveries in the past 150 years. We collected students’ rankings twice: Once at the start of their Astro 101 class and once at the end. We created a rubric that we used to categorize the responses and we established the inter-rater reliability of the rubric. Our results show that students preferentially answered with topics related to technology and health and medicine. The data also show that there was an increase, pre- to post-instruction, in the number of responses in the technology and health and medicine categories. We also saw a decrease in the number of responses in the science category. These results imply that an aspect of the course specifically implemented to broaden student’s views on science in relation to society was successful. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. AST-0847170, for the California-Arizona Minority Partnership for Astronomy Research and Education (CAMPARE) program. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

  9. Advances in solar radio astronomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kundu, M. R.

    1982-01-01

    The status of the observations and interpretations of the sun's radio emission covering the entire radio spectrum from millimeter wavelengths to hectometer and kilometer wavelengths is reviewed. Emphasis is given to the progress made in solar radio physics as a result of recent advances in plasma and radiation theory. It is noted that the capability now exists of observing the sun with a spatial resolution of approximately a second of arc and a temporal resolution of about a millisecond at centimeter wavelengths and of obtaining fast multifrequency two-dimensional pictures of the sun at meter and decameter wavelengths. A summary is given of the properties of nonflaring active regions at millimeter, centimeter, and meter-decameter wavelengths. The properties of centimeter wave bursts are discussed in connection with the high spatial resolution observations. The observations of the preflare build-up of an active region are reviewed. High spatial resolution observations (a few seconds of arc to approximately 1 arcsec) are discussed, with particular attention given to the one- and two-dimensional maps of centimeter-wavelength burst sources.

  10. Identification and Support of Outstanding Astronomy Students

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stoev, A. D.; Bozhurova, E. S.

    2006-08-01

    The aims, organizational plan and syllabus of a specialized Astronomy School with a subject of training students for participation in the International Astronomy Olympiad, are presented. Thematic frame includes basic educational activities during the preparation and self-preparation of the students and their participation in astronomical Olympiads. A model of identification and selection of outstanding students for astronomical Olympiads has been developed. Examples of didactic systems of problems for development of mathematical, physical and astronomical skills are shown. The programme ends with individual training for solving problems on astronomy and astrophysics. Possibilities, which the characteristic, non-standard astronomical problems give for stimulating the creative and original thinking, are specified. Basic psychological condition for development of the students' creative potential - transformation of the cognitive content in emotional one - is demonstrated. The programme of identification and support of outstanding students on astronomy is realized in collaboration with The Ministry of Education and Science, Public Astronomical Observatories and Planetaria, Institute of Astronomy - Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, and The Union of Astronomers in Bulgaria.

  11. Student-Teacher Astronomy Resource (STAR) Program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaboardi, M.; Humayun, M.; Dixon, P.

    2006-12-01

    Our NASA-funded E/PO program, the Student-Teacher Astronomy Resource (STAR) Program, designed around the Stardust and Genesis Missions, focuses on the reciprocal relationship between technological progress and advances in scientific understanding. We work directly with the public, teachers, classrooms, and individual school students. Both formal and informal evaluations suggest that our four-step approach to outreach has been effective. This annual program may serve as a model for the partnership between a national research institution, local scientists, and local teachers. The program has four components: 1."Space Stations" developed around the technology and science of the Genesis and Stardust Missions, are offered as child-friendly booths at the annual National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (NHMFL) Open House. The stations allow for direct interaction between the scientists and the public (over 3000 visitors). 2. STAR teachers (15) receive training and supplies to lead their classrooms through "Technology for Studying Comets". After attending a one-day in-service at the NHMFL, teachers can bring to their students an inquiry-based space science unit about which they are knowledgeable and excited. 3. We offer "Comet Tales," an informal education experience based on the NASA classroom activity "Comet Basics," to 15 local classrooms. We visit local classrooms and engage students with inquiry about comets, sampling of Wild 2, and what scientists hope to learn from the Stardust Mission. Visits occur during the two-week "Technology for Studying Comets" unit taught by each STAR teacher. 4. The "Stellar Students" component involves 15 high-achieving students in research activities. From each classroom visited during "Comet Tales," one student is selected to visit the NHMFL for a day. Parents and teachers of the students are invited for an awards ceremony and student presentations. Evaluation consisted of focus groups, informal observation, and questionnaires. Responses

  12. Students Across Texas Celebrate Astronomy Day

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Preston, S.; Wetzel, M.; Hemenway, M. K.

    2010-08-01

    Over the past three years, McDonald Observatory has offered special Astronomy Day videoconference programs to students across Texas—the second largest state in the U.S. (Only Alaska is larger). Videoconferencing allows many students and teachers access to our Observatory, which is remotely located 180 miles (290 kilometers) from any major city. McDonald Observatory partners with Connect2Texas to advertise the Astronomy Day event. Connect2Texas provides the electronic bridge between schools and the Observatory. They also provide an online evaluation for teachers to complete. In 2009 the Astronomy Day videoconference celebrated the International Year of Astronomy and the historic observations made by Galileo Galilei. During the videoconference, the classes explore the Moon or Venus by making real-time telescopic observations. Students also receive an introduction to the Observatory, an opportunity to perform an activity relating to Galileo's observations, and an interview with an astronomer. A website provides teachers pre-and post-video conference materials, instructions, and a certificate of completion that can be customized for each student. The website also lists content alignment with state science education standards.

  13. Multiwavelength Astronomy Modules for High School Students

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomas, Christie; Brazas, J.; Lane, S.; York, D. G.

    2014-01-01

    The University of Chicago Multiwavelength Astronomy modules are web-based lessons covering the history, science, tools, and impact of astronomy across the wavebands, from gamma ray to infrared. Each waveband includes four lessons addressing one aspect of its development. The lessons are narrated by a historical docent or practicing scientist who contributed to a scientific discovery or instrument design significant to astronomical progress. The process of building each lesson began with an interview conducted with the scientist, or the consultation of a memoir or oral history transcript for historical docents. The source was then excerpted to develop a lesson and supplemented by archival material from the University of Chicago Library and other archives; NASA media; and participant contributed photographs, light curves, and spectra. Practicing educators also participated in the lesson development and evaluation. In July 2013, the University of Chicago sponsored 9 teachers and 15 students to participate in a STEM education program designed to engage participants as co-learners as they used the Multiwavelength Astronomy lessons in conjunction with talks given by the participating scientists. Teachers also practiced implementation of the resources with students and designed authentic research activities that make use of NASA mission data, which were undertaken as mini-research projects by student teams during the course of the program. This poster will introduce the Multiwavelength Astronomy web modules; highlight educator experiences in their use with high school audiences; and analyze the module development process, framing the benefits to and contributions of each of the stakeholders including practicing astronomers in research and space centers, high school science educators, high school students, University libraries and archives, and the NASA Science Mission Directorate. The development of these resources, and the summer professional development workshops were

  14. First Contact: Expectations of Beginning Astronomy Students

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lacey, T. L.; Slater, T. F.

    1999-05-01

    Three hundred seven undergraduate students enrolled in Introductory Astronomy were surveyed at the beginning of class to determine their expectations for course content. The course serves as a survey of astronomy for non-science majors and is a distribution course for general education core requirements. The course has no prerequisites, meets three times each week for 50 minutes, and represents three semester credit hours. The university catalog describes the course with the title "PHYSICS 101 - Mysteries of the Sky" and the official course description is: a survey of the struggle to understand the Universe and our place therein. The structure, growth, methods, and limitations of science will be illustrated using the development of astronomy as a vehicle. Present day views of the Universe are presented. Two questions were asked as open response items: What made you decide to take this course? and What do you expect to learn in this course? The reasons that students cited to take the course, in order of frequency, were: interested in astronomy, interesting or fun sounding course, required general education fulfillment, recommendation by peer. Secondary reasons cited were required for major or minor, general interest in science, and was available in the schedule. Tertiary reasons listed were recommendation by advisor or orientation leader, inflate grade point average, and heard good things about the teacher. The students' expectations about what they would learn in the course were numerous. The most common objects listed, in order of frequency, were: stars, constellations, planets, galaxies, black holes, solar system, comets, galaxies, asteroids, moon, and Sun. More interesting were the aspects not specifically related to astronomy. These were weather, atmosphere, UFOs and the unexplained, generally things in the sky. A mid-course survey suggests that students expected to learn more constellations and that the topics would be less in-depth.

  15. The Student as Scientist: Secondary Student Research Projects in Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hollow, R. P.

    2000-08-01

    Student research projects are becoming either integral or optional components of Science curricula in several countries. They provide a valuable opportunity for high school students to experience many of the joys and frustrations that make up the intellectual challenge of Science. Astronomy is one branch of Science that lends itself to student projects. Student Research Projects (SRPs) can be individual, group or collaborative between groups in other schools or countries and may involve professional mentors. Use of the Internet and remote access telescopes allow students to undertake challenging research and make worthwhile contributions to professional programs. This paper presents case studies of student projects in optical and radio astronomy from Australian and overseas schools and details both the benefits and problems faced in conducting such projects. Student responses to involvement in projects are discussed. Potential areas for future collaboration and development are highlighted together with the need for more research as to the most effective ways to implement projects and develop student skills.

  16. Outcomes of promotional efforts for astronomy among high school students through the astronomy olympiad

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Yoojea

    2015-08-01

    The Korean Astronomical Society initiated the Korea Astronomy Olympiad (KAO) in 2001 and also began to participate in the international astronomy olympiad in 2002, as a means to promote astronomy among Korean high school students. To find out how successful such endeavor has been, first how partipating students regard astronomy as their career choice has been investigated. Of the students who have taken part in the international astronomy olympiads and then have entered a college afterwards in the period 2002-2014, more than 50% have chosen astronomy, physics, or earth science as their college major. In addition, when the future career choices of the KAO applicants were examined through their school records, astronomy and space science were chosen to be 44% in 2014, a significant increase from 25% in 2010. Secondly, the astronomical content of the regular Korean high school curriculum has been compared with the syllabus of international astronomy olympiads, to see how students can enhance their astronomical understanding through participating in astronomy olympiads, which would in turn contribute to their possible future career in astronomy.

  17. Astronomy Student Activities Using Stellarium Software

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benge, Raymond D.; Tuttle, S. R.

    2012-01-01

    Planetarium programs can be used to provide a valuable learning experience for introductory astronomy students. Educational activities can be designed to utilize the capabilities of the software to display the sky, coordinates, motions in the sky, etc., in order to learn basic astronomical concepts. Most of the major textbook publishers have an option of bundling planetarium software and even laboratory activities using such software with textbooks. However, commercial planetarium software often is updated on a different schedule from the textbook revision and new edition schedule. The software updates also sometimes occur out of sync with college textbook adoption deadlines. Changes in software and activity curriculum often translate into increases costs for students and the college. To provide stability to the process, faculty at Tarrant County College have developed a set of laboratory exercises, entitled Distant Nature, using free open source Stellarium software. Stellarium is a simple, yet powerful, program that is available in formats that run on a variety of operating systems (Windows, Apple, linux). A web site was developed for the Distant Nature activities having a set version of Stellarium that students can download and install on their own computers. Also on the web site, students can access the instructions and worksheets associated with the various Stellarium based activities. A variety of activities are available to support two semesters of introductory astronomy. The Distant Nature web site has been used for one year with Tarrant County College astronomy students and is now available for use by other institutions. The Distant Nature web site is http://www.stuttle1.com/DN_Astro/index.html .

  18. Student Misconception of Scale in Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmude, Richard W.

    2006-09-01

    In one recent class, 77% of my students at the beginning of the semester could not answer question #1 below correctly. One reason for this is the student's misconception of the distances between the planets and the sun. In one textbook, 14 figures did not have the correct distance scale. In all cases each figure focuses on an astronomical concept that is not related to distance; nevertheless when my students examine these figures, their misconception that the planets are very close to each other and to the sun is reinforced. Furthermore, many of my students will go on to become teachers and will continue to convey the misconception of scale to their students. There are several things that can be done to solve the problem of student misconception of distances. One solution is to draw the Sun's light as arrows instead of drawing the Sun's disc. In this way, the distance is not shown in the drawing. In cases where one must draw the incorrect scale, the student should be warned of this. Finally, at least one laboratory exercise in the introductory astronomy class should emphasize the concept of correct scale. 1. The reason why summer is hotter here in Georgia than winter is because: a. The sun is farther away in the summer b. The sun is closer to us in the summer c. Sunlight hits us more directly in the summer d. The moon is closer in the summer e. The sun has a higher surface temperature in the summer

  19. The Astronomy Workshop Extragalactic: Web Tools for Use by Students

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hayes-Gehrke, Melissa N.; Bolatto, A. D.

    2014-01-01

    The Astronomy Workshop Extragalactic (http://carma.astro.umd.edu/AWE) is a collection of interactive web tools that were developed for use in undergraduate and high school classes and by the general public. The focus of the tools is on concepts encountered in extragalactic astronomy, which are typically quite difficult for students to understand. Current tools explore Olbers' Paradox; the appearance of galaxies in different wavelengths of light; the Doppler Effect; cosmological redshift; gravitational lensing; Hubble's Law; cosmological parameters; and measuring masses of black holes by observing stellar orbits. The tools have been developed by undergraduate students under our supervision and we are planning to continue to add more tools. This project was inspired by the Astronomy Workshop (http://janus.astro.umd.edu) by Doug Hamilton which has web tools exploring more general astronomical concepts. We would like to thank the NSF for support through the CAREER grant NSF-AST0955836, and the Research Corporation for Science Advancement for a Cottrell Scholar award.

  20. International Agreement Will Advance Radio Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2007-12-01

    Two of the world's leading astronomical institutions have formalized an agreement to cooperate on joint efforts for the technical and scientific advancement of radio astronomy. The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) in the United States and the Max-Planck Institute for Radioastronomy (MPIfR) in Germany concluded a Memorandum of Understanding outlining planned collaborative efforts to enhance the capabilities of each other's telescopes and to expand their cooperation in scientific research. The VLBA The VLBA CREDIT: NRAO/AUI/NSF In the first project pursued under this agreement, the MPIfR will contribute $299,000 to upgrade the continent-wide Very Long Baseline Array's (VLBA) capability to receive radio emissions at a frequency of 22 GHz. This improvement will enhance the VLBA's scientific productivity and will be particularly important for cutting-edge research in cosmology and enigmatic cosmic objects such as gamma-ray blazars. "This agreement follows many years of cooperation between our institutions and recognizes the importance of international collaboration for the future of astronomical research," said Fred K.Y. Lo, NRAO Director. "Our two institutions have many common research goals, and joining forces to keep all our telescopes at the forefront of technology will be highly beneficial for the science," said Anton Zensus, Director at MPIfR. In addition to the VLBA, the NRAO operates the Very Large Array (VLA) in New Mexico and the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT) in West Virginia. The MPIfR operates the 100-meter Effelsberg Radio Telescope in Germany and the 12-meter APEX submillimeter telescope in 5100 m altitude in the Cilean Atacama desert (together with the European Southern Observatory and the Swedish Onsala Space Observatory). With the 100-meter telescope, it is part of the VLBA network in providing transatlantic baselines. Both institutions are members of a global network of telescopes (the Global VLBI Network) that uses simultaneous

  1. The Society of Astronomy Students: From the Ground Up

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rees, Shannon; Maldonado, M.; Beasley, D.; Campos, A.; Medina, A.; Chanover, N. J.

    2014-01-01

    The Society of Astronomy Students (SAS) at New Mexico State University (NMSU) was founded in October of 2012 and chartered in January 2013. New Mexico State University is located in Las Cruces, New Mexico, which is a small city with a population of just over 100,000. The main campus at NMSU has an enrollment of approximately 14,300 undergraduate students and 3,375 graduate students. The NMSU Astronomy Department is a vibrant research environment that offers Ph.D. and M.S. Graduate degrees and serves the undergraduate population through a large number of general education courses. Although there is no undergraduate major in Astronomy at NMSU, students can earn an undergraduate Astronomy Minor. The SAS was conceived as a way to provide undergraduates with an interest in astronomy a way to communicate, network, and provide mutual support. Currently, the SAS is in its second year of being a chartered organization and has about 18 active members, about half of whom are planning on pursuing an Astronomy Minor. The SAS is striving to become one of the most active clubs on the NMSU campus in order to raise awareness about Astronomy and encourage the option of pursuing the Astronomy Minor. One of the main focus areas of the SAS is to be involved in both astronomy-related and non-astronomy-related public outreach and community service events. Since the clubs inception, the SAS members have contributed a total of over 120 volunteer hours. We do many outreach events with the elementary and middle schools around the community; these events are done jointly with the Astronomy Graduate Student Organization at NMSU. In the near future, the SAS is also planning a wide range of activities, including a guest speaker series at weekly club meetings, tours of the Apache Point Observatory, full moon outings, and participation in amateur astronomy events such as the Messier Marathon. This presentation will include an overview of the club's history, accomplishments, and future activities.

  2. A learner centered Student Observation Driven Astronomy (SODA)course

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bottorff, Mark; Doty, S.; Heaton, J.

    2011-01-01

    The non-science major astronomy course, Exploring the Universe, at Southwestern University is now a Student Observation Driven Astronomy (SODA) course. This minimal lecture course emphasizes using student collected observations to infer basic astronomical information about the universe. Observational data is obtained using small telescopes, inexpensive imaging cameras, and reticule eyepieces. The data are collectively analyzed by students in the classroom. In this poster we present the SODA activities that have been successfully carried out in this learner centered course.

  3. Advances in Detector Technology for Infrared Astronomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McCreight, Craig; Cheng, P. L. (Technical Monitor)

    1995-01-01

    Progress in semiconductor materials and processing technology has allowed the development of infrared detector arrays with unprecedented sensitivity, for imaging and spectroscopic applications in astronomy. The earlier discrete-detector approach has been replaced by large-element (up to 1024 x 1024 pixel), multiplexed devices. Progress has been made against a number of key limiting factors, such as quantum efficiency, noise, spectral response, linearity, and dark current. Future developments will focus on the need for even larger arrays, which operate at higher temperatures.

  4. Astronomy for a Better World: IAU OAD Task Force-1 Programs for Advancing Astronomy Education and Research in Universities in Developing Countries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guinan, Edward; Kolenberg, Katrien

    2015-03-01

    We discuss the IAU Commission 46 and Office for Astronomy Development (OAD) programs that support advancing Astronomy education and research primarily in universities in developing countries. The bulk of these operational activities will be coordinated through the OAD's newly installed Task Force 1. We outline current (and future) IAU/OAD Task Force-1 programs that promote the development of University-level Astronomy at both undergraduate and graduate levels. Among current programs discussed are the past and future expanded activities of the International School for Young Astronomers (ISYA) and the Teaching Astronomy for Development (TAD) programs. The primary role of the ISYA program is the organization of a three week School for students for typically M.Sc. and Ph.D students. The ISYA is a very successful program that will now be offered more frequently through the generous support of the Kavli Foundation. The IAU/TAD program provides aid and resources for the development of teaching, education and research in Astronomy. The TAD program is dedicated to assist countries that have little or no astronomical activity, but that wish to develop or enhance Astronomy education. Over the last ten years, the ISYA and TAD programs have supported programs in Africa, Asia, Central America and the Caribbean, the Middle East, South East and West Asia, and South America. Several examples are given. Several new programs being considered by OAD Task Force-1 are also discussed. Other possible programs being considered are the introduction of modular Astronomy courses into the university curricula (or improve present courses) as well as providing access to ``remote learning`` courses and Virtual Astronomy labs in developing countries. Another possible new program would support visits of astronomers from technically advanced countries to spend their sabbatical leaves teaching and advising University Astronomy programs in developing countries. Suggestions for new Task Force -1

  5. Innovation in Teaching Deaf Students Physics and Astronomy in Bulgaria

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zamfirov, Milen; Saeva, Svetoslava; Popov, Tsviatko

    2007-01-01

    This paper presents a new strategy to be implemented in Bulgarian schools in teaching physics and astronomy to students with impaired hearing at grades 7 (13-year-old students) and 8 (14-year-old students). The strategy provides effective education for students with hearing disabilities in mainstream schools as well as for those attending…

  6. Advanced components for spaceborne infrared astronomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Davidson, A. W.

    1984-01-01

    The need for improved cryogenic components to be used in future spaceborne infrared astronomy missions was identified. Improved low noise cryogenic amplifiers operated with infrared detectors, and better cryogenic actuators and motors with extremely low power dissipation are needed. The feasibility of achieving technological breakthroughs in both of these areas was studied. An improved silicon junction field effect transistor (JFET) could be developed if: (1) high purity silicon; (2) optimum dopants; and (3) very high doping levels are used. The feasibility of a simple stepper motor equipped with superconducting coils is demonstrated by construction of such a device based on a standard commercial motor. It is found that useful levels of torque at immeasurably low power levels were achieved. It is concluded that with modest development and optimization efforts, significant performance gains is possible for both cryogenic preamplifiers and superconducting motors and actuators.

  7. Mentoring Graduate Students in Physics and Astronomy at Rutgers University

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cizewski, Jolie A.

    2002-04-01

    The Graduate Program in Physics and Astronomy at Rutgers University involves about 100 graduate students and over 70 faculty members. Research opportunities include experimental and theoretical activities in astronomy, condensed matter, high-energy, and nuclear physics, as well as new initiatives in biological and nano physics and physics education research. Faculty and peer mentors, as well as an academic advisor, are identified for each graduate student upon arrival at Rutgers. All first-year graduate students, without regard to background, are required to participate in the Seminar in Physics, which introduces the graduate students to the breadth of research opportunities, as well as advising students about the academic requirements and preparing for the broad spectrum of future career opportunities. Annual activities in this seminar include sessions at which recent graduates of the program discuss their careers outside of academia or basic research. The course requirements for the Ph.D. in Physics include 2 courses outside of the area of research, one of which can be a course outside of the departmental offerings. Since most students have the option to register for many courses after completing the formal requirements, most students take courses in computer science, engineering, or finance as part of their education. Within one year of advancement to Ph.D. candidacy, students are expected to have the first meeting with their research committee, at which the results of a trial project are presented both orally and in a short written report, and which also serves as a test of the student's aptitude for study in the chosen area and with the chosen advisor. Subsequently, every student is required to meet at least annually with this committee. As a result of these mentoring activities, the time to Ph.D. is now less than 6 years on average. Although about 1/2 of the students assume post-doctoral positions upon completion of the Ph.D., our alumni obtain careers in a

  8. The California-Arizona Minority Partnership for Astronomy Research and Education (CAMPARE): Partnering Students to Astronomy at the University of Arizona's Astronomy Camp

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saldivar, Hector; McCarthy, D.; Rudolph, A. L.

    2012-01-01

    The California-Arizona Minority Partnership for Astronomy Research and Education (CAMPARE) is an NSF-funded partnership between the Astronomy Program at Cal Poly Pomona and the University of Arizona Steward Observatory designed to promote participation of underrepresented minorities, including women, in astronomy research and education. By means of this program, Cal Poly Pomona undergraduates that are either Physics majors or minors are qualified to participate in the program alongside graduate students from the University of Arizona as a camp counselor at the University of Arizona's Astronomy Camp, one of the elite astronomy programs worldwide. Students that participate in the CAMPARE program are granted an opportunity to work in a hands-on environment by teaching astronomy to students from all over the world in a highly structured environment. The CAMPARE student selected for this program in Summer 2011 worked under the supervision of Dr. Don McCarthy, professor at the University of Arizona and Astronomy Camp director for over 20 years, learning to lead a group of students through daily activities and ensure that the students are learning to their maximum potential. Through this experience, the CAMPARE student learned to capture students’ interest in astronomy and was introduced to real life teaching, which has helped prepare him for future experiences to come. We acknowledge the NSF for funding under Award No. AST-0847170, a PAARE Grant for the Calfornia-Arizona Minority Partnership for Astronomy Research and Education (CAMPARE).

  9. Advances in Machine Learning and Data Mining for Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Way, Michael J.; Scargle, Jeffrey D.; Ali, Kamal M.; Srivastava, Ashok N.

    2012-03-01

    Advances in Machine Learning and Data Mining for Astronomy documents numerous successful collaborations among computer scientists, statisticians, and astronomers who illustrate the application of state-of-the-art machine learning and data mining techniques in astronomy. Due to the massive amount and complexity of data in most scientific disciplines, the material discussed in this text transcends traditional boundaries between various areas in the sciences and computer science. The book's introductory part provides context to issues in the astronomical sciences that are also important to health, social, and physical sciences, particularly probabilistic and statistical aspects of classification and cluster analysis. The next part describes a number of astrophysics case studies that leverage a range of machine learning and data mining technologies. In the last part, developers of algorithms and practitioners of machine learning and data mining show how these tools and techniques are used in astronomical applications. With contributions from leading astronomers and computer scientists, this book is a practical guide to many of the most important developments in machine learning, data mining, and statistics. It explores how these advances can solve current and future problems in astronomy and looks at how they could lead to the creation of entirely new algorithms within the data mining community.

  10. Results from the Longitudinal Study of Astronomy Graduate Students

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ivie, Rachel

    2014-01-01

    The Longitudinal Study of Astronomy Graduate Students (LSAGS), an ongoing, joint project of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) and the American Institute of Physics (AIP), first collected survey data from astronomy and astrophysics graduate students in 2007-08. The LSAGS follows the same people, all of whom were in graduate school in 2006-07, over time as they start their careers. Most of the respondents are currently working as postdocs. There have been two rounds of the survey so far, and we have recently received funding for a third round from the National Science Foundation (AST-1347723). Results from the first round showed the importance of mentoring for graduate students. Data collection for the second round has been completed, and AIP has just begun analysis of these data. At this talk, I will present the results of the second survey. Ultimately, the LSAGS will *provide detailed data on trends in employment over 10+ years for a single cohort, *collect data on people who leave the field of astronomy during or after graduate school, *determine whether there are sex differences in attrition from astronomy and reasons for this, and *examine factors that precede decisions to persist in, or leave, the field of astronomy.

  11. Involving High School Students in Astronomy Research: What's the goal?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heatherly, Sue Ann; Scoles, S.; McLaughlin, M.; Lorimer, D.

    2012-01-01

    The Pulsar Search Collaboratory (PSC) is an NSF funded ITEST program that engages high school students and their teachers in radio astronomy research. Teachers and students from 72 schools have received training through this program. More than 300 students have joined with astronomers in analyzing data, and several discoveries have been made. In this paper we examine the evaluation data collected to determine if initial goals were met, and if in fact, the initial goals were the right ones. In particular we examine whether participation in the PSC a) affected students' and teachers' understanding of the nature of scientific inquiry, and b) motivated students to pursue STEM career paths.

  12. Modern Gravitational Lens Cosmology for Introductory Physics and Astronomy Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Huwe, Paul; Field, Scott

    2015-01-01

    Recent and exciting discoveries in astronomy and cosmology have inspired many high school students to learn about these fields. A particularly fascinating consequence of general relativity at the forefront of modern cosmology research is gravitational lensing, the bending of light rays that pass near massive objects. Gravitational lensing enables…

  13. National Astronomy Day: Bringing the Universe to Your Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fendrich, Jean; Brown, Mark

    2012-01-01

    How do teachers help students realize their place in the universe? How do they teach the relationship among the Earth, Moon, stars, and galaxies during daylight hours? Most teachers assume that astronomy is a difficult subject to teach in the classroom and that without a planetarium little can be learned. In this article, the authors discuss…

  14. Student Understanding of Gravity in Introductory College Astronomy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Williamson, Kathryn E.; Willoughby, Shannon

    2012-01-01

    Twenty-four free-response questions were developed to explore introductory college astronomy students' understanding of gravity in a variety of contexts, including in and around Earth, throughout the solar system, and in hypothetical situations. Questions were separated into three questionnaires, each of which was given to a section of…

  15. Innovation in teaching deaf students physics and astronomy in Bulgaria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zamfirov, Milen; Saeva, Svetoslava; Popov, Tsviatko

    2007-01-01

    This paper presents a new strategy to be implemented in Bulgarian schools in teaching physics and astronomy to students with impaired hearing at grades 7 (13-year-old students) and 8 (14-year-old students). The strategy provides effective education for students with hearing disabilities in mainstream schools as well as for those attending specialized schools. A multimedia CD has been developed, which offers a large number of basic terms from the corresponding fields of physics and astronomy, accompanied by textual explanation and various illustrations. The terms are explained in Bulgarian, Bulgarian Sign Language and English. This multimedia product can be used by children with hearing disabilities, as well as by children without disorders.

  16. Astronomy.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Greenstone, Sid; Smith, Murray

    Selected materials needed to teach an astronomy unit as well as suggested procedures, activities, ideas, and astronomy fact sheets published by the Manitoba Planetarium are provided. Subjects of the fact sheets include: publications and classroom picture sets available from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and facts and statistics…

  17. Astronomy Remote Observing Research Projects of US High School Students

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kadooka, M.; Meech, K. J.

    2006-08-01

    In order to address the challenging climate for promoting astronomy education in the high schools we have used astronomy projects to give students authentic research experiences in order to encourage their pursuit of science and technology careers. Initially, we conducted teacher workshops to develop a cadre of teachers who have been instrumental in recruiting students to work on projects. Once identified, these students have been motivated to conduct astronomy research projects with appropriate guidance. Some have worked on these projects during non-school hours and others through a research course. The goal has been for students to meet the objectives of inquiry-based learning, a major US National Science Standard. Case studies will be described using event-based learning with the NASA Deep Impact mission. Hawaii students became active participants investigating comet properties through the NASA Deep Impact mission. The Deep Impact Education and Public Outreach group developed materials which were used by our students. After learning how to use image processing software, these students obtained Comet 9P/ Tempel 1 images in real time from the remote observing Faulkes Telescope North located on Haleakala, Maui for their projects. Besides conducting event-based projects which are time critical, Oregon students have worked on galaxies and sunspots projects. For variable star research, they used images obtained from the remote observing offline mode of Lowell Telescope located in Flagstaff, Arizona. Essential to these projects has been consistent follow-up required for honing skills in observing, image processing, analysis, and communication of project results through Science Fair entries. Key to our success has been the network of professional and amateur astronomers and educators collaborating in a multiplicity of ways to mentor our students. This work-in-progress and process will be shared on how to inspire students to pursue careers in science and technology with

  18. Observations of Supernovae and Gamma-Ray Bursts as Cooperative Observing Exercises for Advanced Astronomy Classes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Durig, Douglas T.

    For my advanced astronomy class, Physics 251, many of our laboratory exercises were cooperative assignments where each student contributed observations and data towards a common goal. Observations of supernovae and gamma-ray burst afterglow candidates were natural targets of opportunity. This past Spring Semester we observed SN 2002ap and GRB020406. We observed the supernova with R and V filters and unfiltered several nights near maximum. We also observed the error region near GRB020406 and found some new, dim, vary cool infrared rich stars. The results from these observations will be reported. These targets provided excellent, applied examples of the material being covered in lecture.

  19. The Astronomy Workshop: Web Tools for Astronomy Students at All Levels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hayes-Gehrke, Melissa N.; Hamilton, D.; Deming, G.

    2010-01-01

    The Astronomy Workshop (http://janus.astro.umd.edu/) is a collection of over 20 interactive web tools that were developed under the direction of Doug Hamilton for use in undergraduate classes and by the general public. The goal of the website is to encourage students to learn about astronomy by exploiting their fascination with the internet. Two of the tools, Scientific Notation and Solar System Collisions, have instructor materials available to facilitate their use in undergraduate, high school, and junior high classes. The Scientific Notation web tool allows students to practice conversion, addition/subtraction, and multiplication/division with scientific notation, while the Solar System Collisions web tool explores the effects of impacts on the Earth and other solar system bodies. Some web tools allow students to explore our own solar system (Solar System Visualizer) and the Sun's past and future history (The Life of the Sun), Others allow students to experiment with changes in the solar system, such as to the tilt of the Earth (Earth's Seasons) and changing the properties of the planets in the solar system (Build Your Own Solar System).

  20. Crafting an International Study of Students' Conceptual Understanding of Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Slater, Stephanie; Bretones, P. S.; McKinnon, D.; Schleigh, S.; Slater, T. F.; Astronomy, Center; Education Research, Physics

    2013-01-01

    Large international investigations into the learning of science, such as the TIMSS and PISA studies, have been enlightening with regard to effective instructional practices. Data from these studies revealed weaknesses and promising practices within nations' educational systems, with evidence to suggest that these studies have led to international reforms in science education. However, these reforms have focused on the general characteristics of teaching and learning across all sciences. While extraordinarily useful, these studies have provided limited insight for any given content domain. To date, there has been no systematic effort to measure individual's conceptual astronomy understanding across the globe. This paper describes our motivations for a coordinated, multinational study of astronomy understanding. First, reformed education is based upon knowing the preexisting knowledge state of our students. The data from this study will be used to assist international astronomy education and public outreach (EPO) professionals in their efforts to improve practices across global settings. Second, while the US astronomy EPO community has a long history of activity, research has established that many practices are ineffective in the face of robust misconceptions (e.g.: seasons). Within an international sample we hope to find subpopulations that do not conform to our existing knowledge of student misconceptions, leading us to cultural or educational practices that hint at alternative, effective means of instruction. Finally, it is our hope that this first venture into large-scale disciplinary collaboration will help us to craft a set of common languages and practices, building capacity and leading toward long-term cooperation across the international EPO community. This project is sponsored and managed by the Center for Astronomy & Physics Education Research (CAPER), in collaboration with members of the International Astronomical Union-Commission 46. We are actively

  1. Enriching Cross Cirriculum Projects with Astronomy for Gifted Students

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burris, Debra L.

    2016-01-01

    The aim of many GT (Gifted and Talented) teachers is to provide comprehesive and long term projects to enrich cirriculum for their students rather than shorter "worksheet based" activities. Atkins Middle School has collaborated with faculty from the University of Central Arkansas over the past 9 years to create projects which span the academic year and enrich learning while emphasizing the goals of the science standards. An overview of those projects and Astronomy's role within them will be presented.

  2. Practical Activities in Astronomy for Nonscience Students.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bisard, Walter J.

    1985-01-01

    Describes science activities which have been successful with nonscience majors. Each activity requires students to make observations, record the data gathered, interpret data, and prepare a written report. Subject areas include motion of stars, sunspots, lunar orbits, sunset points, meteor showers, and sun shadows. (JN)

  3. Improving the scientific literacy of Aboriginal students through astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhathal, Ragbir

    2011-06-01

    Seventy per cent of Aboriginal students drop out of school before the end of their secondary school years and very few go on to do science at the Higher School Certificate level. As a result of this statistics reveal that only 0.003% of the 9000 university science graduates in 2005 in Australia were of Aboriginal origin. This paper discusses an astronomy project which seeks to improve the scientific literacy of Aboriginal students so as to motivate them to take up careers in science and engineering.

  4. Graduate Student Report: First-Year Physics and Astronomy Students, 2004. R-207.35

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mulvey, Patrick J.; Tesfaye, Casey Langer

    2006-01-01

    This report will document the changes in the number and citizenship of incoming graduate physics and astronomy students. It will provide student characteristics, such as gender, age, and the type of program in which they are enrolled. It will also discuss the educational backgrounds of the incoming students, highlighting differences between US and…

  5. ASTRONOMY.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Louisiana Arts and Science Center, Baton Rouge.

    THIS TEACHER'S GUIDE FOR A UNIT ON ASTRONOMY ESTABLISHES (1) UNDERSTANDINGS AND ATTITUDES, (2) SKILLS, AND (3) CONCEPTS TO BE GAINED IN THE STUDY. THE OVERVIEW EXPLAINS THE ORGANIZATION AND OBJECTIVES OF THE UNIT. TOPICAL DIVISIONS ARE (1) THE EARTH, (2) THE MOON, (3) THE SUN, (4) THE SOLAR SYSTEM, (5) THE STARS, (6) THE UNIVERSE, AND (7) SPACE…

  6. Space Vision: Making Astronomy Accessible to Visually Impaired Students

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ries, J. G.; Baguio, M. R.; Jurgens, T. D.; Pruett, K. M.

    2004-05-01

    Astronomy, with good reason, is thought of as a visual science. Spectacular images of deep space objects or other worlds of our solar system inspire public interest in Astronomy. People encounter news about the universe during their daily life. Developing concepts about celestial objects presents an extra challenge of abstraction for people with visual impairments. The Texas Space Grant Consortium with educators at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired have developed a 2 day workshop to be held in April 2004 to help students with visual impairments understand these concepts. Hands-on activities and experiments will emphasize non-visual senses. For example, students will learn about: - Constellations as historical ways of finding one's way across the sky. - The size and structure of the Solar System by building a scale model on a running track. They will also: - Plan a planetary exploration mission. - Explore wave phenomenon using heat and sound waves. In preparation for the workshop we worked with teens involved in the countywide 4-H Teens Leading with Character (TLC) program to create the tactile materials necessary for the activities. The teens attended solar system education training so they would have the skills necessary to make the tactile displays to be used during the workshop. The results and evaluation of the workshop will be presented at the meeting. Touch the Universe: A NASA Braille Book of Astronomy inspired this workshop, and it is supported by HST Grant HST-ED-90255.01-A.

  7. A course on professional development for astronomy graduate students

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Friel, Eileen D.

    2014-01-01

    There is increasingly wide-spread recognition in astronomy that professional training must broaden beyond its traditional approaches to academic classes and research. Many recent community advisory reports, including the National Academy of Sciences Decadal survey, Astro2010, recommend that graduate education accommodate the variety of career paths taken by graduates, taking into account the wide range of activities scientists engage in and the skills necessary to succeed in career options both inside and outside academia and specific scientific disciplines. In response to this need, Indiana University has recently offered a new graduate seminar in astronomy to provide this broader perspective and to prepare students for a variety of career paths after graduate school. The course uses a mixture of class discussion on selected topics supplemented by short readings, activities that prepare students for seeking employment and practice some necessary skills, and discussions with astronomers who have followed a variety of career paths. An important part of the seminar is the practical preparation of complete applications for typical positions students are likely to pursue following graduation, and the revision of these applications to be appropriate for a non-traditional career path. The goal of the course is to make students aware of the many options for careers that will be available to them and the skills that will be important for their success, and to equip students with strategies for following a personally satisfying career path.

  8. Using Debate Skills to Engage Students in Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karsten, Anna

    2016-04-01

    To increase the excitement for the astronomy unit and to expose the subject in all of its weird glory, students debate each other in a bracket style tournament defending their idea of the coolest object in the universe. At the start of May, causing the name of this event to be called May Madness, students choose an object or concept in the universe to research and construct an opening argument on how it is the coolest object in the universe. Every student in the eighth grade selects an object and proceeds to debate its attributes in a head-to-head competition leading to a class winner. The class winners then debate in front of the grade with celebrity guest judges. In the four minute debate, two students defend, cross examine, and construct a rebuttal for their chosen object.

  9. Advancing Student Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Walberg, Herbert J.

    2010-01-01

    For the last half century, higher spending and many modern reforms have failed to raise the achievement of students in the United States to the levels of other economically advanced countries. A possible explanation, says Herbert Walberg, is that much current education theory is ill informed about scientific psychology, often drawing on fads and…

  10. The Initial Knowledge State of High School Astronomy Students

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sadler, Philip Michael

    1992-01-01

    This study of 1,414 high school earth science and astronomy students characterizes the prevalence of their astronomical misconceptions. The multiple-choice instrument was prepared by scouring the literature on scientific misconceptions for evidence of preconceptions and from the author's interviews with students. Views that were incorrect, but espoused by a large fraction of students, were included as distractors. Results have been analyzed using classical test theory. A linear multiple regression model has helped to show the relative contributions of demographic and school factors to the number of misconceptions held by students. The instrument was found to be a reliable and valid test of students' misconceptions. The mean student score was 34 percent. Fifty-one student misconceptions were revealed by this test, nineteen of which were preferred by students to the correct answer. Several misconceptions appeared more frequently among the higher-performing students. Significant differences in student performance were found in several subgroups based upon schooling and demographic factors. Twenty -five percent out of a total of 30 percent of the variance in total test score could be accounted for by gender, race, and math level courses taken. Grade level and previous enrollment in an earth science course were not found to be predictive of total score. Mother's education proved to be of small import; level of father's education was not significant. This test is a useful addition to instruments that measure student misconceptions. It could find application in tests of effective intervention for conceptual learning. Significantly shortened versions of this instrument that account for 75 and 90 percent of the variance in the forty-seven-item instrument are recommended. Such tests of misconceptions may be somewhat disheartening to teachers and their students. A test made up of only misconception questions will probably have average total scores less than 40 percent. If

  11. Enhancing Astronomy Education Through Cross-Age Student Tutoring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grundstrom, Erika; Taylor, R. S.

    2009-01-01

    Vast distances, such as those that pervade astronomy, are difficult concepts to grasp. We are all a part of the Earth-Moon system, however most people do not comprehend the sizes and distances involved. In a pilot study, the authors found that an intervention using both discussion and kinesthetic modeling resulted in students of all ages (children up through adults) acquiring a more accurate mental representation of the Earth-Moon system. We have extended this research and are currently conducting a new study in which undergraduate students serve as "tutors" in a public observatory setting. One of our conjectures is that tutors' mental representations of the Earth-Moon system will be enhanced through their active participation in the cross-age peer tutoring activity. This work is supported in part by grants from the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL), the Vanderbilt University Learning Sciences Institute, and NSF Career grant AST-0349075.

  12. Evolution and Persistence of Students' Astronomy Career Interests: A Gender Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bergstrom, Zoey; Sadler, Philip; Sonnert, Gerhard

    2016-01-01

    This article uses U.S. survey data (N = 15,847) to characterize the evolution of student interest in an astronomy career in the period between middle school and the beginning of college. We find that middle school students have a relatively high interest in astronomy, which sharply declines with every phase of their education. However, many of the…

  13. Using a Two-Tier Test to Analyse Students' and Teachers' Alternative Concepts in Astronomy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kanli, U.

    2015-01-01

    This paper presents an analysis of physics teachers' as well as university and high school students' understanding of some astronomy concepts. In recent years, the significance of astronomy teaching in science education has gradually increased. Many research studies indicate that students have misconceptions about the reasons for seasons, the…

  14. The Development and Implementation of a Model for Teaching Astronomy to Deaf Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bolat, Mualla

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to develop and assess a model aimed at teaching astronomy to deaf students. Thus, a 7 day-long project of indoor and outdoor activities was developed. Since the purpose of our study was to teach astronomy to deaf students, our sample was determined by using purposeful sampling technique. The sample of this study…

  15. Introductory Astronomy Course at the University of Cape Town: Probing Student Perspectives

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rajpaul, Vinesh; Allie, Saalih; Blyth, Sarah-Louise

    2014-01-01

    We report on research carried out to improve teaching and student engagement in the introductory astronomy course at the University of Cape Town. This course is taken by a diverse range of students, including many from educationally disadvantaged backgrounds. We describe the development of an instrument, the Introductory Astronomy Questionnaire…

  16. Engaging students in astronomy and spectroscopy through Project SPECTRA!

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wood, E. L.

    2011-12-01

    Computer simulations for minds-on learning with "Project Spectra!" How do we gain information about the Sun? How do we know Mars has CO2 or that Enceladus has H2O geysers? How do we use light in astronomy? These concepts are something students and educators struggle with because they are abstract. Using simulations and computer interactives (games) where students experience and manipulate the information makes concepts accessible. Visualizing lessons with multi-media solidifies understanding and retention of knowledge and is completely unlike its paper-and-pencil counterpart. Visualizations also enable teachers to forgo purchasing expensive laboratory equipment. "Project Spectra!" is a science and engineering program that uses computer-based Flash interactives to expose students to astronomical spectroscopy and actual data in a way that is not possible with traditional in-class activities. To engage students in "Project Spectra!", students are given a mission, which connects them with the research at hand. Missions range from exploring remote planetary atmospheres and surfaces, experimenting with the Sun using different filters, or analyzing the soil of a remote planet. Additionally, students have an opportunity to learn about NASA missions, view movies, and see images connected with their mission, which is something that is not practical to do during a typical paper-and-pencil activity. Since students can choose what to watch and explore, the interactives accommodate a broad range of learning styles. Students can go back and forth through the interactives if they've missed a concept or wish to view something again. In the end, students are asked critical thinking questions and conduct web-based research. These interactives complement in-class Project SPECTRA! activities exploring applications of the electromagnetic spectrum.

  17. Summer Program in Planetary Science and Astronomy for Gifted and Talented High School Students

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, J. P.; Fetters, J.; West, K.; Frazee, P.

    2002-03-01

    The Summer Science and Mathematics Program (SS&MP) is an 8-week program in planetary science and astronomy for gifted and talented high school students. Students undertake research projects, which include current topics in planetary science.

  18. Enhancing Student Learning in Large General Education Astronomy Classes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christensen, Thomas

    2004-05-01

    The transformation of a large, introductory, college, general education, astronomy class will be presented. Emphasis will be on student reaction to changes in the teaching/learning environment and the academic impact of the changes. Enhanced web-based materials such as on-line lecture notes and gradebooks were popular. Students felt that in-class cooperative small group exercises helped significantly in learning. Examination of changes in student scores on test questions that were repeated between mid-term and final examinations suggest that the exercises had a positive impact. Repeated questions on topics that had been included in cooperative exercises showed significantly more improvement than those questions that were only covered in lecture. Preliminary observations based on one semester's experience with limited Just-in-Time Teaching (JiTT) methods will be discussed. Student acceptance of these methods in the general education class was lower than in an introductory physics class for technical majors. Students rated JITT methods comparable in value to the text.

  19. Astronomy Communication

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heck, A.; Madsen, C.

    2003-07-01

    Astronomers communicate all the time, with colleagues of course, but also with managers and administrators, with decision makers and takers, with social representatives, with the news media, and with the society at large. Education is naturally part of the process. Astronomy communication must take into account several specificities: the astronomy community is rather compact and well organized world-wide; astronomy has penetrated the general public remarkably well with an extensive network of associations and organizations of aficionados all over the world. Also, as a result of the huge amount of data accumulated and by necessity for their extensive international collaborations, astronomers have pioneered the development of distributed resources, electronic communications and networks coupled to advanced methodologies and technologies, often much before they become of common world-wide usage. This book is filling up a gap in the astronomy-related literature by providing a set of chapters not only of direct interest to astronomy communication, but also well beyond it. The experts contributing to this book have done their best to write in a way understandable to readers not necessarily hyperspecialized in astronomy nor in communication techniques while providing specific detailed information, as well as plenty of pointers and bibliographic elements. This book will be very useful for researchers, teachers, editors, publishers, librarians, computer scientists, sociologists of science, research planners and strategists, project managers, public-relations officers, plus those in charge of astronomy-related organizations, as well as for students aiming at a career in astronomy or related space science. Link: http://www.wkap.nl/prod/b/1-4020-1345-0

  20. Introductory astronomy course at the University of Cape Town: Probing student perspectives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rajpaul, Vinesh; Allie, Saalih; Blyth, Sarah-Louise

    2014-12-01

    We report on research carried out to improve teaching and student engagement in the introductory astronomy course at the University of Cape Town. This course is taken by a diverse range of students, including many from educationally disadvantaged backgrounds. We describe the development of an instrument, the Introductory Astronomy Questionnaire (IAQ), which we administered as pre- and posttests to students enrolled in the course. The instrument comprised a small number of questions which probed three areas of interest: student motivation and expectations, astronomy content, and worldview. Amongst our findings were that learning gains were made in several conceptual areas, and that students appeared to develop a more nuanced view of the nature of astronomy. There was some evidence that the course had a positive impact on students' worldviews, particularly their attitudes towards science. We also identified a promising predictor of course success that could in the future be used to identify students requiring special teaching intervention.

  1. Supporting Systemic Science Reform - Collaboration to Advance Teaching Technology and Science (CATTS) and the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moore, K. S.; Offerdahl, E. G.; Hall-Wallace, M.; Pompea, S. M.; Regens, N.

    2003-12-01

    Through the NSF-funded Collaboration to Advance Teaching Technology and Science (CATTS), graduate and undergraduate students in the sciences partner with elementary, middle, and high school teachers to support efforts in science education. One such partnership, sponsored by the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO), works to enhance the teaching of astronomy and optics-related topics. Graduate and undergraduate Fellows in the CATTS/NOAO program support the efforts of teachers through the classroom implementation of GEMS (Great Explorations in Math and Science) curriculum guides such as Invisible Universe, Living With a Star, Real Reasons for the Seasons, Color Analyzers, and More Than Magnifiers. These guides are inquiry-based, hands-on activities that closely align with the National Science Education Standards. Details of the guides as well as the organization and benefits of the partnership will be described here. The NOAO/CATTS collaboration represents a high leverage program using quality instructional materials as part of a professional development effort for teachers while providing valuable student experiences in science education. As such, it represents an effective educational model that may be duplicated at other research facilities with EPO missions. The University of Arizona's Collaboration to Advance Teaching Technology and Science (CATTS) program is sponsored under grant 9979670 from the National Science Foundation. NOAO is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA), Inc. under cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation.

  2. Modern Gravitational Lens Cosmology for Introductory Physics and Astronomy Students

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huwe, Paul; Field, Scott

    2015-05-01

    Recent and exciting discoveries in astronomy and cosmology have inspired many high school students to learn about these fields. A particularly fascinating consequence of general relativity at the forefront of modern cosmology research is gravitational lensing, the bending of light rays that pass near massive objects. Gravitational lensing enables high-precision mapping of dark matter distributions in galaxies and galaxy clusters, provides insight into large-scale cosmic structure of the universe, aids in the search for exo-planets, and may offer valuable insight toward understanding the evolution of dark energy. In this article we describe a gravitational lensing lab and associated lecture/discussion material that was highly successful, according to student feedback. The gravitational lens unit was developed as part of a two-week summer enrichment class for junior and senior high school students. With minor modifications, this lab can be used within a traditional classroom looking to incorporate topics of modern physics (such as in a unit on optics).

  3. A Summer Camp Experience of Primary Student: Let's Learn Astronomy, Explore the Space Summer Camp

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Aktamis, Hilal; Acar, Esin; Unal Coban, Gul

    2015-01-01

    It is important to structure children's knowledge and arouse their interest in subjects like astronomy and space. Although we now talk of travelling to the moon, space tourism etc., knowledge about astronomy and space is limited and perceptions of these subjects do not reflect scientific reality. Primary level students often have misconceptions…

  4. Student Understanding of Time in an Introductory Astronomy Laboratory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Traxler, A. L.; Batuski, D. J.; Comins, N. F.; Thompson, J. R.

    2005-09-01

    The astronomy lab at the University of Maine consists of discrete weekly lessons in which students work in small groups. Individual pretests and post-tests accompany each lesson. The lesson studied here covers the topic of time, including sidereal time, Apparent Solar Time, and time zones. The pretest consists of four multiple-choice questions, which are also administered after instruction as a post-test. In the fall 2004 semester, the pretest was rewritten to focus on some major conceptual components of the lab, while the lesson materials were not modified from previous years. Examination of class performance (n = 96) revealed no significant improvements in score from pre- to post-lesson. In the spring 2005 semester, the lesson was altered to incorporate the Starry Night software for simulating the sky instead of the celestial sphere models previously used. The goal of the change was to give students a more interactive environment for completing the laboratory exercise, which was otherwise altered as little as possible. Data from the spring semester show some gains on the pre/post-test questions covering sidereal time and Daylight Savings Time. Results to date have informed planned modifications to the lesson. A. L. T. was supported during this research by the University of Maine through a Provost Fellowship.

  5. Enhancing Student Performance in an Online Introductory Astronomy Course with Video Demonstrations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, Scott T.; Redman, Stephen L.

    2010-01-01

    We present the effect of video demonstrations on student performance in an online Astronomy course. We find that students who watched the videos performed better on related exam questions compared to those who did not watch the videos. We also find that students in the online course performed as well as students in a nearly identical face-to-face…

  6. A Cross-Age Study of Junior High School Students' Conceptions of Basic Astronomy Concepts.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Trumper, Ricardo

    2001-01-01

    Analyzes junior high school students' astronomy conceptions by means of a written questionnaire and delineates the main findings. Focuses on the effect on climate of the relative positions of the earth, moon and sun. (Contains 41 references.) (DDR)

  7. An Introduction to Astronomy and Astrophysics for Urban High School Students

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilkerson, W.

    2006-06-01

    This project is designed to introduce astronomy and astrophysics to high school students in large urban centers. It is part of the National Science Foundation's Young Scholars Summer Research Internship Program at The Cooper Union, in New York City.

  8. Introduction of Astronomy topics to high school students: a way to improve conceptual learning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meira da Silva, Paulo José; Teixeira de Araújo, Mauro Sérgio; Voelzke, Marcos Rincon

    2014-03-01

    This work aims at investigating and improving the level of knowledge in Astronomy of high school students from a state school in the city of Pirassununga, state of São Paulo. Whence, some interventions were carried out involving students from 'Nossa Senhora de Loreto State School'. Students' prior knowledge was analyzed and worked with as part of the methodological procedures, with the purpose of identifying the main difficulties related to some basic concepts of Astronomy and improving students' learning success at the end of a lesson cycle. After this initial stage, the students took a mini-course, which made use of audio-visual resources, in Astronomy during two months, aiming at remedying doubts and gaining new knowledge. Finally, a bimonthly test was applied to evaluate students' learning conceptions. It evidenced a meaningful improvement highlighting the understanding of lunar eclipses, the causes of the seasons and the Laws of Kepler, among other aspects. Thus, comparing the results of the initial questionnaire to those obtained in the evaluation, it was found that continuous studies and the systematic use of adequate resources contributed greatly to the dissemination of the knowledge in Astronomy among the students involved in this research, indicating a path that can be followed in other educational settings. The hope is to contribute with this report to spread Astronomy studies and the learning of the subject in state and private schools.

  9. "Discoveries in Planetary Sciences": Slide Sets Highlighting New Advances for Astronomy Educators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brain, David; Schneider, N.; Molaverdikhani, K.; Afsharahmadi, F.

    2012-10-01

    We present two new features of an ongoing effort to bring recent newsworthy advances in planetary science to undergraduate lecture halls. The effort, called 'Discoveries in Planetary Sciences', summarizes selected recently announced discoveries that are 'too new for textbooks' in the form of 3-slide PowerPoint presentations. The first slide describes the discovery, the second slide discusses the underlying planetary science concepts at a level appropriate for students of 'Astronomy 101', and the third presents the big picture implications of the discovery. A fourth slide includes links to associated press releases, images, and primary sources. This effort is generously sponsored by the Division for Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society, and the slide sets are available at http://dps.aas.org/education/dpsdisc/ for download by undergraduate instructors or any interested party. Several new slide sets have just been released, and we summarize the topics covered. The slide sets are also being translated into languages other than English (including Spanish and Farsi), and we will provide an overview of the translation strategy and process. Finally, we will present web statistics on how many people are using the slide sets, as well as individual feedback from educators.

  10. Advances in photographic X-ray imaging for solar astronomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Moses, J. Daniel; Schueller, R.; Waljeski, K.; Davis, John M.

    1989-01-01

    The technique of obtaining quantitative data from high resolution soft X-ray photographic images produced by grazing incidence optics was successfully developed to a high degree during the Solar Research Sounding Rocket Program and the S-054 X-Ray Spectrographic Telescope Experiment Program on Skylab. Continued use of soft X-ray photographic imaging in sounding rocket flights of the High Resolution Solar Soft X-Ray Imaging Payload has provided opportunities to further develop these techniques. The developments discussed include: (1) The calibration and use of an inexpensive, commercially available microprocessor controlled drum type film processor for photometric film development; (2) The use of Kodak Technical Pan 2415 film and Kodak SO-253 High Speed Holographic film for improved resolution; and (3) The application of a technique described by Cook, Ewing, and Sutton for determining the film characteristics curves from density histograms of the flight film. Although the superior sensitivity, noise level, and linearity of microchannel plate and CCD detectors attracts the development efforts of many groups working in soft X-ray imaging, the high spatial resolution and dynamic range as well as the reliability and ease of application of photographic media assures the continued use of these techniques in solar X-ray astronomy observations.

  11. Advances in photographic X-ray imaging for solar astronomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Moses, D.; Schueller, R.; Waljeski, K.; Davis, J. M.

    1989-01-01

    The technique of obtaining quantitative data from high resolution soft X-ray photographic images produced by grazing incidence optics was successfully developed to a high degree during the AS&E Solar Research Sounding Rocket Program and the S-054 X-Ray Spectrographic Telescope Experiment Program on Skylab. Continued use of soft X-Ray photographic imaging in sounding rocket flights of the AS&E High Resolution Solar Soft X-Ray Imaging Payload has provided opportunities to further develop these techniques. The developments discussed include: (1) the calibration and use of an inexpensive, commercially available microprocessor controlled drum type film processor for photometric film development, (2) the use of Kodak Technical Pan 2415 film and Kodak SO-253 High Speed Holographic film for improved resolution, and (3) the application of a technique described by Cook, Ewing, and Sutton (1988) for determining the film characteristics curves from density histograms of the flight film. Although the superior sensitivity, noise level, and linearity of microchannel plate and CCD detectors attracts the development efforts of many groups working in soft X-ray imaging, the high spatial resolution and dynamic range as well as the reliability and ease of application of photographic media assures the continued use of these techniques in solar X-ray astronomy observations.

  12. Popularization of Astronomy under Cooperation between Students and Educators in Japan: the TENPLA project (1)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hiramatsu, M.; Takanashi, N.; Kamegai, K.; Tsukada, K.

    2006-08-01

    We present the concepts and products of the Tenpla project, a unique activity in popularization of astronomy under cooperation between students of astronomy and educators in Japan. The goal of the project is to show the true, latest and exciting results of astronomy, and to let more people be familiar with and find pleasure in astronomy, as they enjoy sports and fine arts. Our mailing list has about 200 participants, including 80 university students. The members share information and exchange views on various educational activities. Derived from the discussions, we have proposed some innovative materials for popularization of astronomy. Our "Astronomical Toilet Paper (ATP)" is a novel tool which enables public people to get close to astronomy. We have also developed a typing game "Sora-Uchi" and a Japanese card game "Astro-Karuta". These products have won a lot of coverage in the mass media and this helps to awake people's interest in astronomy. In this paper, we show the details of our projects and responses of the public.

  13. Advanced materials for multilayer mirrors for extreme ultraviolet solar astronomy.

    PubMed

    Bogachev, S A; Chkhalo, N I; Kuzin, S V; Pariev, D E; Polkovnikov, V N; Salashchenko, N N; Shestov, S V; Zuev, S Y

    2016-03-20

    We provide an analysis of contemporary multilayer optics for extreme ultraviolet (EUV) solar astronomy in the wavelength ranges: λ=12.9-13.3  nm, λ=17-21  nm, λ=28-33  nm, and λ=58.4  nm. We found new material pairs, which will make new spaceborne experiments possible due to the high reflection efficiencies, spectral resolution, and long-term stabilities of the proposed multilayer coatings. In the spectral range λ=13  nm, Mo/Be multilayer mirrors were shown to demonstrate a better ratio of reflection efficiency and spectral resolution compared with the commonly used Mo/Si. In the spectral range λ=17-21  nm, a new multilayer structure Al/Si was proposed, which had higher spectral resolution along with comparable reflection efficiency compared with the commonly used Al/Zr multilayer structures. In the spectral range λ=30  nm, the Si/B4C/Mg/Cr multilayer structure turned out to best obey reflection efficiency and long-term stability. The B4C and Cr layers prevented mutual diffusion of the Si and Mg layers. For the spectral range λ=58  nm, a new multilayer Mo/Mg-based structure was developed; its reflection efficiency and long-term stability have been analyzed. We also investigated intrinsic stresses inherent for most of the multilayer structures and proposed possibilities for stress elimination. PMID:27140543

  14. The Astronomy Workshop

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamilton, D. P.; Asbury, M. L.

    1999-12-01

    The Astronomy Workshop (http://janus.astro.umd.edu) is an interactive online astronomy resource developed and maintained at the University of Maryland for use by students, educators and the general public. The Astronomy Workshop has been extensively tested and used successfully at many different levels, including High School and Junior High School science classes, University introductory astronomy courses, and University intermediate and advanced astronomy courses. Some topics currently covered in the Astronomy Workshop are: Animated Orbits of Planets and Moons: The orbits of the nine planets and 63 known planetary satellites are shown in animated, to-scale drawings. The orbiting bodies move at their correct relative speeds about their parent, which is rendered as an attractive, to-scale gif image. Solar System Collisions: This most popular of our applications shows what happens when an asteroid or comet with user-defined size and speed impacts a given planet. The program calculates many effects, including the country impacted (if Earth is the target), energy of explosion, crater size, and magnitude of the ``planetquake'' generated. It also displays a relevant image (e.g. terrestrial crater, lunar crater, etc.). Scale of the Universe: Travel away from the Earth at a chosen speed and see how long it takes to reach other planets, stars and galaxies. This tool helps students visualize astronomical distances in an intuitive way. Scientific Notation: Students are interactively guided through conversions between scientific notation and regular numbers. Orbital Simulations: These tools allow the student to investigate different aspects of the three-body problem of celestial mechanics. Astronomy Workshop Bulletin Board: Get innovative teaching ideas and read about in-class experiences with the Astronomy Workshop. Share your ideas with other educators by posting on the Bulletin Board. Funding for the Astronomy Workshop is provided by NSF.

  15. The Astronomy Workshop

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamilton, D. P.; Asbury, M. L.

    1999-09-01

    The Astronomy Workshop (http://janus.astro.umd.edu) is an interactive online astronomy resource developed and maintained at the University of Maryland for use by students, educators and the general public. The Astronomy Workshop has been extensively tested and used successfully at many different levels, including High School and Junior High School science classes, University introductory astronomy courses, and University intermediate and advanced astronomy courses. Some topics currently covered in the Astronomy Workshop are: Animated Orbits of Planets and Moons: The orbits of the nine planets and 63 known planetary satellites are shown in animated, to-scale drawings. The orbiting bodies move at their correct relative speeds about their parent, which is rendered as an attractive, to-scale gif image. Solar System Collisions: This most popular of our applications shows what happens when an asteroid or comet with user-defined size and speed impacts a given planet. The program calculates many effects, including the country impacted (if Earth is the target), energy of explosion, crater size, and magnitude of the ``planetquake'' generated. It also displays a relevant image (e.g. terrestrial crater, lunar crater, etc.). Scale of the Universe: Travel away from the Earth at a chosen speed and see how long it takes to reach other planets, stars and galaxies. This tool helps students visualize astronomical distances in an intuitive way. Scientific Notation: Students are interactively guided through conversions between scientific notation and regular numbers. Orbital Simulations: These tools allow the student to investigate different aspects of the three-body problem of celestial mechanics. Astronomy Workshop Bulletin Board: Get innovative teaching ideas and read about in-class experiences with the Astronomy Workshop. Share your ideas with other educators by posting on the Bulletin Board. Funding for the Astronomy Workshop is provided by NSF.

  16. The Astronomy Workshop

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamilton, D. P.; Asbury, M. L.

    2000-05-01

    The Astronomy Workshop (http://janus.astro.umd.edu) is an interactive online astronomy resource developed and maintained at the University of Maryland for use by students, educators and the general public. The Astronomy Workshop has been extensively tested and used successfully at many different levels, including High School and Junior High School science classes, University introductory astronomy courses, and University intermediate and advanced astronomy courses. Some topics currently covered in the Astronomy Workshop are: ANIMATED ORBITS OF PLANETS AND MOONS: The orbits of the nine planets and 63 known planetary satellites are shown in animated, to-scale drawings. The orbiting bodies move at their correct relative speeds about their parent, which is rendered as an attractive, to-scale gif image. SOLAR SYSTEM COLLISIONS: This most popular of our applications shows what happens when an asteroid or comet with user-defined size and speed impacts a given planet. The program calculates many effects, including the country impacted (if Earth is the target), energy of explosion, crater size, and magnitude of the ``planetquake'' generated. It also displays a relevant image (e.g. terrestrial crater, lunar crater, etc.). SCALE OF THE UNIVERSE: Travel away from the Earth at a chosen speed and see how long it takes to reach other planets, stars and galaxies. This tool helps students visualize astronomical distances in an intuitive way. SCIENTIFIC NOTATION: Students are interactively guided through conversions between scientific notation and regular numbers. ORBITAL SIMULATIONS: These tools allow the student to investigate different aspects of the three-body problem of celestial mechanics. ASTRONOMY WORKSHOP BULLETIN BOARD: Get innovative teaching ideas and read about in-class experiences with the Astronomy Workshop. Share your ideas with other educators by posting on the Bulletin Board. Funding for the Astronomy Workshop is provided by NSF.

  17. Enriching Student Learning of Astronomy in Online Courses via Hybrid Texts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montgomery, M.

    2016-01-01

    Hybrid texts such as Horizons: Exploring the Universe, Hybrid (with CengageNOW) and Universe, Hybrid (with CengageNOW) are designed for higher education learning of astronomy in undergraduate online courses. In these hybrid texts, quiz and test bank questions have been revised to minimize easy look-up of answers by students via the Internet and discussion threads have been re-designed to allow for student selection of learning and for personalized learning, for example. By establishing connections between the student and the course content, student learning is enriched, students spend more time learning the material, student copying of answers is minimized, and student social engagement on the subject matter is increased. In this presentation, we discuss how Hybrid texts in Astronomy can increase student learning in online courses.

  18. Astronomical Activities for students-Motivating students interest in Physical Science through Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matthaiou, Alexis

    2010-05-01

    Astronomical Activities for students Motivating students interest in Physical Science through Astronomy Alexis Matthaiou Philekpaideftiki Etaireia, Arsakeio Lyceum Patron, Patras, Greece,(alexiosmat@yahoo.gr) School education aims not only to providing the necessary knowledge to the students but also to inspire and motivate them to realize their special abilities and inclinations and use their potential for making a joyful future for their lives. In this direction we present some activities held in the Arsakeio School of Patras during the years 2005-2008 in the field of Astronomy and Astrophysics, in order to share our experience with the teachers' community. Students from all grades of primary and secondary education participated with enthusiasm. In particular, they observed the Partial Solar Eclipse of October 3rd, 2005,and the Total Solar Eclipse of March 29th, 2006. They took part in observing and registering Solar Spots, using Astronomical equipments like different types of telescopes with filters and solar scopes. Students studied further the nature of Solar Phenomena and their effects on life, participating in the Environmental Program "Sun and Life"(2006-2007). Moreover, students took part in the International Program for measuring the Light Pollution "Globe at Night" (2006-2007) with observing and registering the luminosity of the Orion constellation in the night sky above their residence. Finally, the students participated in the European program "Hands on Universe" (HOU) (2005-2008) working on a project, which was the Greek contribution to HOU, developed from "Philekpaideftiki Etaireia". In particular, they studied the stars' spectrum and acquired information about the stars' life and age of stellar systems, using interactive multimedia technology.

  19. Different Reward Structures to Motivate Student Interaction with Electronic Response Systems in Astronomy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Len, Patrick M.

    2007-01-01

    Electronic response systems ("clickers") are used in introductory astronomy classes as a real-time assessment tool. Different reward structures for student responses to clicker questions are used to motivate individual participation or group collaboration before responding. The impact of two reward structures on student behavior and learning is…

  20. Changes in Student Views of Religion and Science in a College Astronomy Course.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shipman, Harry L.; Brickhouse, Nancy W.; Dagher, Zoubeida; Letts, William J., IV

    2002-01-01

    A cautious introduction of the dialogue between science and religion into a college astronomy course provoked diverse reactions from the 340 students in the course. Reports that approximately half of the students in the class engaged with the issue of science and religion to some extent and that there were few negative reactions to this…

  1. Revealing the Universe to Our Community: NMSU's Society of Astronomy Students' Dedication to Public Outreach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maldonado, Mercedes; Rees, S.; Medina, A.; Beasley, D.; Campos, A.; Chanover, N. J.; Uckert, K.; McKeever, J.

    2014-01-01

    The New Mexico State University (NMSU) Society of Astronomy Students (SAS) is an undergraduate organization centered on students’ passions for learning and sharing knowledge about the field of astronomy. The SAS strives to become one of the most active clubs on the NMSU campus by their involvement in both astronomy and non-astronomy related public outreach and community service events. NMSU is located in Las Cruces, NM, where Clyde Tombaugh made great contributions both to the field of astronomy and to our local community. He was able to spark the community's interest in astronomy and science in general; this is an aspect of his career that the SAS strives to emulate. To do this, the SAS participates in community outreach events with the goal of stimulating curiosity and providing opportunities for the public to observe and understand exciting phenomenon occurring in our universe. With help from the NMSU Astronomy Department, the SAS is able to volunteer alongside the Astronomy Graduate Student Organization (AGSO) at events for people of all ages. Working jointly with the AGSO allows us to be mentored by the very students who were in our shoes not long ago; they educate us about the wonders of the universe, just as we wish to educate the community. This provides an enlightening and enriching environment for both club and community members. The NMSU Astronomy Department hosts events for the entire community, such as observing nights held at Tombaugh Observatory — which SAS members attend and help advertise — where community members learn about and view objects in the night sky through telescopes. SAS members assist with field trips where local middle and elementary school students attend presentations and participate in astronomy-related activities on the NMSU campus. These hands-on activities are presented in an understandable way, and are meant to increase appreciation for all of the exciting subjects our universe has to offer. Other outreach events include

  2. StarTeach Astronomy Education: Building a Comprehensive Educational Outreach Program for K-12 Students

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Welser, L. A.; Bennum, D. H.

    2000-12-01

    The StarTeach project is a unique tool designed to generate excitement and enthusiasm about astronomy for elementary, middle, and high school students. The program was created out of the realization that astronomy is a subject with the potential to introduce children to many other branches of science, such as physics, chemistry, and geology. The development of StarTeach involves three main phases. First, CCD images of various astronomical objects, such as planets, nebulae, and galaxies, were taken. Next, the StarTeach web site (http://www.physics.unr.edu/grad/welser/astro) was created to present the CCD images. Features include pages on the solar system, deep sky, and the universe, which are complemented by Hubble and NASA photographs. Also included are a set of on-line quizzes about astronomy and links to astronomy education sites on the web. The final part of the StarTeach program involves presenting the material to third and eighth grade classes using power point slide shows and the StarTeach web site. The main goals of the StarTeach project are to strengthen the astronomy curriculum at local Reno schools, to facilitate an interactive scientific learning environment where students can expand and test their knowledge of science, and to generate enthusiasm for astronomy and science in general. This work was partially funded by a DOE EPSCoR University of Nevada, Reno Undergraduate Research Grant.

  3. International Lunar Observatory Association Advancing 21st Century Astronomy from the Moon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Durst, Steve

    2015-08-01

    Long considered a prime location to conduct astronomical observations, the Moon is beginning to prove its value in 21st Century astronomy through the Lunar Ultraviolet Telescope aboard China’s Chang’e-3 Moon lander and through the developing missions of the International Lunar Observatory Association (ILOA). With 24 hours / Earth day of potential operability facilitating long-duration observations, the stable platform of the lunar surface and extremely thin exosphere guaranteeing superior observation conditions, zones of radio-quiet for radio astronomy, and the resources and thermal stability at the lunar South Pole, the Moon provides several pioneering advantages for astronomy. ILOA, through MOUs with NAOC and CNSA, has been collaborating with China to make historic Galaxy observations with the Chang’e-3 LUT, including imaging Galaxy M101 in December 2014. LUT has an aperture of 150mm, covers a wavelength range of 245 to 340 nanometers and is capable of detecting objects at a brightness down to 14 mag. The success of China’s mission has provided support and momentum for ILOA’s mission to place a 2-meter dish, multifunctional observatory at the South Pole of the Moon NET 2017. ILOA also has plans to send a precursor observatory instrument (ILO-X) on the inaugural mission of GLXP contestant Moon Express. Advancing astronomy and astrophysics from the Moon through public-private and International partnerships will provide many valuable research opportunities while also helping to secure humanity’s position as multi world species.

  4. Infrared Astronomy and Education: Linking Infrared Whole Sky Mapping with Teacher and Student Research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borders, Kareen; Mendez, Bryan; Thaller, Michelle; Gorjian, Varoujan; Borders, Kyla; Pitman, Peter; Pereira, Vincent; Sepulveda, Babs; Stark, Ron; Knisely, Cindy; Dandrea, Amy; Winglee, Robert; Plecki, Marge; Goebel, Jeri; Condit, Matt; Kelly, Susan

    The Spitzer Space Telescope and the recently launched WISE (Wide Field Infrared Survey Explorer) observe the sky in infrared light. Among the objects WISE will study are asteroids, the coolest and dimmest stars, and the most luminous galaxies. Secondary students can do authentic research using infrared data. For example, students will use WISE data to mea-sure physical properties of asteroids. In order to prepare students and teachers at this level with a high level of rigor and scientific understanding, the WISE and the Spitzer Space Tele-scope Education programs provided an immersive teacher professional development workshop in infrared astronomy.The lessons learned from the Spitzer and WISE teacher and student pro-grams can be applied to other programs engaging them in authentic research experiences using data from space-borne observatories such as Herschel and Planck. Recently, WISE Educator Ambassadors and NASA Explorer School teachers developed and led an infrared astronomy workshop at Arecibo Observatory in PuertoRico. As many common misconceptions involve scale and distance, teachers worked with Moon/Earth scale, solar system scale, and distance and age of objects in the Universe. Teachers built and used basic telescopes, learned about the history of telescopes, explored ground and satellite based telescopes, and explored and worked on models of WISE Telescope. An in-depth explanation of WISE and the Spitzer telescopes gave participants background knowledge for infrared astronomy observations. We taught the electromagnetic spectrum through interactive stations. We will outline specific steps for sec-ondary astronomy professional development, detail student involvement in infrared telescope data analysis, provide data demonstrating the impact of the above professional development on educator understanding and classroom use, and detail future plans for additional secondary professional development and student involvement in infrared astronomy. Funding was

  5. A Study of General Education Astronomy Students' Understandings of Cosmology. Part I. Development and Validation of Four Conceptual Cosmology Surveys

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wallace, Colin S.; Prather, Edward E.; Duncan, Douglas K.

    2011-01-01

    This is the first in a series of five articles describing a national study of general education astronomy students' conceptual and reasoning difficulties with cosmology. In this paper, we describe the process by which we designed four new surveys to assess general education astronomy students' conceptual cosmology knowledge. These surveys focused…

  6. The Astronomy Workshop: Computer Assisted Learning Tools with Instructor Support Materials and Student Activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deming, Grace; Hamilton, D.; Hayes-Gehrke, M.

    2006-12-01

    The Astronomy Workshop (http://janus.astro.umd.edu) is a collection of interactive World Wide Web tools that were developed under the direction of Doug Hamilton for use in undergraduate classes, as supplementary materials appropriate for grades 9-12, and by the general public. The philosophy of the website is to foster student and public interest in astronomy by capitalizing on their fascination with computers and the internet. Many of the tools were developed by graduate and undergraduate students at UMD. This website contains over 20 tools on topics including scientific notation, giant impacts, extrasolar planets, astronomical distances, planets, moons, comets, and asteroids. Educators around the country at universities, colleges, and secondary schools have used the Astronomy Workshop’s tools and activities as homework assignments, in-class demos, or extra credit. Since 2005, Grace Deming has assessed several of the Astronomy Workshop’s tools for clarity and effectiveness by interviewing students as they used tools on the website. Based on these interviews, Deming wrote student activities and instructor support materials and posted them to the website. Over the next three years, we will continue to interview students, develop web materials, and field-test activities. We are targeting classes in introductory undergraduate astronomy courses and grades 11-12 for our Spring 2007 field tests. We are interested in hearing your ideas on how we can make the Astronomy Workshop more appealing to educators, museum directors, specialty programs, and professors. This research is funded by NASA EPO grants NNG04GM18G and NNG06GGF99G.

  7. Observation, Understanding and Belief: guiding students through the great texts of physics and astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuehn, Kerry

    2014-03-01

    Questions such as ``Is Newton's theory of gravity correct?'' and ``How do you know?'' appeal to the innate sense of inquisitiveness and wonder that attracted many students (and professors) to the study of natural science in the first place. Seeking to answer such questions, one must typically acquire a deeper understanding of the technical aspects of the theory. In this way, broadly posed questions can serve as a motivation and guide to understanding scientific theories. During the past decade, I have developed and taught a four-semester introductory physics curriculum to undergraduate students at Wisconsin Lutheran College which is based on the careful reading, analysis and discussion of foundational texts in physics and astronomy--texts such as Newton's Principia, Huygens' Treatise on Light, and Pascal's Equilibrium of Liquids. This curriculum is designed to encourage a critical and circumspect approach to natural science, while at the same time developing a suitable foundation for advanced coursework in physics. In this talk, I will discuss the motivation, organization, unique features, and target audience of an undergraduate physics textbook, recently submitted for publication, which is based on this curriculum.

  8. A study about the interest and previous contact of high school students with Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carvalho, C. L.; Zanitti, M. H. R.; Felicidade, B. L.; Gomes, A. D. T.; Dias, E. W.; Coelho, F. O.

    2016-04-01

    The currently problems in Astronomy teaching in Brazilian Basic Education contrast with the space, and the popularity that astronomical themes have in various media in the country. In this work, we present the results of a study about the interest, and previous contact of high school students from a public school in the city of "São João del-Rei"/MG with topics related to Astronomy. The study and the pedagogical intervention were carried out by students of the PIBID/CAPES/UFSJ. The intervention was performed through an oral exposition with the students' participation, followed by the use of the Stellarium program. The results suggest the majority of students surveyed are interested in Astronomy, and have had some contact with the area. However, some inconsistencies in their responses were identified and examined. The implications for research and for Astronomy Education are discussed. We also make some considerations about relationship between the lack of specific knowledge and the misinformation as one possible reason for the little interest of students in various areas of Science.

  9. The National Astronomy Consortium Summer Student Research Program at NRAO-Socorro: Year 2 structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mills, Elisabeth A.; Sheth, Kartik; Giles, Faye; Perez, Laura M.; Arancibia, Demian; Burke-Spolaor, Sarah

    2016-01-01

    I will present a summary of the program structure used for the second year of hosting a summer student research cohort of the National Astronomy Consortium (NAC) at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Socorro, NM. The NAC is a program partnering physics and astronomy departments in majority and minority-serving institutions across the country. The primary aim of this program is to support traditionally underrepresented students interested in pursuing a career in STEM through a 9-10 week summer astronomy research project and a year of additional mentoring after they return to their home institution. I will describe the research, professional development, and inclusivity goals of the program, and show how these were used to create a weekly syllabus for the summer. I will also highlight several unique aspects of this program, including the recruitment of remote mentors for students to better balance the gender and racial diversity of available role models for the students, as well as the hosting of a contemporaneous series of visiting diversity speakers. Finally, I will discuss structures for continuing to engage, interact with, and mentor students in the academic year following the summer program. A goal of this work going forward is to be able to make instructional and organizational materials from this program available to other sites interested in joining the NAC or hosting similar programs at their own institution.

  10. Comparison of Student Performance in Video Game Format vs. Traditional Approach in Introductory Astronomy Classes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barringer, Daniel; Kregenow, Julia M.; Palma, Christopher; Plummer, Julia

    2015-01-01

    In Spring of 2014, Penn State debuted an online Introductory Astronomy (AST 001) section that was designed as a video game. Previous studies have shown that well-designed games help learners to build accurate understanding of embedded concepts and processes and aid learner motivation, which strongly contributes to a student's willingness to learn. We start by presenting the learning gains as measured with the Test of Astronomy Standards (TOAST) from this new course design. We further compare the learning gains from the video game section with learning gains measured from more traditional online formats and in-person lecture sections of AST 001 taught at Penn State over the last five years to evaluate the extent to which this new medium for online Astronomy education supports student learning.

  11. The Astronomy Workshop

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamilton, D. P.; Asbury, M. L.; Proctor, A.

    2001-12-01

    The Astronomy Workshop (http://janus.astro.umd.edu) is an interactive online astronomy resource developed, and maintained at the University of Maryland, for use by students, educators and the general public. The Astronomy Workshop has been extensively tested and used successfully at many different levels, including High School and Junior High School science classes, University introductory astronomy courses, and University intermediate and advanced astronomy courses. Some topics currently covered in the Astronomy Workshop are: Animated Orbits of Planets and Moons: The orbits of the nine planets and 91 known planetary satellites are shown in animated, to-scale drawings. The orbiting bodies move at their correct relative speeds about their parent, which is rendered as an attractive, to-scale gif image. Solar System Collisions: This most popular of our applications shows what happens when an asteroid or comet with user-defined size and speed impacts a given planet. The program calculates many effects, including the country impacted (if Earth is the target), energy of the explosion, crater size, magnitude of the planetquake generated. It also displays a relevant image (e.g. terrestrial crater, lunar crater, etc.). Planetary and Satellite Data Calculators: These tools allow the user to easily calculate physical data for all of the planets or satellites simultaneously, making comparison very easy. Orbital Simulations: These tools allow the student to investigate different aspects of the three-body problem of celestial mechanics. Astronomy Workshop Bulletin Board: Get innovative teaching ideas and read about in-class experiences with the Astronomy Workshop. Share your ideas with other educators by posting on the Bulletin Board. Funding for the Astronomy Workshop is provided by the National Science Foundation.

  12. Astronomy Landscape in Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nemaungani, Takalani

    2015-01-01

    The vision for astronomy in Africa is embedded in the African Space Policy of the African Union in early 2014. The vision is about positioning Africa as an emerging hub for astronomy sciences and facilities. Africa recognized the need to take advantage of its natural resource, the geographical advantage of the clear southern skies and pristine sites for astronomy. The Pan African University (PAU) initiative also presents an opportunity as a post-graduate training and research network of university nodes in five regions of Africa and supported by the African Union. The Southern African node based in South Africa concentrates on space sciences which also includes astronomy. The PAU aims to provide the opportunity for advanced graduate training and postgraduate research to high-performing African students. Objectives also include promoting mobility of students and teachers and harmonizing programs and degrees.A number of astronomy initiatives have burgeoned in the Southern African region and these include the Southern Africa Largest Optical Telescope (SALT), HESS (High Energy Stereoscopic System), the SKA (Square Kilometre Array) and the AVN (African Very Long Baseline Interferometer Network). There is a growing appetite for astronomy sciences in Africa. In East Africa, the astronomy community is well organized and is growing - the East African Astronomical society (EAAS) held its successful fourth annual conference since 2010 on 30 June to 04 July 2014 at the University of Rwanda. Centred around the 'Role of Astronomy in Socio-Economic Transformation,' this conference aimed at strengthening capacity building in Astronomy, Astrophysics and Space Science in general, while providing a forum for astronomers from the region to train young and upcoming scientists.

  13. Development of Student Exercises with Instructor Support at the Astronomy Workshop Solar System Collisions Web Tool

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deming, G. L.; Hamilton, D. P.

    2005-12-01

    During the spring 2005 semester, seven students taking ASTR101 General Astronomy for non-science majors at the University of Maryland were interviewed while completing an assignment using the Astronomy Workshop Solar System Collisions web tool (http://janus.umd.edu/astro/impact/). The Astronomy Workshop Solar System Collisions web tool can be used to investigate how different variables affect collisions in a fun, but informative manner. Based on the 2005 spring interviews, three web-based activities were developed as appropriate for homework or as enrichment to coursework. The first activity explores how the impactor's mass affects energy released, crater diameter, frequency of similar impacts, and magnitude of the earthquake generated by the impact. The second activity investigates the energy released and damage done when the impactor's density is changed. Collisions by icy bodies are compared to those of rocky and metallic materials. The third activity compares collisions on different planets. In addition to masses and densities, velocities vary in these collisions. The activities are written so that introductory astronomy students will interpret the differences observed in terms of kinetic energy. During the fall 2005 semester, ASTR101 students at the University of Maryland were interviewed and observed as they completed the three activities described above using the Solar System Collisions website. The twelve students in this study were selected based on pretest scores on the Astronomy Diagnostic Test. An effort was made to include students of diverse backgrounds and mathematical experiences. Based on these interviews, final revisions have been made. Student exercises on the website and the directions on how instructors can use these materials in their courses are ready for field-testing at other institutions. Faculty interested in participating in the field-test for this project during spring 2006 are encouraged to contact the authors. This research is funded

  14. How Aware Are Teachers of Students' Misconceptions in Astronomy? A Qualitative Analysis in Belgium

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cox, M.; Steegen, A.; De Cock, M.

    2016-01-01

    Where previous studies have shown the existence of misconceptions in astronomy, this research focuses on the level of awareness that teachers have of these misconceptions and the possible strategies they use to change the students' mental models. Through focus group interviews with secondary school teachers and semi-structured interviews with…

  15. The Astronomy Workshop: Instructor Support Materials and Student Activities for the Scientific Notation Tool

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deming, Grace; Hayes-Gehrke, M.; Hamilton, D.

    2008-05-01

    The Astronomy Workshop (http://janus.astro.umd.edu) is a collection of interactive World Wide Web tools that were developed under the direction of Doug Hamilton for use in undergraduate classes and by the general public. The philosophy of the site is to foster student interest in astronomy by exploiting their fascination with computers and the internet. We have upgraded the "Scientific Notation" tool in response to faculty feedback and input from student interviews. In addition to providing students practice in changing decimal numbers into scientific notation, they may now practice multiplication and division with numbers in scientific notation. We have added instructor materials and student quizzes to enhance the instructional use of the scientific notation web tools. This research was sponsored by NASA EPO grant NNG06GGF99G.

  16. The UCI COSMOS Astronomy & Astrophysics Program for Talented High School Students

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smecker-Hane, Tammy A.; Kuzio de Naray, R.

    2010-01-01

    The COSMOS program is a month-long, residential, summer program for talented high school students held at four University of California campuses (Davis, Irvine, Santa Cruz, and San Diego). Since the program's inception in 2000, we have offered the Astronomy & Astrophysics Cluster in the UCI COSMOS program. Our high school students take classes and laboratories in astronomy & astrophysics and complete a research project in small groups under the supervision of faculty and teaching assistants. Students take data for their research projects with telescopes at the UCI Observatory or use data that we already have obtained at other observatories in the course of our research. In this poster, we discuss the curriculum, the research projects, highlighting one of the newest labs we developed involving measuring dark matter with galaxy rotation curves, and discuss many of the lessons we have learn working with these talented students over the past 10 years.

  17. A Comparison of Astronomy/Science Attitudes Among Students and Secondary Teachers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kareva, Anna; Miller, S.; Foster, A.; James, C. R.

    2014-01-01

    The Astronomy Summer School of East Texas was designed to address the needs of rural schools in the Walker County region of East Texas. This region is populated by poorer schools with fewer science resources and underperforming students on standardized tests, resulting in many of the school districts being rated as “academically unacceptable”. The goal of the workshop was to provide a suite of active learning modules to regional 6 - 12 grade teachers, which they can then use in their classrooms to actively engage their students in the use of real science data. As part of the workshop, we administered Zeilik’s pre/post attitude survey towards astronomy/science to assess whether the participant’s attitudes changed over the course of the two-week workshop. While we found no statistically significant shift in attitudes, we were surprised at some of the attitudes that secondary science teachers held. We will summarize their attitudes and compare them with attitude data gathered from their students, along with those of college students enrolled in introductory astronomy courses at Sam Houston State University. With this data, we will present the differences in attitudes with age between middle school, high school and college students, along with difference in attitudes between teachers and students. This project is supported by the NASA Science Mission Directorate Education and Public Outreach for Earth and Space Science (EPOESS), which is part of the Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES), Grant Number NNX12AH11G.

  18. Astronomy and Particle Physics Research Classes for Secondary School Students.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johansson, K. E.; Nilsson, Ch.; Engstedt, J.; Sandqvist, Aa.

    2001-01-01

    Describes a project that involves high school students in research in different disciplines at Stockholm University. Teaches students how to design a study and research plan, accomplish the work, and write a research report. (Author/YDS)

  19. A Study of General Education Astronomy Students' Understandings of Cosmology. Part IV. Common Difficulties Students Experience with Cosmology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wallace, Colin S.; Prather, Edward E.; Duncan, Douglas K.

    2012-01-01

    This is our fourth paper in our five paper series describing our national study of general education astronomy students' conceptual and reasoning difficulties with cosmology. While previous papers in this series focused on the processes by which we collected and quantitatively analyzed our data, this paper presents the most common pre-instruction…

  20. Student Engagement and Success in the Large Astronomy 101 Classroom

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jensen, J. B.

    2014-07-01

    The large auditorium classroom presents unique challenges to maintaining student engagement. During the fall 2012 semester, I adopted several specific strategies for increasing student engagement and reducing anonymity with the goal of maximizing student success in the large class. I measured attendance and student success in two classes, one with 300 students and one with 42, but otherwise taught as similarly as possible. While the students in the large class probably did better than they would have in a traditional lecture setting, attendance was still significantly lower in the large class, resulting in lower student success than in the small control class by all measures. I will discuss these results and compare to classes in previous semesters, including other small classes and large Distance Education classes conducted live over remote television link.

  1. The knowledge in astronomy of the students of technology in industrial automation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Voelzke, Marcos Rincon; Capasso Moraes, Ataliba

    2016-07-01

    This work is part of a research of the academic Masters in Science in Education at the Cruzeiro do Sul University, in Brazil. It seeks to present the results of the survey conducted among students of the technology course in industrial automation at the Federal Institute São Paulo at the Campus Cubatão. In the first step, the students' lack of knowledge to the related primary concepts of Astronomy turned out. Correcting these deficiencies found, external to the program content, a Basic Course in Astronomy, containing dialogued or expository lectures with the aid of audiovisual resources and access to textbooks. Analysed the responses of this second step, it was found that students had a significant improvement in learning.

  2. Best Practices for Modifying Astronomy Curriculum for Special Needs Students

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olsen, Julia K.; Slater, T. F.

    2006-12-01

    Current instructional issues necessitate educators start with curriculum and determine how educational technology can assist students in achieving positive learning goals, functionally supplementing the classroom instruction. Technology projects incorporating principles of situated learning have been shown to provide an effective framework for learning, and computer technology has been shown to facilitate learning among special needs students. Students with learning disabilities may benefit from assistive technology, but these resources are not always utilized during classroom instruction: technology is only effective if teachers view it as an integral part of the learning process. In early 2006, the Lawrence Hall of Science conducted a national field -test of a new GEMS space science curriculum package for middle school students which they had developed. LHS collected preand post-test data for each unit based on student work samples. During this field-testing, we modified a subset of the curriculum materials so that they could be delivered via computer mediated instruction for the students in a subset of the field-test classrooms in order to determine if the students in the classrooms using the curriculum modified for computer mediated instruction scored differently on the assessments than students in the larger assessment database. Results suggest that many students, not just those with special needs, demonstrate greater achievement gains using materials modified using the principles of best practice for special needs students. This poster illustrates curriculum materials before and after modification based on best practice.

  3. The UCI COSMOS Astronomy and Astrophysics Cluster: A Summer Program for Talented High School Students

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smecker-Hane, T. A.

    2013-04-01

    COSMOS is a month-long, summer residential program in science and engineering for high school students held each year at four University of California (UC) campuses. Its goals are to expand the scientific horizons of our most talented students by exposing them to exciting fields of research and encouraging them to pursue STEM careers. Students live on campus and choose to study one of seven or eight different subject areas called “clusters.” We run the extremely successful Astronomy & Astrophysics Cluster at UC Irvine (UCI). Over four weeks, students take lecture courses in astrophysics, perform computer lab experiments, and complete a research project conducted in a small group under the supervision of a faculty member or teaching assistant (TA). Here we discuss our curriculum, lessons learned, and quantify student outcomes. We find that putting on a summer program for high school students is highly rewarding for the students as well as the faculty and graduate students.

  4. Sustainable Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blaha, C.; Goetz, J.; Johnson, T.

    2011-09-01

    Through our International Year of Astronomy outreach effort, we established a sustainable astronomy program and curriculum in the Northfield, Minnesota community. Carleton College offers monthly open houses at Goodsell Observatory and donated its recently "retire" observing equipment to local schools. While public evenings continue to be popular, the donated equipment was underutilized due to a lack of trained student observing assistants. With sponsorship from NASA's IYA Student Ambassador program, the sustainable astronomy project began in 2009 to generate greater interest in astronomy and train middle school and high school students as observing assistants. Carleton physics majors developed curricular materials and instituted regular outreach programs for grades 6-12. The Northfield High School Astronomy Club was created, and Carleton undergraduates taught high school students how to use telescopes and do CCD imaging. During the summer of 2009, Carleton students began the Young Astronomers Summer Experience (YASE) program for middle school students and offered a two-week, astronomy-rich observing and imaging experience at Goodsell Observatory. In concert with NASA's Summer of Innovation initiative, the YASE program was offered again in 2010 and engaged a new group of local middle school students in hands-on scientific experiments and observing opportunities. Members of the high school astronomy club now volunteer as observing assistants in the community and graduates of the YASE programs are eager to continue observing as members of a public service astronomy club when they enter the Northfield High School. These projects are training future scientists and will sustain the public's interest in astronomy long after the end of IYA 2009.

  5. Early Elementary Students' Development of Astronomy Concepts in the Planetarium

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Plummer, Julia D.

    2009-01-01

    The National Science Education Standards [National Research Council (1996) National science education standards. Washington, DC: National Academy Press] recommend that students understand the apparent patterns of motion of the sun, moon and stars by the end of early elementary school. However, little information exists on students' ability to…

  6. Why Do Students Drop Advanced Mathematics?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Horn, Ilana

    2004-01-01

    Students, especially black, Latino and Native American youth and students of low socio-economic status drop out of advanced mathematics. Teachers must coordinate their expectations, their knowledge of students and their teaching practices in order to stop struggling students from dropping out of advanced math classes.

  7. CHARACTERIZATION AND MEASUREMENT OF INTRODCUTORY COLLEGE ASTRONOMY AND PHYSICS STUDENT UNDERSTANDING OF NEWTONIAN GRAVITY

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williamson, Kathryn

    2014-01-01

    The topic of Newtonian gravity offers a unique perspective from which to investigate and encourage conceptual change because it is something with which everyone has daily experience, and because it is taught in two courses that reach a variety of students - introductory college astronomy (‘Astro 101’) and physics (‘Phys 101’). Informed by the constructivist theory of learning, this study characterizes and measures Astro 101 and Phys 101 students’ understanding of Newtonian gravity within four conceptual domains - Directionality, Force Law, Independence of Other Forces, and Threshold. A phenomenographic analysis of student-supplied responses to open-ended questions about gravity resulted in characterization of students’ alternative models and misapplications of the scientific model. These student difficulties informed the development of a multiple-choice assessment instrument, the Newtonian Gravity Concept Inventory (NGCI). Classical Test Theory (CTT), student interviews, and expert review show that the NGCI is a reliable and valid tool for assessing both Astro 101 and Phys 101 students’ understanding of gravity. Furthermore, the NGCI can provide extensive and robust information about differences between Astro 101 and Phys 101 students and curricula. Comparing and contrasting CTT values and response patterns shows qualitative differences in each of the four conceptual domains. Additionally, performing an Item Response Theory (IRT) analysis calibrates item parameters for all Astro 101 and Phys 101 courses and provides Newtonian gravity ability estimates for each student. Physics students show significantly higher pre- and post-instruction IRT abilities than astronomy students, but they show approximately equal gains. Linear regression models that control for student characteristics and classroom dynamics show that: (1) differences in post-instruction abilities are most influenced by students’ pre-instruction abilities and the level of interactivity in

  8. Astronomy and astrophysics with gravitational waves in the Advanced Detector Era

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weinstein, Alan J.; Ligo Scientific Collaboration; Virgo Collaboration

    2012-07-01

    With the advanced gravitational wave detectors coming on line in the next 5 years, we expect to make the first detections of gravitational waves from astrophysical sources, and study the properties of the waves themselves as tests of General Relativity. In addition, these gravitational waves will be powerful tools for the study of their astrophysical sources and source populations. They carry information that is quite complementary to what can be learned from electromagnetic or neutrino observations, probing the central gravitational engines that power the electromagnetic emissions. Preparations are being made to enable near-simultaneous observations of both gravitational wave and electromagnetic observations of transient sources, using low-latency search pipelines and rapid sky localization. We will review the many opportunities for multi-messenger astronomy and astrophysics with gravitational waves enabled by the advanced detectors, and the preparations that are being made to quickly and fully exploit them.

  9. Astronomy and astrophysics with gravitational waves in the advanced detector era

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weinstein, Alan J.

    2012-06-01

    With the advanced gravitational wave detectors coming on line in the next 5 years, we expect to make the first detections of gravitational waves from astrophysical sources, and study the properties of the waves themselves as tests of general relativity. In addition, these gravitational waves will be powerful tools for the study of their astrophysical sources and source populations. They carry information that is quite complementary to what can be learned from electromagnetic or neutrino observations, probing the central gravitational engines that power the electromagnetic emissions at the outer layers of the source. Preparations are being made to enable near-simultaneous observations of both gravitational wave and electromagnetic observations of transient sources, using low-latency search pipelines and rapid sky localization. We will review the many opportunities for multi-messenger astronomy and astrophysics with gravitational waves enabled by the advanced detectors, and the preparations that are being made to quickly and fully exploit them.

  10. Star Formation and Exoplanetary Systems in the National Science Olympiad Astronomy Event for High School Students

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Komacek, Thaddeus D.; Young, Donna; Schroeder, Dustin M.; Van Hecke, Mark A.

    2014-11-01

    Science Olympiad is one of the nation’s largest secondary school science competitions, reaching over 240,000 students on more than 6,000 teams. The competition covers various aspects of science and technology, exposing students to a variety of career options in STEM. 9 of Science Olympiad’s 46 events (with 23 for both middle and high school) have a focus on Earth and Space Science, including process skills and knowledge of a variety of subjects, including: Astrophysics, Planetary Sciences, Oceanography, Meteorology, Remote Sensing, and Geologic Mapping, among others. The Astronomy event is held for students from 9th - 12th grade, and covers topics based upon stellar evolution and/or galactic astronomy. For the 2014-2015 competition season, Astronomy will focus on star formation and exoplanets in concert with stellar evolution, bringing recent and groundbreaking research to light for young potential astronomers and planetary scientists. The event tests students on their “understanding of the basic concepts of mathematics and physics relating to stellar evolution and star and planet formation,” including qualitative responses, DS9 image analysis, and quantitative problem solving. We invite any members of the exoplanet and star formation communities that are interested in developing event materials to contact the National event supervisors, Donna Young (donna@aavso.org) and Tad Komacek (tkomacek@lpl.arizona.edu). We also encourage you to contact your local regional or state Science Olympiad tournament directors to help supervise events and run competitions in your area.

  11. Philippine Astronomy Convention 2009 Abstract: Program Offerings in Astronomy in the Philippines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Torres, J. R. F.

    2009-03-01

    The formal academic programs in Astronomy of the Rizal Technological University are the first such programs in the Philippines. The Master of Science in Astronomy program is envisioned to provide the student with a wide range of knowledge in many areas of Astronomy, leaning towards the descriptive aspects of knowledge. The student will choose the field or research most suitable to his or her interests. Three of these researches done while enrolled in the program, and even researches completed before the student actually enrolled in the program, may be considered as his or her thesis. The program suits professionals in all persuasions who wish to study Astronomy either for professional advancement or plainly for the love of the science or for intellectual satisfaction. Non-science majors can enroll. In 2008, the RTU Graduate School decided to ladderize the MS program and the Graduate Diploma in Astronomy was designed. This program is suited for science educators, astronomy lecturers and entrepreneurs, members of astronomical societies, and plain astronomy enthusiasts who like to gain in-depth knowledge in the most important aspects of astronomy. A bachelor's degree in any field is required. The program can be finished in two semesters and one summer. If the student opts to continue in the MS in Astronomy program, all the courses he or she has earned in the Diploma will be credited. The Bachelor of Science in Astronomy Technology is an intensive baccalaureate degree program designed to prepare students to become future research scientists and technologists in the field of Astronomy. The BS in Astronomy Technology is a cross-fertilized program, integrating interrelated sciences, such as engineering, geology, remote sensing, physics, atmospheric and environmental science, biology and biochemistry, and even philosophy and entrepreneurship into the study. Thus, the B.S. in Astronomy Technology program gives the student excellent job opportunities in many fields.

  12. Differences between US Women’s and Men’s Careers in Astronomy: Results from the Longitudinal Study of Astronomy Graduate Students

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ivie, Rachel; White, Susan; Chu, Raymond Y.

    2015-08-01

    The Longitudinal Study of Astronomy Graduate Students (LSAGS), a joint project of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) and the American Institute of Physics (AIP), emerged from the Women in Astronomy II conference held in Pasadena, CA, USA in 2003. At the conference, concern about possible differential attrition for women arose from the relatively high percentage of female junior (student) AAS members compared to the lower representation of women among astronomy faculty members.The Committee for the Status of Women in Astronomy (CSWA) and the AAS Council concluded that a longitudinal study was needed to collect data about which variables affect career choices in astronomy and to determine whether any of these variables exert a disproportionate force on either sex. In 2007-08, the project team, under the direction of Rachel Ivie, Associate Director of AIP’s Statistical Research Center (SRC), asked all graduate students in astronomy and astrophysics in the US (~1500) to complete the first survey. The LSAGS follows this same group of students as they leave graduate school and enter their careers. In 2012-13, more than 800 responded to the second survey, and most had completed PhDs. We plan a third round of data collection in 2015.Results from the study show that there are statistically significant differences between women and men in dissertation research methods, PhD subfield, and ratings of graduate school advisors. We found that after graduate school, women were more likely than men to take a break from work of six months or longer and to have made accommodations for a partner’s career opportunities (the “two-body problem”). In turn, women were more likely to work outside the field of astronomy because they were more likely to have experienced the “two-body problem.” In addition, we found women were more likely than men to have experienced harassment or discrimination at school or work. Finally, even while controlling for employment sector and years

  13. Analysis of knowledge in astronomy of the students of technology in industrial automation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Voelzke, Marcos Rincon; Capasso Moraes, Ataliba

    2015-08-01

    This work is part of a research of the academic Masters in Science in Education at the Cruzeiro do Sul University, in Brazil. It seeks to present the results of the survey conducted among students of the technology course in industrial automation at the Federal Institute São Paulo at the Campus Cubatão. In the first step, the students’ lack of knowledge to the related primary concepts of Astronomy turned out. Correcting these deficiencies found, external to the program content, a Basic Course in Astronomy, containing dialogued or expository lectures with the aid of audiovisual resources and access to textbooks. Analysed the responses of this second step, it was found that students had a significant improvement in learning.

  14. Kinesthetic Astronomy: Significant Upgrades to the Sky Time Lesson that Support Student Learning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morrow, C. A.; Zawaski, M.

    2004-12-01

    This paper will report on a significant upgrade to the first in a series of innovative, experiential lessons we call Kinesthetic Astronomy. The Sky Time lesson reconnects students with the astronomical meaning of the day, year, and seasons. Like all Kinesthetic Astronomy lessons, it teaches basic astronomical concepts through choreographed bodily movements and positions that provide educational sensory experiences. They are intended for sixth graders up through adult learners in both formal and informal educational settings. They emphasize astronomical concepts and phenomenon that people can readily encounter in their "everyday" lives such as time, seasons, and sky motions of the Sun, Moon, stars, and planets. Kinesthetic Astronomy lesson plans are fully aligned with national science education standards, both in content and instructional practice. Our lessons offer a complete learning cycle with written assessment opportunities now embedded throughout the lesson. We have substantially strengthened the written assessment options for the Sky Time lesson to help students translate their kinesthetic and visual learning into the verbal-linguistic and mathematical-logical realms of expression. Field testing with non-science undergraduates, middle school science teachers and students, Junior Girl Scouts, museum education staff, and outdoor educators has been providing evidence that Kinesthetic Astronomy techniques allow learners to achieve a good grasp of concepts that are much more difficult to learn in more conventional ways such as via textbooks or even computer animation. Field testing of the Sky Time lesson has also led us to significant changes from the previous version to support student learning. We will report on the nature of these changes.

  15. Enhancing Astronomy Studies by Using IUCAA Video Lectures in the Student Community

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Narayanasamy, N.; Bawdekar, N.

    2015-04-01

    IUCAA is one of the premier astronomy and astrophysics research institutions in India. Research at IUCAA spans a wide range of fields. Lectures delivered by eminent faculty as well as senior professors visiting IUCAA are recorded to benefit students pursuing research in astronomy and astrophysics. The recordings of lectures delivered by IUCAA faculty at other institutions are also available at the library. In order to facilitate access to these lectures by the students, both on-campus and off-campus, an effort to upload these videos to the Network Assisted Server (NAS) was taken up by the IUCAA library staff. The IUCAA library initiated this activity in the year 2010. Video production tools such as Open-EyA are used for creating classroom and blackboard lecture videos in real time. These video files are processed and stored on the server and can also be accessed online. The paper showcases the usefulness of these videos among the student community. Statistics show that the majority of IUCAA students accessing the NAS are viewing the lectures and students can view the video lectures at their convenience. Resources such as these are easy to create and can be used to enhance students' understanding of the subject. It has been observed that students all around the globe extensively use the uploaded video lectures.

  16. Cyber Astronomy: A Cyber University Course for School Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chan, C. W.; Wong, K. Y. Michael

    2003-01-01

    Teaching university physics through the internet is not new, but a new course providing the same service for secondary school students is the first of its kind in Hong Kong. Taking advantage of the fast and affordable broadband internet in the region, some university courses have been converted to a cyber curriculum suitable for secondary school…

  17. Astronomy Textbook Images: Do They Really Help Students?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Testa, Italo; Leccia, Silivo; Puddu, Emanuella

    2014-01-01

    In this paper we present a study on the difficulties secondary school students experience in interpreting textbook images of elementary astronomical phenomena, namely, the changing of the seasons, Sun and lunar eclipses and Moon phases. Six images from a commonly used textbook in Italian secondary schools were selected. Interviews of 45 min about…

  18. Do Multicultural Connections Affect Students' Understanding, Interest, and Attitude in an Introductory Astronomy Course for Non-Science Students?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Percy, J. R.; Chandra, N.; Emenogu, B.; Tycner, C.

    2003-05-01

    Astronomy is rich in multicultural connections, especially regarding the appearance and motions of the sky. But does reference to these multicultural connections affect students' understanding, interest, and attitude, in an introductory astronomy course for non-science students at the post-secondary level? This question is especially relevant in our own culturally diverse city and university. We divided our course into four tutorial groups of approximately 15 students each. We first administered a questionnaire which collected information about each student's gender, cultural affiliation (if any), and perceived understanding of and interest in astronomy, sky motions, and their possible cultural connections. We also administered a simple distractor-driven multiple-choice test on basic sky concepts. Two tutorial groups (the experimental groups) were then taught three 50-minute weekly lessons on sky motions, using multicultural connections. The other two tutorial groups (the control groups) were taught the same material, by the same instructor, without reference to multicultural connections. We then administered the same questionnaire and multiple-choice test. In this paper, we discuss the following: (a) the matching of the experimental and control groups; (b) range of responses within each group; (c) differences between males and females in the pre-test results; (d) pre-test versus post-test changes in understanding, interest, and attitude between the experimental and control groups. Supported by the Imperial Oil Centre for Studies in Science, Mathematica, and Technology Education, University of Toronto.

  19. Light Pollution in Lowndes County, Georgia: An Observational Project for Introductory Astronomy Students

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rumstay, K. S.; VSU Astronomy Students Team

    2000-12-01

    A long-term study of light pollution in Lowndes County, Georgia has been initiated as a collaborative project among students enrolled in introductory astronomy courses at Valdosta State University. A single honors student began the project in Spring 2000; during the Fall 2000 semester all students enrolled in ASTR 1020K (Stellar and Galactic Astronomy) were invited to participate on a voluntary basis. Students were provided with charts showing the appearance of the constellations Cygnus, Pegasus, Cassiopeia, and Orion (as appropriate) at limiting magnitudes ranging from 2.5 to 6.0 in 0.5-magnitude steps. On clear, moonless nights students compared the visual appearance of these constellations to the charts, allowing them to determine a limiting magnitude for their location. Preliminary results suggest that, even on the clearest nights, stars fainter than magnitude 5.0 are not visible from any location within Lowndes County. This limitation results largely from ambient light from Valdosta, the only urban area within the county, and also from atmospheric extinction in a region of high humidity. By participating in this exercise, students in a class traditionally populated by non-science majors gain an appreciation for the collaborative nature of modern science. They also become familiar more familiar with the night sky than they might were their exposure limited to the traditional two-hour weekly laboratory session. Most importantly, as young adults they experience first-hand the deleterious effects of light intrusion upon their enjoyment of the night sky!

  20. International Summer Schools "Rozhen" and Their Role in Astronomy Education for Students and Teachers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Radeva, V.

    2010-09-01

    For the past seven years teachers and students from different European countries have attended the International summer schools at the National Astronomical Observatory "Rozhen", Bulgaria. During the schools there is a cycle of theoretical astronomy education, a series of practical tasks and a rich observational program. In the observational program, whose completion is the primary task of the students, two professional telescopes are used - a 50/70 cm Schmidt telescope and a 60 cm telescope - together with astronomers from the National astronomical observatory. During the completion of the program, the students become familiar with the work of astronomers, they learn how to work with observational equipment, astronomical software for controlling CCD cameras and for image processing. The students make astrometric observations of comets and asteroids, they observe extrasolar planets, supernovas, star clusters, galaxies and nebulae with the goal to prepare a student Messier catalogue; they observe Saturn, Jupiter and its satellites, and the Moon, with the goal to register short-term lunar phenomena. The intensive training during the international astronomical observing summer schools contributes to the enrichment of the astronomical knowledge of the participants and the development of their skills in working with observing equipment and analytical software. A significant success of the schools is the large percentage of student-participants who continue their careers in the field of astronomy.

  1. Astronomy 101 Students Learning How Science Works by Writing Credible Observing Proposals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shipman, H. L.

    2003-12-01

    Teachers of general-audience science courses, astronomy department chairs, and K-12 standards-writing committees all agree that student understanding of the scientific habits of mind is one important goal of any science course. This paper reports the successful use of a problem-based learning approach where students asked to choose the next step in an observational astronomy research program. The course, "Black Holes and Cosmic Evolution," is a rather unusual version of Astronomy 101 which spends the first three weeks on the ways that astronomers search for black holes. The 136 students were given a list of black hole candidates (from Bailyn et al., ApJ 499, 368) and asked to work in groups of 4-5 to choose and justify one for further observations. They learned and used error analysis. They determined the X-ray properties of these objects with an on-line x-ray survey (http://skyview.gsfc.nasa.gov/). The group product was a paper that was, essentially, a standard NOAO observing proposal. The University of Delaware's access to telescopes through its newly-acquired membership in the SMARTS consortium (http://phoenix.astro.yale.edu/smarts/) provided some motivation. In short, these students, none of whom are science majors, were challenged to act like real observational astronomers. Some guidance was provided by the instructor and two undergraduate TA's. Did they rise to the challenge or did they flounder? They succeeded. All 30 groups presented credible papers. Several A-plus papers were so good that they could make up most of an actual observing proposal. A follow-up exam tested students' understanding of underlying concepts (e.g., using Kepler's Laws to analyze binary stars). The average score on these test questions was 89.2 (n=133). We plan to use some SMARTS time to observe student-selected targets. This research has been supported by the Distinguished Teaching Scholars program of the National Science Foundation (DUE-0308557).

  2. Does Taking an Introductory Astronomy Course Increase Student Understanding of the Nature of Science?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duncan, Douglas K.; Arthurs, L.; CATS

    2009-01-01

    Surveys of those who teach Astro 101 say that increasing students’ understanding of the nature and process of science is an important goal. It is also one of the justifications for the "breadth requirement” that supports most of the Astro 101 enterprise in the US. However, little work has been done to measure if this goal is achieved. We interviewed 60 students drawn from two introductory astronomy classes at the beginning and end of the course. Each student was asked 9 questions concerning the nature of science and how it is applied. One of the two introductory classes made a special point of explicitly discussing the nature of science and "science vs. pseudoscience.” Otherwise the two classes were similar. We are investigating how students changed in 4 areas: 1. Do they understand what science is? 2. Do they have the ability to think scientifically themselves? 3. Can they distinguish believable scientific results from bogus ones? 4. Do students develop "basic science literacy?" In addition to the interviews we gave the Epistemological Beliefs Assessment for Physical Science (EBAPS, Elby et al. 2001; www.flaguide.org) to approximately 300 students. Initial results will be reported in our poster, and full results in a publication expected in early 2009. In addition, the results of this study are being used to develop a survey instrument designed specifically for use with Astro 101 students to evaluate the effectiveness of instruction on their scientific attitudes and beliefs as a Collaboration of Astronomy Teaching Scholars (CATS) research project. We would like to thank the NSF for funding under Grant No. 0715517, a CCLI Phase III Grant for the Collaboration of Astronomy Teaching Scholars (CATS) Program.

  3. A Light Pollution Laboratory Exercise for Introductory Astronomy Students

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benge, R. D., Jr.; Vines, J.

    2006-06-01

    Light pollution is a problem for many professional and amateur astronomers. Although simple measures can be taken to provide light at night without polluting the sky, many are uneducated about lighting options. The laboratory exercise presented here covers the principal issues involved in light pollution. In addition to learning about light pollution, students learn about the nature of light emission from both terrestrial and celestial objects.

  4. Online Options for Math-Advanced Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wessling, Suki

    2012-01-01

    Once upon a time, a student well advanced past grade level in math would have had few choices. Advanced students would invariably outpace the skills of their elementary teachers, and due to age wouldn't have options such as going to the middle school or community college for classes. Soon thereafter, students would enter middle school only to find…

  5. Introductory Astronomy Student-Centered Active Learning at The George Washington University

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cobb, Bethany

    2014-01-01

    The Physics Department at the George Washington University has been successfully using student-centered active learning (SCALE-UP) in physics classes since 2008. In Fall 2011, we began implementing introductory (non-majors) astronomy classes taught in the student-centered active learning mode. Class time is devoted to engaging in hands-on activities and laboratories, and tackling thought-provoking questions and problems. Students work together in small groups to gain a deeper understanding of the material. Multiple instructors circulate to answer questions and engage students in additional contemplation of the material. Research has shown that students who are engaged in this manner have an increased conceptual understanding and are better able to solve problems. This talk will describe our methods, our successes and the associated challenges of integrating active learning into courses entitled “Stars, Planets and Life” and “Introduction to the Cosmos.”

  6. Introductory Astronomy Student-Centered Active Learning at the George Washington University

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cobb, B. E.

    2014-07-01

    The Physics Department at the George Washington University has been successfully using student-centered active learning (SCALE-UP) in physics classes since 2008. Recently (since fall 2011), we have been developing and implementing introductory (non-majors) astronomy classes taught in the student-centered active learning mode. Class time is devoted to engaging in hands-on activities and laboratories and tackling questions and problems in a workbook. Students work in small groups, and multiple instructors circulate to answer questions and engage students in the material. Research has shown that students who are engaged in this manner have an increased conceptual understanding of the material. In developing our “Stars, Planets and Life” course into an interactive class, we encountered many challenges, but there have also been positive outcomes. Improvements to this class are ongoing, and in fall of 2013 we will begin full implementation of SCALE-UP in our “Introduction to the Cosmos” course.

  7. Advancing astronomy on the American frontier: the career of Frank Herbert Loud

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruskin, Steve

    2012-07-01

    Frank Herbert Loud came to Colorado Springs in 1877 to teach mathematics and became interested in astronomy after witnessing the solar eclipse of 1878. His nearly 50-year astronomical career included overseeing the building of two observatories, founding the Western Association for Stellar Photography, supporting expeditions for two solar eclipses, supplying astronomers with meteorological data for the Rocky Mountains, educating students, publishing astronomical articles and giving public lectures, and aiding and influencing two Directors of Harvard College Observatory. Despite this, Loud and the two observatories he directed have been mostly forgotten, although they were well known by contemporary astronomers. Loud and his work deserve to be remembered given the relative scarcity of astronomers and observatories in the American West (i.e. west of the Mississippi River) in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

  8. Role of Creative Competitions and Mass Media in the Astronomy Education of School Students

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aleshkina, E. Yu.

    2006-08-01

    There are a many informational sources nowadays. For wide audiences it is, first of all, mass media - magazines, newspapers, television, broadcast and books. Web-technology provides a huge volume of information. The increasing flow of information about science, sometimes with questionable content, however, has its obstacles - it is difficult to restrict misconceptions and transfer receiving information to real knowledge. This problem is actual and very important, first of all, for school students. The experience in getting and analyzing information during astrophysics lessons in the Astronautic Club is considered. Statistical data about volume, kind, and quality of astronomy news, along with other scientific information in Russian mass media, are presented. Experience in transformation of receiving information to the knowledge is discussed. The role of a special form of education - creative competitions - in this process is analyzed. Results of the International Creative Competition, named after Giordano Bruno, are presented. The main goal of the competition was to raise interest in astronomy, space exploration, and related questions. Thirty-six papers from Bulgaria, United Kingdom, Russia, Byelorussia, Latvia, and Kazakhstan were submitted for the competition. On the decision of the jury, it was awarded three degrees for school students, one degree for adult amateurs of astronomy, and four special nominations. The bilingual volume (in Russian and English) with the best papersis being prepared for publishing.

  9. PULSE@Parkes, Engaging Students through Hands-On Radio Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hollow, Robert; Hobbs, George; Shannon, Ryan M.; Kerr, Matthew

    2015-08-01

    PULSE@Parkes is an innovative, free educational program run by CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science (CASS) in which high school students use the 64m Parkes radio telescope remotely in real time to observe pulsars then analyse their data. The program caters for a range of student ability and introduces students to hands-on observing and radio astronomy. Students are guided by professional astronomers, educators and PhD students during an observing session. They have ample time to interact with the scientists and discuss astronomy, careers and general scientific questions. Students use a web-based module to analyse pulsar properties. All data from the program are streamed via a web browser and are freely available from the online archive and may be used for open-ended student investigations. The data are also used by the team for ongoing pulsar studies with two scientific papers published to date.Over 100 sessions have been held so far. Most sessions are held at CASS headquarters in Sydney, Australia but other sessions are regularly held in other states with partner institutions. The flexibility of the program means that it is also possible to run sessions in other countries. This aspect of the program is useful for demonstrating capability, engaging students in diverse settings and fostering collaborations. The use of Twitter (@pulseatparkes) during allows followers worldwide to participate and ask questions.Two tours of Japan plus sessions in the UK, Netherlands and Canada have reached a wide audience. Plans for collaborations in China are well underway with the possibility of use with other countries also being explored. The program has also been successfully used in helping to train international graduate students via the International Pulsar Timing Array Schools. We have identified strong demand and need for programs such as this for training undergraduate students in Asia and the North America in observing and data analysis techniques so one area of planned

  10. Cosmic Times: Engaging Students in Astronomy through History and Journalism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lochner, James C.; Mattson, B. J.

    2010-03-01

    Cosmic Times tells the story of how our understanding of the nature of the universe has changed over the past 100 years. Designed to fulfill the need for quality science literature in the classroom, Cosmic Times takes the form of six posters, each mimicking the front page of a newspaper at a key point in this history, with articles describing the discoveries. These milestones include the confirmation of Einstein's theory of gravity, Hubble's evidence for an expanding universe, the detection of the microwave background, and finally the discovery of dark energy. Telling this story also involves tracing astronomer's efforts to determine the size of the universe, understand the nature of supernovae, and comprehend the expansion of the universe. Through the scope of this history, students experience the process of science and how new technology and data change our ideas. The posters are accompanied by 28 lessons for grades 7-12, designed by scientists and teachers and field-tested by third-party teachers in rural communities. The lessons teach the science concepts behind the discoveries, the process of science, and skills for science literacy. To facilitate these lessons and meet student's individual science literacy needs, the articles are also available in two newsletter versions: one with the same articles as on the posters, the second at a slightly lower reading level. In addition, lessons include cross-curricular activities which explore the times and social circumstances of the discoveries. All these materials, including an on-line Teacher Guide, are available on the Cosmic Times website, http://cosmictimes.gsfc.nasa.gov/. In this presentation, we shall describe how Cosmic Times uses journalistic storytelling to create a rich experience based on science literacy to teach fundamental science concepts. We will show how framing the story as historic news articles illustrates the process of science and opens up opportunities for multidisciplinary lessons.

  11. All Students Need Advanced Mathematics. Math Works

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Achieve, Inc., 2013

    2013-01-01

    This fact sheet explains that to thrive in today's world, all students will need to graduate with very strong math skills. That can only mean one thing: advanced math courses are now essential math courses. Highlights of this paper include: (1) Advanced math equals college success; (2) Advanced math equals career opportunity; and (3) Advanced math…

  12. Scientific Tools and Techniques: An Innovative Introduction to Planetary Science / Astronomy for 9th Grade Students

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Albin, Edward F.

    2014-11-01

    Fernbank Science Center in Atlanta, GA (USA) offers instruction in planetary science and astronomy to gifted 9th grade students within a program called "Scientific Tools and Techniques" (STT). Although STT provides a semester long overview of all sciences, the planetary science / astronomy section is innovative since students have access to instruction in the Center's Zeiss planetarium and observatory, which includes a 0.9 m cassegrain telescope. The curriculum includes charting the positions of planets in planetarium the sky; telescopic observations of the Moon and planets; hands-on access to meteorites and tektites; and an introduction to planetary spectroscopy utilizing LPI furnished ALTA reflectance spectrometers. In addition, students have the opportunity to watch several full dome planetary themed planetarium presentations, including "Back to the Moon for Good" and "Ring World: Cassini at Saturn." An overview of NASA's planetary exploration efforts is also considered, with special emphasis on the new Orion / Space Launch System for human exploration of the solar system. A primary goal of our STT program is to not only engage but encourage students to pursue careers in the field of science, with the hope of inspiring future scientists / leaders in the field of planetary science.

  13. Easy PC Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duffett-Smith, Peter

    1996-11-01

    Easy PC Astronomy is the perfect book for everyone who wants to make easy and accurate astronomical calculations. The author supplies a simple but powerful script language called AstroScript on a disk, ready to use on any IBM PC-type computer. Equipped with this software, readers can compute complex but interesting astronomical results within minutes: from the time of moonrise or moonset anywhere in the world on any date, to the display of a lunar or solar eclipse on the computer screen--all within a few minutes of opening the book! The Sky Graphics feature of the software displays a detailed image of the sky as seen from any point on earth--at any time in the future or past--showing the constellations, planets, and a host of other features. Readers need no expert knowledge of astronomy, math or programming; the author provides full details of the calculations and formulas, which the reader can absorb or ignore as desired, and a comprehensive glossary of astronomical terms. Easy PC Astronomy is of immediate practical use to beginning and advanced amateur astronomers, students at all levels, science teachers, and research astronomers. Peter Duffett-Smith is at the Cavendish Laboratory of the University of Cambridge and is the author of Astronomy with Your Personal Computer (Cambridge University Press, 1990) and Practical Astronomy with Your Calculator (Cambridge University Press, 1989).

  14. Advances in Composite Reflectors: From X-Ray to Radio Wave Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Connell, S. J.; Abusafieh, A. A.; Mehle, G. V.; Sheikh, D. A.; Giles, D. C.

    2000-12-01

    In recent years, Composite Optics, Inc. (COI) has made significant advances in the use of graphite fiber reinforced composite (GFRC) materials for astronomical instrument applications. The inherent low density, high stiffness, and thermal stability makes GFRC a natural candidate for many astronomy applications. In order to reap these inherent benefits in astronomical applications, basic research has focused on material and process improvement. This has been accompanied by the design, fabrication, and test of several prototype reflectors that cover a broad wavelength spectrum of astronomical interests. The results of, and applications for, these efforts are summarized in the following list. X-Ray Carrier Shell: Innovative composite process yields accuracy and moisture stability. Demonstrated by vacuum optical test of 6" Wolter-I shell. Applicable to Con-X, etc. Lightweight Mirror Substrate for Visible Astronomy: Composite/glass hybrid design. Areal density < 15 kg/m2. Demonstrated by cryo-optical test (to 35K) of 1.6m NMSD mirror. Applicable to NGST, etc. Polishable Composite Facesheet: Glass-like coating applied to composite. Polishable by conventional methods. Multiple six-inch substrates polished to 20 angstroms. Technology will enable future 5 kg/m2 visible to UV optics. 10 kg/m2 Submillimeter Reflector: Apertures to 5m possible with economical, all-composite mirror design, diffraction limited at 80 microns. Demonstrated with cryo-optical test (to 70K) of FIRST 2-meter prototype mirror. Applicable to FIRST and other IR astronomy. Large, Ultra-Stable Optical Support Structure: Uniform and near-zero CTE over broad dimensions. Demonstrated with cryo-optical test of 2-meter FIRST prototype. Applicable to NGST, SIM, LISSA. Ground Based Radio Telescope Reflector: Low-cost, accurate, stable, durable all-composite design for support structure & reflective surface. Demonstrated via fab & test of 3m adjustable and 5m static prototypes. Applicable to LMT, ALMA, etc. These

  15. A National Study Assessing the Teaching and Learning of Introductory Astronomy Part II: Analysis of Student Demographics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prather, Edward; Rudolph, A. L.; Brissenden, G.; Consiglio, D.; Gonzaga, V.; CATS

    2010-01-01

    This is the second in a series of reports on a national study of the teaching and learning of astronomy in general education, non-science major, introductory college astronomy courses (Astro 101). The results show dramatic improvement in student learning with increased use of interactive learning strategies even after controlling for individual student characteristics. In addition, we find that the positive effects of interactive learning strategies apply equally to men and women, across ethnicities, for students with all levels of prior mathematical preparation and physical science course experience, independent of GPA, and regardless of primary language. These results powerfully illustrate that all categories of students can benefit from the effective implementation of interactive learning strategies. We acknowledge the NSF for funding under Award No. 0715517, a CCLI Phase III Grant for the Collaboration of Astronomy Teaching Scholars (CATS) Program and Award No. AST-0847170, a PAARE Grant.

  16. A National Survey of Parental Leave and Childcare Policies for Graduate Students in Departments of Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Charbonneau, David; Women in Astronomy, AAS Committee on Status of

    2013-01-01

    The AAS Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy conducted a national survey to determine current policies regarding parental leave and childcare for graduate student parents. We sent a letter to the Chair of each U.S. department of astronomy and/or astrophysics that offers the PhD degree. The letter inquired both about leave following the birth or adoption of a child (including questions about eligibility, whether the leave was paid or unpaid, and whether benefits including health care and housing were retained during leave), as well as childcare (including questions about eligibility, access, and financial assistance). The letter sought to determine the official departmental policies, but also inquired about any unofficial policies. We also inquired as to mechanisms to cover costs associated with both parental leave and childcare, and the means by which graduate students were informed about the policies. The response rate was 100%. We will present the results at this special session, and then lead a discussion of the changing landscape of parental leave for graduate students in our field.

  17. Leveraging Conceptual Frameworks to Improve Students' Mental Organization of Astronomy Understanding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Slater, Timothy F.; Lee, K. M.

    2006-06-01

    Many different types of schematic diagrams are useful in helping students organize and internalize their developing understanding in introductory astronomy courses. These include Venn Diagrams, Flowcharts, Concept Maps, among others, which illustrate the relationships between astronomical objects and dynamic concepts. These conceptual framework diagrams have been incorporated into the NSF-funded ClassAction project. ClassAction is a collection of electronic materials designed to enhance the metacognitive skills of college and university introductory astronomy survey students by promoting interactive engagement and providing rapid feedback in a highly visual setting. The main effort is targeted at creating dynamic think-pair-share questions supported by simulations, animations, and visualizations to be projected in the lecture classroom. The infrastructure allows instructors to recast these questions into alternative forms based on their own pedagogical preferences and feedback from the class. The recourses can be easily selected from a FLASH computer database and are accompanied by outlines, graphics, and numerous simulations which the instructor can use to provide student feedback and, when necessary, remediation. ClassAction materials are publicly available online at URL: http://astro.unl.edu and is funded by NSF Grant #0404988.

  18. Student perspectives of a graduate bridging course in astronomy and astrophysics in South Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nwosu, Victoria; Demaree, Dedra; Li, Sissi; Allie, Saalih

    2011-10-01

    Astronomy and Astrophysics have been designated the flagship areas of research in South Africa. To this end, a national postgraduate structure, the National Astrophysics and Space Science Programme was established at the University of Cape Town. Despite overall success the programme has failed to recruit and retain Black South African students. In order to address this postgraduate bridging program, the Extended Honours Programme, was established to address the issue. An important part of the EHP includes a research component investigating the reasons for the lack of successful participation. In general, a numbers of issues have been identified including for example s specific difficulties with intermediate level physics, general learning problems and affective issues. We present preliminary results from recent interviews carried out with each cohort of students that entered the EHP over the past four years. Prior to each group interview each student completed a personal meaning map and an identity survey. Preliminary results of these data and the interviews will be discussed.

  19. Research-Based Astronomy Workshops for Secondary School Students in Thailand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rujopakarn, Wiphu; Kirdkao, Thagoon

    We present the results of the Learning Center for Earth Sciences and Astronomy (LESA). Thai-land organizes a series of research-based astronomical workshops for secondary school students in the country during 2006 present. The goal of LESA is to apply the research-based learn-ing approach to complement astronomy education, which has been included in the national curriculum since 2002, and to let students gain first-hand experience in astronomical research. Realization of research-based astronomical education in Thailand has long been held back by the limited availability of astronomical facilities in the country. We therefore developed work-shop modules for students using professional astronomical data generously made available to us through various collaborations and on-line archives. Two major difficulties we have overcame in developing these modules are, first, to seek research topics that are meaningful, inspiring, and can demonstrate the process of astronomical research with minimal background in astrophysics, and second, to find the software capable of processing large amounts of astronomical data, yet easily accessible for students. Our workshop modules centered on the basic research methods in observational astronomy, including astrometry, photometry, and spectroscopy. Data for these analysis modules were obtained through collaboration with various research groups, such as re-mote robotic telescopes access from the Robotic Optical Transient Search Experiment and the Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network, archival images from the Catalina Sky Survey, archival spectra from the Observatoire de Haute-Provence, and imaging and spectral data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. We adapt the raw data such that they can be accessed and analyzed with freely-available astronomical software such as the Iris or SAOImage ds9 and VSpec for imaging and spectral data, respectively. In each of the past five years, we have organized year-round workshops for students

  20. Astronomy as an Engaging Hook for Preservice Teachers and Secondary Mathematics Students

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hooper, Eric Jon; Dickinson, G.; Pierson, J.; Vice, H.; Hemenway, M.; Oehler, K.

    2007-12-01

    Astronomy is a powerful hook to excite people's wonder about the universe, fire their imaginations, and engage them in science and mathematics. We employed this allure to help preservice secondary mathematics and science teachers develop the skills to deliver unified multidisciplinary inquiry and project-based instruction to their future students. Simultaneously, high school mathematics students enjoyed applications of the algebra and geometry they had learned in a series of lessons centered on the building and utilization of Dobsonian telescopes during all-day in-school field trips. These lesson elements, both for the preservice teachers and high school students, were refined over several semesters as part of the field experience component of the Project Based Instruction course in the nationally recognized (see e.g., Rising Above the Gathering Storm, 2007, NAP) UTeach program at the University of Texas at Austin (www.uteach.utexas.edu; see also Hooper, E. J. et al. 2003, BAAS, 35, 1304). Preservice teachers who elect the astronomy field experience divide into two groups. The first group prepares to lead high school students through the final stages of constructing a simple Dobsonian telescope based on plans from the San Francisco Sidewalk Astronomers (http://members.aol.com/sfsidewalk/cdobplans.htm). After learning some basic optics (Siegel et al. 2008, Mathematics Teacher, in press; and Siegel et al. 2008, BAAS, Austin meeting, in press), the high school students undertake the most mathematically rich portions of the build, including measuring the focal length of the primary mirror and the placement and alignment of the secondary mirror. Since it is not practical to both build and utilize telescopes in one day, the second group of preservice teachers prepares to return to the "build" high school from the previous semester to engage the students in a variety of lessons using the telescopes. EJH acknowledges support from an NSF AAPF (AST-0104456) at the University

  1. The Challenges of Teaching Advanced Students.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Matice, Melinda Sue

    Advanced students of English as a Second Language bring attitudinal differences and particular linguistic challenges to the classroom. They can generally communicate well in English, making individual needs less obvious and less consistent. Students may resist shifting from intermediate instruction, in which emphasis is on what the student knows,…

  2. Teaching and Learning Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pasachoff, Jay; Percy, John

    2005-12-01

    Preface; Part I. Astronomy in the Curriculum Around the World: Preface; 1. Why astronomy is useful and should be included in the school curriculum John R. Percy; 2. Astronomy and mathematics education Rosa M. Ros; 3. Astronomy in the curriculum around the world; 4. Engaging gifted science students through astronomy Robert Hollow; 5. Poster highlights: astronomy in the curriculum around the world; Part II. Astronomy Education Research: Preface; 6. Astronomy education research down under John M. Broadfoot and Ian S. Ginns; 7. A contemporary review of K-16 astronomy education research Janelle M. Bailey and Timothy F. Slater; 8. Implementing astronomy education research Leonarda Fucili; 9. The Astronomy Education Review: report on a new journal Sidney C. Wolff and Andrew Fraknoi; 10. Poster highlights: astronomy education research; Part III. Educating Students: Preface; 11. Textbooks for K-12 astronomy Jay M. Pasachoff; 12. Distance/internet astronomy education David H. McKinnon; 13. Educating students with robotic telescopes - open discussion; 14. Poster highlights - educating students; Part IV. Educating teachers: Preface; 15. Pre-service astronomy education of teachers Mary Kay Hemenway; 16. In-service education of teachers Michèle Gerbaldi; 17. Poster highlights: educating teachers; Part V. Astronomy and Pseudoscience: Preface; 18. Astronomy, pseudoscience and rational thinking Jayant V. Narlikar; 19. Astronomical pseudosciences in North America John R. Percy and Jay M. Pasachoff; Part VI. Astronomy and Culture: Preface; 20. Teaching astronomy in other cultures: archeoastronomy Julieta Fierro; 21. Poster highlights: astronomy and culture; Part VII. Astronomy in Developing Countries: Preface; 22. Astronomy Curriculum for developing countries Case Rijsdijk; 23. Science education resources for the developing countries James C. White II; Part VIII. Public Outreach in Astronomy: Preface; 24. What makes informal education programs successful? Nahide Craig and Isabel

  3. Teaching and Learning Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pasachoff, Jay; Percy, John

    2009-07-01

    Preface; Part I. Astronomy in the Curriculum Around the World: Preface; 1. Why astronomy is useful and should be included in the school curriculum John R. Percy; 2. Astronomy and mathematics education Rosa M. Ros; 3. Astronomy in the curriculum around the world; 4. Engaging gifted science students through astronomy Robert Hollow; 5. Poster highlights: astronomy in the curriculum around the world; Part II. Astronomy Education Research: Preface; 6. Astronomy education research down under John M. Broadfoot and Ian S. Ginns; 7. A contemporary review of K-16 astronomy education research Janelle M. Bailey and Timothy F. Slater; 8. Implementing astronomy education research Leonarda Fucili; 9. The Astronomy Education Review: report on a new journal Sidney C. Wolff and Andrew Fraknoi; 10. Poster highlights: astronomy education research; Part III. Educating Students: Preface; 11. Textbooks for K-12 astronomy Jay M. Pasachoff; 12. Distance/internet astronomy education David H. McKinnon; 13. Educating students with robotic telescopes - open discussion; 14. Poster highlights - educating students; Part IV. Educating teachers: Preface; 15. Pre-service astronomy education of teachers Mary Kay Hemenway; 16. In-service education of teachers Michèle Gerbaldi; 17. Poster highlights: educating teachers; Part V. Astronomy and Pseudoscience: Preface; 18. Astronomy, pseudoscience and rational thinking Jayant V. Narlikar; 19. Astronomical pseudosciences in North America John R. Percy and Jay M. Pasachoff; Part VI. Astronomy and Culture: Preface; 20. Teaching astronomy in other cultures: archeoastronomy Julieta Fierro; 21. Poster highlights: astronomy and culture; Part VII. Astronomy in Developing Countries: Preface; 22. Astronomy Curriculum for developing countries Case Rijsdijk; 23. Science education resources for the developing countries James C. White II; Part VIII. Public Outreach in Astronomy: Preface; 24. What makes informal education programs successful? Nahide Craig and Isabel

  4. Innovation in Astronomy Education

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pasachoff, Jay M.; Ros, Rosa M.; Pasachoff, Naomi

    2013-01-01

    Preface; Part I. General Strategies for Effective Teaching: Introduction; 1. Main objectives of SpS2; 2. Learning astronomy by doing astronomy; 3. Hands-on Universe-Europe; 4. Life on Earth in the atmosphere of the Sun; 5. A model of teaching astronomy to pre-service teachers; 6. How to teach, learn about, and enjoy astronomy; 7. Clickers: a new teaching tool of exceptional promise; 8. Educational opportunities in pro-am collaboration; 9. Teaching history of astronomy to second-year engineering students; 10. Teaching the evolution of stellar and Milky Way concepts through the ages; 11. Educational efforts of the International Astronomical Union; 12. Astronomy in culture; 13. Light pollution: a tool for astronomy education; 14. Astronomy by distance learning; 15. Edible astronomy demonstrations; 16. Amateur astronomers as public outreach partners; 17. Does the Sun rotate around Earth or Earth rotate around the Sun?; 18. Using sounds and sonifications for astronomy outreach; 19. Teaching astronomy and the crisis in science education; 20. Astronomy for all as part of a general education; Poster abstracts; Part II. Connecting Astronomy with the Public: Introduction; 21. A status report from the Division XII working group; 22. Outreach using media; 23. Astronomy podcasting; 24. IAU's communication strategy, hands-on science communication, and the communication of the planet definition discussion; 25. Getting a word in edgeways: the survival of discourse in audiovisual astronomy; 26. Critical evaluation of the new Hall of Astronomy; 27. Revitalizing astronomy teaching through research on student understanding; Poster abstracts; Part III. Effective Use of Instruction and Information Technology: Introduction; 28. ESO's astronomy education program; 29. U.S. student astronomy research and remote observing projects; 30. Global network of autonomous observatories dedicated to student research; 31. Remote telescopes in education: report of an Australian study; 32. Visualizing

  5. Innovation in Astronomy Education

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pasachoff, Jay M.; Ros, Rosa M.; Pasachoff, Naomi

    2008-07-01

    Preface; Part I. General Strategies for Effective Teaching: Introduction; 1. Main objectives of SpS2; 2. Learning astronomy by doing astronomy; 3. Hands-on Universe-Europe; 4. Life on Earth in the atmosphere of the Sun; 5. A model of teaching astronomy to pre-service teachers; 6. How to teach, learn about, and enjoy astronomy; 7. Clickers: a new teaching tool of exceptional promise; 8. Educational opportunities in pro-am collaboration; 9. Teaching history of astronomy to second-year engineering students; 10. Teaching the evolution of stellar and Milky Way concepts through the ages; 11. Educational efforts of the International Astronomical Union; 12. Astronomy in culture; 13. Light pollution: a tool for astronomy education; 14. Astronomy by distance learning; 15. Edible astronomy demonstrations; 16. Amateur astronomers as public outreach partners; 17. Does the Sun rotate around Earth or Earth rotate around the Sun?; 18. Using sounds and sonifications for astronomy outreach; 19. Teaching astronomy and the crisis in science education; 20. Astronomy for all as part of a general education; Poster abstracts; Part II. Connecting Astronomy with the Public: Introduction; 21. A status report from the Division XII working group; 22. Outreach using media; 23. Astronomy podcasting; 24. IAU's communication strategy, hands-on science communication, and the communication of the planet definition discussion; 25. Getting a word in edgeways: the survival of discourse in audiovisual astronomy; 26. Critical evaluation of the new Hall of Astronomy; 27. Revitalizing astronomy teaching through research on student understanding; Poster abstracts; Part III. Effective Use of Instruction and Information Technology: Introduction; 28. ESO's astronomy education program; 29. U.S. student astronomy research and remote observing projects; 30. Global network of autonomous observatories dedicated to student research; 31. Remote telescopes in education: report of an Australian study; 32. Visualizing

  6. Interactive Materials In The Teaching Of Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Macêdo, J. A.; Voelzke, M. R.

    2014-10-01

    This study presents results of a survey conducted at the Federal Institution of Education, Science and Technology in the North of Minas Gerais (IFNMG), and aimed to investigate the potentialities of the use of interactive materials in the teaching of astronomy. An advanced training course with involved learning activities about basic concepts of astronomy was offered to thirty-two Licenciate students in Physics, Mathematics and Biological Science. The following steps were to be taken: i) analysis of the pedagogical projects (PPC) of the licenciates at the IFNMG, research locus of its Campus Januária; ii) analysis of students' preconceptions about astronomy and digital technologies, identified by the application of an initial questionnaire; iii) preparation of the course taking into account the students' previous knowledge; iv) application of the education proposal developed under part-time presence modality, using various interactive tools; v) application and analysis of the final questionnaire. The test was conducted with the qualitative and quantitative methodology, combined with a content analysis. The results indicated that in the IFNMG only the licenciate-course in physics includes astronomy content diluted in various subjects of the curriculum; the rates of students prior knowledge in relation to astronomy was low; an evidence of meaningful learning of the concepts related to astronomy, and of viability of resource use involving digital technologies in the Teaching of astronomy, which may contribute to the broadening of methodological options of future teachers and meet their training needs.

  7. The 2007 National Federation of the Blind Youth Slam: Making Astronomy Accessible to Students Who are Blind

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grice, Noreen A.

    2008-05-01

    In the summer of 2007, nearly two hundred blind and visually impaired high school students participated in a weeklong enrichment program at Johns Hopkins University called the National Federation of the Blind Youth Slam. They spent four days participating in hands-on science and engineering classes and exploring careers previously thought inaccessible to those without sight. The students were separated into "tracks” with each group focusing on a different field. Want to know what happened in the astronomy track? Come by this paper and see examples of accessible astronomy activities, including accessible star parties, from the Youth Slam!

  8. Teach Astronomy: An Online Resource for Introductory Astronomy Courses and Informal Learners

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Austin, Carmen; Impey, C. D.; Hardegree-Ullman, K.; Patikkal, A.; Ganesan, N.

    2013-01-01

    Teach Astronomy (www.teachastronomy.com) is a new, free online resource—a teaching tool for non-science major astronomy courses and a reference guide for lifelong learners interested in the subject. Digital content available includes: a comprehensive introductory astronomy textbook by Chris Impey, Wikipedia astronomy articles, images from Astronomy Picture of the Day archives and AstroPix database, two to three minute topical video clips by Chris Impey, podcasts from 365 Days of Astronomy archives, and an RSS feed of astronomy news from Science Daily. Teach Astronomy features an original technology called the Wikimap to cluster, display, and navigate site search results. Motivation behind the development of Teach Astronomy includes steep increases in textbook prices, the rapid adoption by students and the public of digital resources, and the modern capabilities of digital technology. Recent additions to Teach Astronomy include: AstroPix images—from some of the most advanced observatories and complete with metadata, mobile device functionality, links to WikiSky where users can see the location of astronomical objects in the sky, and end of chapter textbook review questions. Next in line for development are assignments for classroom use. We present suggestions for utilizing the rich content and features of the web site.

  9. The GalileoMobile Project: sharing astronomy with students and teachers around the world

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benitez Herrera, Sandra; Del Sordo, Fabio; Spinelli, Patricia; Ntormousi, Eva

    2015-08-01

    Astronomy is an inspiring tool that can be used to motivate children to learn more about the world, to encourage critical thinking, and engage them in different scientific disciplines. Although many outreach programs bring astronomy to the classroom, most of them act in developed countries and rely heavily on internet connection. This leaves pupils and teachers in remote areas with little access to the latest space missions and the modern astronomical advances. GalileoMobile is an itinerant astronomy education initiative aiming to bridge this gap by donating educational material and organizing activities, experiments and teacher workshops at schools in rural areas. The initiative is run on a voluntary basis by an international team of astronomers, educators, and science communicators, working together to stimulate curiosity and interest in learning, to exchange different visions of the cosmos and to inspire a feeling of unity "under the same sky" between people from different cultures. Since the creation of the project in 2008, we have travelled to Chile, Bolivia, Peru, India, Uganda, Brazil and Colombia, and worked with about 70 schools. From our experiences, we learnt that 1) bringing experts from other countries is very stimulating for children and encourages a collaboration beyond borders; 2) inquiry-based methods are important for making the learning process more effective; 3) involving local educators in our activities helps the longstanding continuation of the project. We are incorporating these lessons learned into a new concept of the project. Constellation 2015, aims to establish a South American network of schools committed to the long-term organisation of astronomical outreach activities amongst their pupils and local communities. Constellation was declared Cosmic Light Project by the International Year of Light 2015 and awarded funding by the OAD. At this Focus Meeting, we will present the outcomes from our latest expeditions in Brazil and Colombia in

  10. The Effects of Authentic Science Research on High School Students Engaged in an Independent Astronomy Program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martinson, Michael; Gutierrez, E.; Niedbalec, A.; Sprow, H.; Linahan, M.

    2013-01-01

    Four high school students were engaged in an independent research project searching for young stellar objects in Rho Ophiuchus (L1688). Students used the Spitzer Heritage Archive to obtain data under the guidance of their science teacher. The goal of this research project was to expose students to authentic scientific research, something that can rarely be recreated in the classroom. Compared to the linear path of the science classroom, this project allowed students to develop critical thinking skills which resulted in a deeper understanding of astronomy. Additionally, this project allowed for the spread of scientific research by making posters and giving scientific presentations. This program also exposed students to possible careers and future learning in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math. This work was based on observations made with the Spitzer Space Telescope, obtained from the NASA/ IPAC Infrared Science Archive, both of which are operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

  11. Diagnostic questionnaire of astronomy's basic concepts per integrated high school students

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Lima Barbosa, J. I.; Voelzke, M. R.

    2016-05-01

    Related themes to the study of astronomy permeates almost for all levels of education adopted in Brazil, however, this subject is not a specific discipline part of basic education curriculum, in other words, its contents are distributed in the subjects of Natural Sciences, Geography and Physics. This work presents a questionnaire diagnosis comprises a total of thirteen questions, which was applied to integrated high school students from four campuses of the Federal Institute of Alagoas - IFAL, and its purpose is to investigate the knowledge of these students astronomical basic concepts. The method used was survey and a total of 653 questionnaires were answered, 267 in the 1st year, 219 in 2nd year, and 167 in the 3rd year. This research is ongoing, however it can be initially noted that in ten questions the students of 1st year were below average (ie 50%), students of 2nd year fall short of this note in eight questions, and the students of the 3rd year, have not reached this note in five questions.

  12. Embracing the Wave: Using the Very Small Radio Telescope to Teach Students about Radio Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fish, Vincent L.; Needles, M. M.; Rogers, A. E. E.; Doherty, M.; Minnigh, S.; Arndt, M. B.; Pratap, P.

    2010-01-01

    The Very Small Radio Telescope (VSRT) is a low-cost educational tool appropriate for laboratory demonstrations of the nature of radio waves and the principles of interferometry for use in both high school and undergraduate physics/astronomy classes. The system consists of small direct broadcast antenna dishes and other commercially available parts and can be assembled for under $500. Complete teaching units have been developed and tested by high school physics teachers to demonstrate radio wave transmission and exponential absorption though materials (Beer's law), the polarization of electromagnetic waves (Malus' law), the inverse square law, and interferometry. These units can be used to explore the properties of electromagnetic waves, including similarities and differences between radio and visible light, while challenging students' misconceptions about a wavelength regime that is important to both astronomy and everyday life. In addition, the VSRT can be used as a radio astronomical interferometer to measure the diameter of the Sun at 12 GHz. Full details, including a parts list, comprehensive assembly instructions, informational memos, teaching units, software, and conformance to national and Massachusetts educational standards, are available on the web at http://www.haystack.mit.edu/edu/undergrad/VSRT/index.html . Development of the VSRT at MIT Haystack Observatory is made possible through funding provided by the National Science Foundation.

  13. Progress Report on the Student Astronomy Lab telescope at the University of Denver

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mellon, R. R.; Scheld, D. L.; Stencel, R. E.

    2004-05-01

    Integration and test activities associated with a new telescope for the Student Astronomy Laboratory (SAL) at the University of Denver are currently nearing completion on the main Denver campus. The 76.2-cm aperture SAL telescope incorporates novel design features, enabling it to operate as the first professional astronomical teaching and research telescope expressly designed to include use by wheelchair accommodated observers. The telescope is located 23-m above ground level on the fifth floor roof of the Space Sciences Laboratory building and is supported by a steel tower structure from the fourth floor support beams in the NW corner of the building. An afocal Mersenne optical configuration is used to send a collimated beam through the RA and DEC axes of the mounting, through a figure-4 mirror set, and thence vertically downward into a periscope, where condensing optics form an image plane accessible to visible band and IR detectors. A technical description of the telescope installation is provided, along with photographs illustrating key design features. Wheelchair-bound observers can enter the fourth floor lab and make use of an eye-level eyepiece when suitable periscope optics are installed. The SAL installation will be accessible to visitors by pre-arrangement with DU Observatories during the Denver AAS meeting [#204]. We are grateful to Glenn Montgpomery, Sarah Nelson and the estate of William Herschel Womble for their support of this University of Denver astronomy project.

  14. The National Astronomy Consortium: Lessons learned from a program to support underrepresented students in pursuing STEM careers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mills, Elisabeth A.; Sheth, Kartik; Giles, Faye; Strolger, Louis-Gregory; Brisbin, Drew; Boyd, Patricia T.; Benjamin, Robert A.; NAC Consortium

    2016-01-01

    The National Astronomy Consortium (NAC) is a program partnering physics and astronomy departments in majority and minority-serving institutions across the country. The primary aim of this program is to support traditionally underrepresented students interested in pursuing a career in STEM through a 9-10 week summer astronomy research project and a year of additional mentoring after they return to their home institution. Students are also given an opportunity to apply for a second year in this program, often at a different site. In addition to providing research and professional experience, the NAC also seeks to strengthen ties between the majority and minority-serving institutions in order to better serve these students throughout their careers. I will report on lessons learned from the second year of hosting a cohort at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Socorro, NM. I will discuss the program structure during and after the summer, mentoring challenges, and ways that these challenges were addressed, including organizing a series of guest speakers and connecting students with a broader community of remote mentors.

  15. Development and Calibration of a Concept Inventory to Measure Introductory College Astronomy and Physics Students' Understanding of Newtonian Gravity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Williamson, Kathryn Elizabeth

    2013-01-01

    The topic of Newtonian gravity offers a unique vantage point from which to investigate and encourage conceptual change because it is something with which everyone has daily experience, and because it is taught in two courses that reach a wide variety of students--introductory-level college astronomy ("Astro 101") and physics ("Phys…

  16. Student Produced Advanced Mathematical Software.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hogben, Leslie

    The intent of this project was to develop a course for mathematics graduate students at Iowa State University. They would design and write computer programs for use by undergraduate mathematics students, and then offer the course and actually produce the software. Phase plane graphics for ordinary differential equations was selected as the topic.…

  17. TAIGA the Tunka Advanced Instrument for cosmic ray physics and Gamma Astronomy — present status and perspectives.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Budnev, N. M.; Astapov, I. I.; Bogdanov, A. G.; Boreyko, V.; Büker, M.; Brückner, M.; Chiavassa, A.; Gafarov, A. V.; Chvalaev, O. B.; Gorbunov, N.; Grebenyuk, V.; Grinyuk, A.; Gress, O. A.; Gress, T.; Dyachok, A. N.; Epimakhov, S. N.; Horns, D.; Ivanova, A. L.; Karpov, N. I.; Kalmykov, N. N.; Kazarina, Y. A.; Kindin, V.; Kirichkov, N. V.; Kiryuhin, S. N.; Kokoulin, R. P.; Kompaniets, K. G.; Konstantinov, E. N.; Korobchenko, A. V.; Korosteleva, E. E.; Kozhin, V. A.; Kunnas, M.; Kuzmichev, L. A.; Lenok, V. V.; Lubsandorzhiev, B. K.; Lubsandorzhiev, N. B.; Mirgazov, R. R.; Mirzoyan, R.; Monkhoev, R. D.; Nachtigall, R.; Pakhorukov, A. L.; Panasyuk, M. I.; Pankov, L. V.; Poleschuk, V. A.; Popova, E. G.; Porelli, A.; Prosin, V. V.; Ptuskin, V. S.; Petrukhin, A. A.; Rubtsov, G. I.; Rueger, M.; Samoliga, V. S.; Satunin, P. S.; Savinov, V. Yu; Semeney, Yu A.; Shaibonov, B. A., Jr.; Silaev, A. A.; Silaev, A. A., Jr.; Skurikhin, A. V.; Slunecka, M.; Spiering, C.; Sveshnikova, L. G.; Tkachenko, A.; Tkachev, L.; Tluczykont, M.; Wischnewski, R.; Yashin, I. I.; Zagorodnikov, A. V.; Zurbanov, V. L.

    2014-09-01

    TAIGA stands for ``Tunka Advanced Instrument for cosmic ray physics and Gamma Astronomy'' and is a project to built a complex, hybrid detector system for ground-based gamma-ray astronomy from a few TeV to several PeV, and for cosmic ray studies from 100 TeV to 1 EeV. TAIGA will search for ``PeVatrons'' (ultra-high energy gamma-ray sources) and measure the composition and spectrum of cosmic rays in the knee region (100 TeV-10 PeV) with good energy resolution and high statistics. TAIGA will include Tunka-HiSCORE — an array of wide-angle air Cherenkov stations, an array of Imaging Atmospheric Cherenkov Telescopes, an array of particle detectors, both on the surface and underground and the TUNKA-133 air Cherenkov array.

  18. High-Altitude Balloon Launches and Hands-On Sensors for Effective Student Learning in Astronomy and STEM

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Voss, H. D.; Dailey, J.; Snyder, S. J.

    2011-09-01

    Students creating and flying experiments into near-space using a low-cost balloon High-Altitude Research Platform (HARP) greatly advance understanding in introductory astronomy and advanced classes across several disciplines. Remote sensing above 98% of the atmosphere using cameras, image intensifiers, IR, and UV sensors provides access to the heavens and large regions of the earth below. In situ and limb atmospheric gas measurements, near-space stratosphere measurements, and cosmic rays engage students in areas from planetary atmospheres to supernova acceleration. This new capability is possible by exposing students to recent advances in MEMS technology, nanotechnology, wireless telecommunication systems, GPS, DSPs and other microchip miniaturizations to build less than 4 kg payloads. The HARP program provides an engaging laboratory, gives challenging science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) field experiences, reaches students from diverse backgrounds, encourages collaboration among science faculty, and provides quantitative assessment of the learning outcomes. Over a seven-year period, Taylor University, an undergraduate liberal arts school, has successfully launched over 230 HARP systems to altitudes over 30 km (100% retrieval success with rapid recovery) with flight times between two and six hours. The HARP payloads included two GPS tracking systems, cameras and monitors, a 110 kbit down link, an uplink command capability for educational experiments (K-12 and undergraduate). Launches were conducted during the day and night, with multiple balloons, with up to 10 payloads for experiments, and under varying weather and upper atmospheric conditions. The many launches in a short period of time allowed the payload bus design to evolve toward increased performance, reliability, standardization, simplicity, and modularity for low-cost launch services. Through NSF and NASA grants, the program has expanded, leading to representatives from more than 52

  19. A Review of High School Level Astronomy Student Research Projects Over the Last Two Decades

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fitzgerald, M. T.; Hollow, R.; Rebull, L. M.; Danaia, L.; McKinnon, D. H.

    2014-09-01

    Since the early 1990s with the arrival of a variety of new technologies, the capacity for authentic astronomical research at the high school level has skyrocketed. This potential, however, has not realised the bright-eyed hopes and dreams of the early pioneers who expected to revolutionise science education through the use of telescopes and other astronomical instrumentation in the classroom. In this paper, a general history and analysis of these attempts is presented. We define what we classify as an Astronomy Research in the Classroom (ARiC) project and note the major dimensions on which these projects differ before describing the 22 major student research projects active since the early 1990s. This is followed by a discussion of the major issues identified that affected the success of these projects and provide suggestions for similar attempts in the future.

  20. A National Study Assessing the Teaching and Learning of Introductory Astronomy; Part II: Analysis of Student Demographics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prather, E. E.; Consiglio, D.; Rudolph, A. L.; Brissenden, G.

    2011-09-01

    This is the second in a series of reports on a national study of the teaching and learning of astronomy in general education, non-science major, introductory astronomy courses (Astro 101). We report here on the analysis of how individual student characteristics affect student learning in these classes, and whether the demonstrated positive effect of interactive learning strategies on student learning differs based on these characteristics. This analysis was conducted using data from nearly 2000 students enrolled in 69 Astro 101 classes taught across the country. These students completed a 15-question demographic survey, in addition to completing the 26-question Light and Spectroscopy Concept Inventory (LSCI) pre- and post-instruction. The LSCI was used to determine student learning via a normalized gain calculated for each student. A multivariate regression analysis was conducted to determine how ascribed characteristics (personal demographic and family characteristics), obtained characteristics (academic achievement and student major), and the use of interactive learning strategies predict student learning in these classes. The results show dramatic improvement in student learning with increased use of interactive learning strategies even after controlling for individual characteristics. In addition, we find that the positive effects of interactive learning strategies are the same for strong and weak students, men and women, across ethnicities, and regardless of primary language. The research strongly suggests all students benefit from interactive learning strategies.

  1. Minoan Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blomberg, Mary; Henriksson, Göran

    Of the three great cultures of the ancient eastern Mediterranean — the Babylonian, Egyptian, and Minoan — we have considerable knowledge of the astronomy of the first two through their documents (see relevant sections of this Handbook). Very little written material, however, has survived from Minoan Crete, but the evidence of other impressive archaeological discoveries implies that the inhabitants were on a par with their neighbors and had made similar advances in astronomy. In lieu of written sources, we have used the methods of archaeoastronomy to recover as much as possible about Minoan astronomy. In short, these are measuring the orientations of walls and their opposite horizons at a representative selection of monuments, analyzing the measurements statistically, and comparing the results with digital reconstruction of the positions of significant celestial bodies for the time when the walls were built.

  2. A National Study Assessing the Teaching and Learning of Introductory Astronomy Part II: Analysis of Student Demographics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rudolph, Alexander; Prather, E. E.; Brissenden, G.; Consiglio, D.; Gonzaga, V.

    2010-01-01

    This is the second in a series of reports on a national study of the teaching and learning of astronomy in general education, non-science major, introductory college astronomy courses (Astro 101). The results show dramatic improvement in student learning with increased use of interactive learning strategies even after controlling for individual student characteristics. In addition, we find that the positive effects of interactive learning strategies apply equally to men and women, across ethnicities, for students with all levels of prior mathematical preparation and physical science course experience, independent of GPA, and regardless of primary language. These results powerfully illustrate that all categories of students can benefit from the effective implementation of interactive learning strategies.

  3. Elements of a Professional Development Seminar for First-Year Astronomy Graduate Students

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dinerstein, H. L.

    1999-12-01

    Students entering the astronomy Ph.D. program at the University of Texas at Austin take a seminar course which is designed to serve as an introduction and orientation both to the program and the department, and also to astronomy as a profession and a career. This seminar meets one hour per week, and has been taught in approximately the same format annually since 1994. While details of the syllabus vary from year to year, about half the sessions are devoted to information specific to our program, such as overviews of the research activities and facilities of the department and McDonald Observatory. The rest of the sessions address broader issues. They include discussions and (sometimes practice) of essential skills such as giving oral presentations, writing and peer-review of journal articles and proposals, and norms and practices of the profession. Another major focus, usually occupying three or four class sessions, is the current job market, prospects for employment, and various career paths for astronomers. National employment statistics are reviewed, as well as the employment experiences of recent graduates of our own program (Dinerstein 1996, BAAS, 28, 1277). Astronomers at various stages of their careers, and in various professional tracks, come and talk about their experiences; these guests include current post-doctoral fellows associated with the department, astronomers who have spent most of their careers on grant support (``soft money'' track) or in observatory support positions, and individuals with experience teaching at small or community colleges. The purpose of this seminar course is to ensure that graduate students become aware of their options early in their graduate careers, in order to avoid unrealistic expectations followed by unpleasant surprises later on, and to help them plan an optimum strategy for their own professional development. I also discuss how this course, originally tailored for one department, could be modified and adapted to other

  4. TeachAstronomy.com - Digitizing Astronomy Resources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hardegree-Ullman, Kevin; Impey, C. D.; Austin, C.; Patikkal, A.; Paul, M.; Ganesan, N.

    2013-06-01

    Teach Astronomy—a new, free online resource—can be used as a teaching tool in non-science major introductory college level astronomy courses, and as a reference guide for casual learners and hobbyists. Digital content available on Teach Astronomy includes: a comprehensive introductory astronomy textbook by Chris Impey, Wikipedia astronomy articles, images from Astronomy Picture of the Day archives and (new) AstroPix database, two to three minute topical video clips by Chris Impey, podcasts from 365 Days of Astronomy archives, and an RSS feed of astronomy news from Science Daily. Teach Astronomy features an original technology called the Wikimap to cluster, display, and navigate site search results. Development of Teach Astronomy was motivated by steep increases in textbook prices, the rapid adoption of digital resources by students and the public, and the modern capabilities of digital technology. This past spring semester Teach Astronomy was used as content supplement to lectures in a massive, open, online course (MOOC) taught by Chris Impey. Usage of Teach Astronomy has been steadily growing since its initial release in August of 2012. The site has users in all corners of the country and is being used as a primary teaching tool in at least four states.

  5. An inventory of student recollections of their past misconceptions as a tool for improved classroom astronomy instruction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Favia, Andrej

    My Ph.D. research is about examining the persistence of 215 common misconceptions in astronomy. Each misconception is based on an often commonly-held incorrect belief by college students taking introductory astronomy. At the University of Maine, the course is taught in alternating semesters by Prof. Neil F. Comins and Prof. David J. Batuski. In this dissertation, I examine the persistence of common astronomy misconceptions by the administration of a retrospective survey. The survey is a new instrument in that it permits the student to indicate either endorsement or rejection of each misconception at various stages in the student's life. I analyze data from a total of 639 students over six semesters. I compare the survey data to the results of exams taken by the students and additional instruments that assess students' misconceptions prior to instruction. I show that the consistency of the students' recollection of their own misconceptions is on par with the consistency of responses between prelims and the final exam. I also find that students who report higher increased childhood interest in astronomy are more likely to have accurate recalls of their own past recollections. I then discuss the use of principal components analysis as a technique for describing the extent to which misconceptions are correlated with each other. The analysis yields logical groupings of subtopics from which to teach. I then present a brief overview of item response theory, the methodology of which calculates relative difficulties of the items. My analysis reveals orders to teach the associated topics in ways that are most effective at dispelling misconceptions during instruction. I also find that the best order to teach the associated concepts is often different for high school and college level courses.

  6. Using graphical and pictorial representations to teach introductory astronomy students about the detection of extrasolar planets via gravitational microlensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wallace, Colin S.; Chambers, Timothy G.; Prather, Edward E.; Brissenden, Gina

    2016-05-01

    The detection and study of extrasolar planets is an exciting and thriving field in modern astrophysics and an increasingly popular topic in introductory astronomy courses. One detection method relies on searching for stars whose light has been gravitationally microlensed by an extrasolar planet. In order to facilitate instructors' abilities to bring this interesting mix of general relativity and extrasolar planet detection into the introductory astronomy classroom, we have developed a new Lecture-Tutorial called "Detecting Exoplanets with Gravitational Microlensing." In this paper, we describe how this new Lecture-Tutorial's representations of astrophysical phenomena, which we selected and created based on theoretically motivated considerations of their pedagogical affordances, are used to help introductory astronomy students develop more expert-like reasoning abilities.

  7. Introducing Interactive Teaching Styles into Astronomy Lectures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deming, G. L.

    1997-12-01

    The majority of undergraduate students who take an astronomy class are non-science majors attempting to satisfy a science requirement. Often in these "scientific literacy" courses, facts are memorized for the exam and forgotten shortly afterwards. Scientific literacy courses should advance student skills toward processing information and applying higher order thinking rather than simple recall and memorization of facts. Thinking about material as it is presented, applying new knowledge to solve problems, and thinking critically about topics are objectives that many astronomy instructors hope their students are achieving. A course in astronomy is more likely to achieve such goals if students routinely participate in their learning. Interactive techniques can be quite effective even in large classes. Examples of activities are presented that involve using cooperative learning techniques, writing individual and group "minute papers," identifying and correcting misconceptions, including the whole class in a demonstration, and applying knowledge to new situations.

  8. Astronomy education through interactive materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Voelzke, Marcos Rincon; Antunes de Macêdo, Josué

    2015-08-01

    This study presents results of a survey conducted at the Federal Institution of Education, Science and Technology in the North of Minas Gerais (IFNMG), and aimed to investigate the potentialities of the use of interactive materials in the teaching of astronomy. An advanced training course with involved learning activities about basic concepts of astronomy was offered to thirty-two Licenciate students in Physics, Mathematics and Biological Sciences, using the mixed methodology, combined with the three pedagogical moments. Among other aspects, the viability of the use of resources was noticed, involving digital technologies and interactive materials on teaching of astronomy, which may contribute to the broadening of methodological options for future teachers and meet their training needs.

  9. Exploring Metacogntive Visual Literacy Tasks for Teaching Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Slater, Timothy F.; Slater, S.; Dwyer, W.

    2010-01-01

    Undoubtedly, astronomy is a scientific enterprise which often results in colorful and inspirational images of the cosmos that naturally capture our attention. Students encountering astronomy in the college classroom are often bombarded with images, movies, simulations, conceptual cartoons, graphs, and charts intended to convey the substance and technological advancement inherent in astronomy. For students who self-identify themselves as visual learners, this aspect can make the science of astronomy come alive. For students who naturally attend to visual aesthetics, this aspect can make astronomy seem relevant. In other words, the visual nature that accompanies much of the scientific realm of astronomy has the ability to connect a wide range of students to science, not just those few who have great abilities and inclinations toward the mathematical analysis world. Indeed, this is fortunate for teachers of astronomy, who actively try to find ways to connect and build astronomical understanding with a broad range of student interests, motivations, and abilities. In the context of learning science, metacognition describes students’ self-monitoring, -regulation, and -awareness when thinking about learning. As such, metacognition is one of the foundational pillars supporting what we know about how people learn. Yet, the astronomy teaching and learning community knows very little about how to operationalize and support students’ metacognition in the classroom. In response, the Conceptual Astronomy, Physics and Earth sciences Research (CAPER) Team is developing and pilot-testing metacogntive tasks in the context of astronomy that focus on visual literacy of astronomical phenomena. In the initial versions, students are presented with a scientifically inaccurate narrative supposedly describing visual information, including images and graphical information, and asked to assess and correct the narrative, in the form of peer evaluation. To guide student thinking, students

  10. 'The Relation of Biology to Astronomy' and Theology: Panspermia and Panentheism; Revolutionary Convergences Advanced by Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walker, Theodore, Jr.

    2012-06-01

    In contrast to the Copernican revolution in astro-geometry, the Hoyle-Wickramasinghe contribution to the recent and continuing revolution in astrobiology - "cometary panspermia" - features astronomy and biology converging toward theology. They employed astro-biotic reasoning (often labeled "anthropic" reasoning) to demonstrate that life is made possible by the deliberate controlling influence of the living all-embracing "intelligent universe." This is consistent with panentheism [pan-en-theos-ism, not pantheism]. As advanced by Hoyle and Wickramasinghe, cometary panspermia is panentheistic. Also, neoclassical panentheism requires generic panspermia, and favors cometary panspermia.

  11. RU SciTech: Weaving Astronomy and Physics into a University-sponsored Summer Camp for Middle School Students

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hart, Quyen N.

    2015-01-01

    We present a successful model for organizing a small University-sponsored summer camp that integrates astronomy and physics content with other science disciplines and computer programming content. The aim of our science and technology camp is to engage middle school students in a wide array of critical thinking tasks and hands-on activities centered on science and technology. Additionally, our program seeks to increase and maintain STEM interest among children, particularly in under-represented populations (e.g., Hispanic, African-American, women, and lower socioeconomic individuals) with hopes of decreasing disparities in diversity across many STEM fields.During this four-day camp, organized and facilitated by faculty volunteers, activities rotated through many STEM modules, including optics, telescopes, circuit building, computer hardware, and programming. Specifically, we scaffold camp activities to build upon similar ideas and content if possible. Using knowledge and skills gained through the AAS Astronomy Ambassadors program, we were able to integrate several astronomy activities into the camp, leading students through engaging activities, and conduct educational research. We present best practices on piloting a similar program in a university environment, our efforts to connect the learning outcomes common across all the modules, specifically in astronomy and physics, outline future camp activities, and the survey results on the impact of camp activities on attitudes toward science, technology, and science careers.

  12. Astronomy Allies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flewelling, Heather; Alatalo, Katherine A.

    2016-01-01

    Imagine you are a grad student, at your first conference, and a prominent senior scientist shows interest in your work, and he makes things get way too personal? What would you do? Would you report it? Or would you decide, after a few other instances of harassment, that maybe you shouldn't pursue astronomy? Harassment is under-reported, the policies can be difficult to understand or hard to find, and it can be very intimidating as a young scientist to report it to the proper individuals. The Astronomy Allies Program is designed to help you with these sorts of problems. We are a group of volunteers that will help by doing the following: provide safe walks home during the conference, someone to talk to confidentially, as an intervener, as a resource to report harassment. The Allies are a diverse group of scientists committed to acting as mentors, advocates, and liaisons. The Winter 2015 AAS meeting was the first meeting that had Astronomy Allies, and Astronomy Allies provided a website for information, as well as a twitter, email, and phone number for anyone who needs our help or would like more information. We posted about the Astronomy Allies on the Women In Astronomy blog, and this program resonates with many people: either they want to help, or they have experienced harassment in the past and don't want to see it in the future. Harassment may not happen to most conference participants, but it's wrong, it's against the AAS anti-harassment policy ( http://aas.org/policies/anti-harassment-policy ), it can be very damaging, and if it happens to even one person, that is unacceptable. We intend to improve the culture at conferences to make it so that harassers feel they can't get away with their unprofessional behavior.

  13. Astronomy Allies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flewelling, Heather; Alatalo, Katherine

    2015-08-01

    Imagine you are a grad student, at your first conference, and a prominent senior scientist shows interest in your work, and he makes things get way too personal? What would you do? Would you report it? Or would you decide, after a few other instances of harassment, that maybe you shouldn't pursue astronomy? Harassment is under-reported, the policies can be difficult to understand or hard to find, and it can be very intimidating as a young scientist to report it to the proper individuals. The Astronomy Allies Program is designed to help you with these sorts of problems. We are a group of volunteers that will help by doing the following: provide safe walks home during the conference, someone to talk to confidentially, as an intervener, as a resource to report harassment. The Allies are a diverse group of scientists committed to acting as mentors, advocates, and liaisons. The Winter 2015 AAS meeting was the first meeting that had Astronomy Allies, and Astronomy Allies provided a website for information, as well as a twitter, email, and phone number for anyone who needs our help or would like more information. We posted about the Astronomy Allies on the Women In Astronomy blog, and this program resonates with many people: either they want to help, or they have experienced harassment in the past and don't want to see it in the future. Harassment may not happen to most conference participants, but it's wrong, it's against the AAS anti-harassment policy ( http://aas.org/policies/anti-harassment-policy ), it can be very damaging, and if it happens to even one person, that is unacceptable. We intend to improve the culture at conferences to make it so that harassers feel they can't get away with their unprofessional behavior.

  14. Bringing the Cosmos Down to Earth: Assessing Student Learning in a Non-major Online Astronomy Course

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Larsen, K.

    2011-09-01

    While there has been much attention paid to improving astronomy courses for non-science majors in the past decade, a fundamental question remains: How do we know that they are in fact learning in these courses? Online courses provide a fresh vehicle for testing new approaches to assessing student learning, especially assignments which focus on the higher levels of Bloom's taxonomy. Coupling this with assignments which engage the students with the material by making it relevant to their own lives leads to new methodologies for assessing student learning.

  15. Astronomy Software

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1995-01-01

    Software Bisque's TheSky, SkyPro and Remote Astronomy Software incorporate technology developed for the Hubble Space Telescope. TheSky and SkyPro work together to orchestrate locating, identifying and acquiring images of deep sky objects. With all three systems, the user can directly control computer-driven telescopes and charge coupled device (CCD) cameras through serial ports. Through the systems, astronomers and students can remotely operate a telescope at the Mount Wilson Observatory Institute.

  16. Advanced Placement Economics. Macroeconomics: Student Activities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Morton, John S.

    This book is designed to help advanced placement students better understand macroeconomic concepts through various activities. The book contains 6 units with 64 activities, sample multiple-choice questions, sample short essay questions, and sample long essay questions. The units are entitled: (1) "Basic Economic Concepts"; (2) "Measuring Economic…

  17. Advanced Placement Economics. Microeconomics: Student Activities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Morton, John S.

    This book is designed to help advanced placement students better understand microeconomic concepts through various activities. The book contains 5 units with 73 activities, sample multiple-choice questions, sample short essay questions, and sample long essay questions. The units are entitled: (1) "The Basic Economic Problem"; (2) "The Nature and…

  18. The Research Paper for Advanced ESL Students.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Campbell, Donald; And Others

    A strategy for including writing of a research paper in a university's advanced intensive English course for students of English as a second language is described. The method consists of eight assignments given over the course of 11 weeks, resulting in a short research paper. The method is designed to minimize error by dealing with specific…

  19. HALCA (Highly Advanced Laboratory for Communications and Astronomy/Muses-B)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

    Japanese-US radio astronomy observatory, the first very long baseline interferometry satellite. Launched in February 1997 into a highly elliptical (1000×10 000 km) Earth orbit. Equipped with an 8 m antenna operating at frequencies near 1.6, 4.8 and 22 GHz. Returned high resolution images of quasars and distant active galaxies. An alternative name is Haruka, the Japanese pronunciation of the HALCA ...

  20. Development and calibration of a concept inventory to measure introductory college astronomy and physics students' understanding of Newtonian gravity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williamson, Kathryn Elizabeth

    The topic of Newtonian gravity offers a unique vantage point from which to investigate and encourage conceptual change because it is something with which everyone has daily experience, and because it is taught in two courses that reach a wide variety of students - introductory-level college astronomy ("Astro 101") and physics ("Phys 101"). Informed by the constructivist theory of learning, this study characterizes and measures Astro 101 and Phys 101 students' understanding of Newtonian gravity within four conceptual domains - Directionality, Force Law, Independence of Other Forces, and Threshold. A phenomenographic analysis of Astro 101 student-supplied responses to open-ended questions about gravity results in the characterization of students' alternative mental models and misapplications of the scientific model. These student difficulties inform the development of a multiple-choice assessment instrument, the Newtonian Gravity Concept Inventory (NGCI). Classical Test Theory (CTT) statistics, student interviews, and expert review show that the NGCI is a reliable and valid tool for assessing both Astro 101 and Phys 101 students' understanding of gravity. Furthermore, the NGCI can provide extensive and robust information about differences between Astro 101 and Phys 101 students and curricula. Comparing and contrasting the Astro 101 and Phys 101 CTT values and student response patterns shows qualitative differences in each of the four conceptual domains. Additionally, performing an Item Response Theory (IRT) analysis of NGCI student response data calibrates item parameters for all Astro 101 and Phys 101 courses and provides Newtonian gravity ability estimates for each student. Physics students show significantly higher pre-instruction and post-instruction IRT abilities than astronomy students, but they show approximately equal gains. To investigate the differential effect of Astro 101 compared to Phys 101 curricula on students' overall post-instruction Newtonian

  1. Astronomy in the streets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kebe, Fatoumata

    2015-08-01

    The Ephemerides Association was founded last year by a PhD student in Astronomy. The association is devoted to the promotion and advancement of knowledge of the universe through research and education.The main activities of the association are scientific meetings, the planning and realization of scientific projects, the support of the scientific activities of its members, and the dissemination of related information among members and other interested persons.The association targets the disadvantaged zones of the Paris suburbs.The main issue was how to bring astronomy in those places. In the suburbs, since most of the youth are poor, most leisure activities like cinema are out of your reach. Thus, mostly of them will play football or basketball outside.We decided to go to meet young people who find themselves together in the evening. We prepare the telescope as well as the fasicules to start the observation of the planets. The discussion finally lead to their career plans and aspirations. Astronomy has become a tool to address societal issues. We present our results after one year of activity.

  2. Learning Astronomy by Doing Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Percy, J. R.

    2006-08-01

    In the modern science curriculum, students should learn science knowledge or "facts"; they should develop science skills, strategies, and habits of mind; they should understand the applications of science to technology, society, and the environment; and they should cultivate appropriate attitudes toward science. While science knowledge may be taught through traditional lecture-and-textbook methods, theories of learning (and extensive experience) show that other aspects of the curriculum are best taught by doing science -- not just hands-on activities, but "minds-on" engagement. That means more than the usual "cookbook" activities in which students use a predetermined procedure to achieve a predetermined result. The activities should be "authentic"; they should mirror the actual scientific process. In this presentation, I will describe several ways to include science processes within astronomy courses at the middle school, high school, and introductory university level. Among other things, I will discuss: topics that reflect cultural diversity and "the nature of science"; strategies for developing science process skills through projects and other practical work; activities based on those developed and carried out by amateur astronomers; topics and activities suitable for technical-level courses (we refer to them as "applied" in my province); projects for astronomy clubs and science fairs; and topics that expose students to astronomy research within lecture courses.

  3. Astronomy stories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berenson, Rhoda

    2015-03-01

    For many years I have taught physics and astronomy courses to liberal arts students. I have found most of my students to be intelligent and diligent, but not anxious to study science. They typically take the class only because their degree requires a science course. Many arrive having already decided they will not be able to do the math or understand the scientific concepts, and have essentially built a wall between themselves and science. In the 1990s, in an effort to help break down that wall, as part of an NSF-supported course, "The Evolution of the Universe, Earth and Life," I began using creative writing assignments.

  4. The impact of authentic science inquiry experiences studying variable stars on high school students' knowledge and attitudes about science and astronomy and beliefs regarding the nature of science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richwine, Pebble Lea

    The purpose of this concurrent mixed methods study was to investigate the impact on high school students' knowledge and attitudes regarding astronomy and beliefs about the nature of science after participating in an extended authentic, inquiry-oriented, research experience studying variable stars using a specifically designed curriculum guide "In the Hunt for Variable Stars." The study gathered quantitative data using a pretest posttest strategy on a modified form of an existing questionnaire called Students Attitudes Toward Astronomy and four student-supplied response content surveys. Qualitative methods included analysis of researcher's field notes, naturalistic observations, formal interviews, and students' artifacts. The methods and results of this study provided important baseline information to measure cognitive and affective changes resulting from an authentic scientific research experience for high school students. Ninety students participated in a targeted instructional sequence and their attitudes and knowledge were compared to 50 students in a comparable science course who were not provided an authentic research experience. The results obtained in this study strongly suggest that participation in research is successful at significantly increasing content knowledge. All four content surveys showed statistically significant increases for students in the intervention group as compared to the students in the non-intervention group. Qualitative results demonstrated that both groups of students initially held naive ideas about science and astronomy. After participation in the intervention, the most dramatic changes were observed in students' understanding of astronomy content. No substantial change was seen in students' attitudes toward Astronomy and science but there is evidence of some limited impacts on beliefs regarding the nature of science. In combination, the data resulting from this mixed-method study lend considerable weight to claim in contemporary

  5. Astronomy 101 in Washington State High Schools

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lutz, Julie H.; Garner, S.; Stetter, T.; McKeever, J.; Santo Pietro, V.

    2011-01-01

    The University of Washington in the High School (UWHS) program enables high schools to offer the 5 quarter credits Astronomy 101 (Astr 101) course for college credits. The credits are transferable to most colleges and universities. The course provides an alternative to advance placement courses and programs such as Washington's Running Start whereby high school students take courses at community colleges. Astr 101 focuses on stars, galaxies and the universe, as well as background topics such as gravitation, electromagnetic radiation and telescopes. The course satisfies the UW "natural world” and "quantitative/symbolic reasoning” distribution requirements. Students must pay a fee to enroll, but the credits cost less than half what they would cost for the course if taken on one of the UW campuses. The course can be offered as either one semester or full-year at the high school. Teachers who offer Astr 101 must be approved in advance by the UW Astronomy Department, and their syllabi and course materials approved also. Teachers receive orientation, professional development opportunities, classroom visits and support (special web site, answering questions, making arrangements for campus visits, planetarium visits) from astronomy department course coordinator. The UWHS Astr 101 program has produced positive outcomes for the astronomy department, the participating teachers and the students who complete the course. In this poster we will discuss our 5 years of experience with offering Astr 101, including benefits to the students, teachers, high schools, university and department, student outcomes, course assessments and resources for offering the course.

  6. Infrared Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mampaso, A.; Prieto, M.; Sánchez, F.

    2004-01-01

    What do we understand of the birth and death of stars? What is the nature of the tiny dust grains that permeate our Galaxy and other galaxies? And how likely is the existence of brown dwarfs, extrasolar planets or other sub-stellar mass objects? These are just a few of the questions that can now be addressed in a new era of infrared observations. IR astronomy has been revolutionised over the past few years by the widespread availability of large, very sensitive IR arrays and the success of IR satellites (IRAS in particular). Several IR space missions due for launch over the next few years promise an exciting future too. For these reasons, the IV Canary Islands Winter School of Astrophysics was dedicated to this burgeoning field. Its primary goal was to introduce graduate students and researchers from other areas to the important new observations and physical ideas that are emerging in this wide-ranging field of research. Lectures from nine leading researchers, renowned for their teaching abilities, are gathered in this volume. These nine chapters provide an excellent introduction as well as a thorough and up-to-date review of developments - essential reading for graduate students entering IR astronomy, and professionals from other areas who realise the importance that IR astronomy may have on their research.

  7. Teaching Astronomy with Technology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Austin, Carmen; Impey, Chris David; Wenger, Matthew

    2015-01-01

    Students today are expected to have access to computers and the Internet. Students young and old, in school and out of school, are interested in learning about astronomy, and have computers to use for this. Teach Astronomy is a website with a comprehensive digital astronomy textbook freely available to students and educators. In addition to the textbook, there are astronomy Wikipedia articles, image archives from Astronomy Picture of the Day and AstroPix, and video lectures covering all topics of astronomy. Teach Astronomy has a unique search tool called the wikimap that can be used to search through all of the resources on the site. Astronomy: State of the Art (ASOTA) is a massive, open, online course (MOOC). Over 18,000 students have enrolled over the past year and half. This MOOC has been presented in various forms. First, only to students on the web, with content released weekly on host site Udemy. Then to university students who met formally in the classroom for educational activities, but were also expected to watch lectures online on their own time. Presently, it is available online for students to go at their own pace. In the future it will be available in an extended format on a new host site, Coursera. ASOTA instructors use social media to interact with students. Students ask questions via the course host site, Udemy. Live question and answer sessions are conducted using Google Hangouts on Air, and interesting and relevant astronomy news, or supplementary educational content is shared via the ASOTA Facebook page. Teaching on the Internet may seem impersonal and impractical, but by learning to use all of these tools, instructors have the ability to interact with students, and keep them engaged.

  8. Astronomy in the City for Astronomy Education

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ros, Rosa Maria; García, Beatriz

    2015-08-01

    Astronomy is part of our culture. Astronomy cannot be isolated in a classroom, it has to be integrated in the normal life of teachers and students. “Astronomy in the city” is an important part of NASE (Network for Astronomy School Education). In each NASE course we introduce a “working group session” chaired by a local expert in cultural astronomy. The chair introduces several examples of astronomy in their city and after that, the participants have the opportunity to discuss and mention several similar examples. After this session all participants visit one or two sites proposed and introduced by the chair.After more than 5 years using this method we visited and discovered several examples of astronomy in the city:• Astronomy in ancient typical cloths• Archeological temples oriented according the Sun rise or set.• Petroglyphs with astronomical meaning.• Astronomy in monuments.• Sundials.• Oriented Colonial churches• Astronomy in SouvenirsIn any case, teachers and students discover that Astronomy is part of their everyday life. They can take into account the Sun's path when they park their car or when they take a bus "what is the best part in order to be seat in the shadow during the journey?" The result is motivation to go with “open eyes” when they are in the street and they try to get more and more information about their surroundings.The most significant characteristic of NASE is that the ”Local NASE Working Group” (LWG) in each country continues with astronomy activities using our materials and new materials created by them. These LWG are integrated by 6 to 8 teachers and professors that participated actively in NASE courses. They maintains alive the program and increases the number of students which can learn through our didactical proposal. There are more than 25 LWG that teach and organize activities on astronomy (education and/or communication) in about 20 countries.In summary, one of the main activities is to introduce local

  9. TOPS and Beyond: Training Master Teachers to Mentor Student Astronomy Projects Using the Faulkes Telescope-North

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bedient, J.; Meech, K. J.; Kadooka, M. A.; Mattei, J. A.; Hamai, J.; Hemphill, R.; Hu, S.

    2003-05-01

    2003 was the fifth and final year of the NSF-funded ``Towards Other Planetary Systems'' (TOPS) secondary school teacher training program conducted by the Institute for Astronomy in Hawai'i. While previous years concentrated on basic astronomy skills, cultural astronomy and astrobiology, TOPS 2003 focused on training master teachers and prior TOPS participants in the requisite skills to mentor student projects using the Faulkes Telescope-North (FTN), a 2-meter telescope under construction at the Haleakala High Altitude Observatory. The FTN and a twin in Australia will be the world's largest telescopes dedicated solely to education. This poster presentation describes the teacher's experiences with several prototype astrobiology projects suitable for a 2-meter-class telescope, including monitoring variable stars in star-forming regions, detecting extrasolar planet transits, and observing objects in the Kuiper Belt. Plans for partnering teachers with amateur astronomers proficient in observational techniques are also discussed; the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO) is a likely reservoir of such individuals. The recent selection of a University of Hawai'i group led by the TOPS Director as a NASA Astrobiology Institute Lead Team will provide a framework for development of teacher-student-amateur astronomer teams advised by professional astronomers and conducting astrobiology research. This work was supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation, ESI-9731083, and through University of Maryland and University of Hawaii subcontract Z667702, which was awarded under prime contract NASW-00004 from NASA.

  10. Learning to Work with Databases in Astronomy: Quantitative Analysis of Science Educators' and Students' Pre-/Post-Tests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwortz, Andria C.; Burrows, Andrea C.; Myers, Adam D.

    2015-01-01

    Astronomy is increasingly moving towards working with large databases, from the state-of-the-art Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 10, to the historical Digital Access to a Sky Century at Harvard. Non-astronomy fields as well tend to work with large datasets, be it in the form of warehouse inventory, health trends, or the stock market. However very few fields explicitly teach students the necessary skills to analyze such data. The authors studied a matched set of 37 participants working with 200-entry databases in astronomy using Google Spreadsheets, with limited information about a random set of quasars drawn from SDSS DR5. Here the authors present the quantitative results from an eight question pre-/post-test, with questions designed to span Bloom's taxonomy, on both the topics of the skills of using spreadsheets, and the content of quasars. Participants included both Astro 101 summer students and professionals including in-service K-12 teachers and science communicators. All groups showed statistically significant gains (as per Hake, 1998), with the greatest difference between women's gains of 0.196 and men's of 0.480.

  11. Advancing Variable Star Astronomy: The Centennial History of the American Association of Variable Star Observers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, Thomas R.; Saladyga, Michael

    2011-05-01

    Preface; Part I. Pioneers in Variable Star Astronomy Prior to 1909: 1. The emergence of variable star astronomy - a need for observations; 2. A need for observers; Part II. The Founding of the AAVSO - The William Tyler Olcott Era: 3. The amateur's amateur; 4. Amateurs in the service of science; Part III. The Leon Campbell Era: 5. Leon Campbell to the rescue; 6. Formalizing relationships; 7. The Pickering Memorial Endowment; 8. Fading of the Old Guard; 9. Growing pains and distractions; Part IV. The Service Bureau - The Margaret Mayall Era: 10. Learning about independence; 11. Eviction from Harvard College Observatory; 12. Actions and reactions; 13. In search of a home; 14. Survival on Brattle Street; 15. AAVSO achievements; 16. Breathing room on Concord Avenue; Part V. Analysis and Science: The Janet Mattei Era: 17. The growth of a director; 18. Learning the ropes the hard way; 19. Managing with renewed confidence; 20. Expanding the scientific charter; Part VI. Accelerating Observational Science - The Arne Henden Era: 21. Bridging the gap; 22. Accelerating the science - the Henden era begins; Epilogue; Appendices; Index.

  12. Astronomy Enrollments and Degrees: Results from the 2012 Survey of Astronomy Enrollments and Degrees. Focus On

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mulvey, Patrick; Nicholson, Starr

    2014-01-01

    Interest in astronomy degrees in the U.S. remains strong, with astronomy enrollments at or near all-time highs for the 2012-13 academic year. The total number of students taking an introductory astronomy course at a degree-granting physics or astronomy department is approaching 200,000. Enrollments in introductory astronomy courses have been…

  13. A Basic Astronomy Library.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fraknoi, Andrew

    This bibliography lists the most useful and scientifically accurate astronomy books published in the 1980s for beginners and students. The books are categorized under the topics of: (1) astronomy in general; (2) solar system as a whole; (3) planets; (4) asteroids, comets, and meteorites; (5) the sun; (6) stars and their evolution; (7) mikly way…

  14. Rubric Sorting Astronomy Essays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Len, P. M.

    2014-07-01

    Student essays on introductory astronomy exams can be consistently and efficiently graded by a single instructor, or by multiple graders for a large class. This is done by constructing a robust outcome rubric while sorting exams into separate stacks, then checking each stack for consistency. Certain online resources readily provide primary source prompts for writing astronomy exam essay questions.

  15. Quickly Creating Interactive Astronomy Illustrations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Slater, Timothy F.

    2015-01-01

    An innate advantage for astronomy teachers is having numerous breathtaking images of the cosmos available to capture students' curiosity, imagination, and wonder. Internet-based astronomy image libraries are numerous and easy to navigate. The Astronomy Picture of the Day, the Hubble Space Telescope image archive, and the NASA Planetary…

  16. School-Based Extracurricular Astronomy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stanger, Jeffrey J.

    2010-01-01

    The International Year of Astronomy in 2009 focused considerable public attention on Astronomy and generated valuable resources for educators. These activities are an effective vehicle for promoting Science to students and to the wider school community. The most engaging practical astronomy activities are best delivered with sustained support from…

  17. Europe's Astronomy Teachers Meet at ESO

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1994-12-01

    for the future cooperation within the teaching of astronomy in Europe. Another important point is the in-service education of teachers that is still lacking in many places. As an unfortunate consequence many teachers are unfamiliar with the more recent advances in astronomy and also unaware of the associated educational materials now available. Several of these were impressively demonstrated during the Workshop and a first, very useful exchange of materials and ideas took place among the participants. Yet another important subject concerns the wide spectrum of extra-curricular student activities that are possible in connection with astronomy. And last, but not least, the participants established as a desirable long-term goal the development of a unified European astronomy course, optimally incorporating the aims and ideals of astronomy teaching as outlined in this Declaration. The course "would illuminate astronomy as a human endeavour, with associated doubts and lack of answers, the interplay between experiment, observation and theory, the philosophy of science, the scientific method as well as the interaction between science, technology and society". The European Association for Astronomy Education (EAAE) At the end of the Workshop, the participants by unanimous decision resolved to set up the "European Association for Astronomy Education" which will from now on form the Europe-wide network for this subject and unite all astronomy teachers on this continent. A provisional Executive Committee was elected which will immediately start up a European Newsletter on Astronomy Teaching and also work towards the organisation of a constitutional conference within the next year. The Chairman is D.P. Simopoulos (2) (Athens, Greece) and the other members are L. Abati (Noventa Vicentina, Italy), A.M. Cohen (Bollington, UK), L. Gougenheim (Paris, France), J.G. More (Glenrothes, UK; Treasurer), M. Reichen (Lausanne, Switzerland; Editor of the EAAE Newsletter), R. Szostak (Munster

  18. Infrared astronomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gillett, Frederick; Houck, James; Bally, John; Becklin, Eric; Brown, Robert Hamilton; Draine, Bruce; Frogel, Jay; Gatley, Ian; Gehrz, Robert; Hildebrand, Roger

    1991-01-01

    The decade of 1990's presents an opportunity to address fundamental astrophysical issues through observations at IR wavelengths made possible by technological and scientific advances during the last decade. The major elements of recommended program are: the Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF), the Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) and the IR Optimized 8-m Telescope (IRO), a detector and instrumentation program, the SubMilliMeter Mission (SMMM), the 2 Microns All Sky Survey (2MASS), a sound infrastructure, and technology development programs. Also presented are: perspective, science opportunities, technical overview, project recommendations, future directions, and infrastructure.

  19. Some innovative programmes in Astronomy education

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Babu, G. S. D.; Sujatha, S.

    In order to inculcate a systematic scientific awareness of the subject of Astronomy among the students and to motivate them to pursue careers in Astronomy and Astrophysics, various innovative educational programmes have been designed at MPBIFR. Among them, the main programme is termed as the ``100-hour Certificate Course in Astronomy and Astrophysics'' which has been designed basically for the students of the undergraduate level of B.Sc. and B.E. streams. The time duration of the 100 hours in this course is partitioned as 36 hours of classroom lectures, 34 hours of practicals and field trips and the remaining 30 hours being dedicated to dissertation writing and seminar presentations by the students. In addition, after the 100-hour course, the students have the option to take up specialized advance courses in the topics of Astrobiology, Astrochemistry, Radio Astronomy, Solar Astronomy and Cosmology as week-end classes. These courses are at the post graduate level and are covered in a span of 18 to 20 hours spread over a period of 9 to 10 weeks. As a preparatory programme, short-term introductory courses in the same subject are conducted for the high school students during the summer vacation period. Along with this, a three-week programme in basic Astronomy is also designed as an educational package for the general public. The students of these courses have the opportunity of being taken on field trips to various astronomical centers as well as the Radio, Solar and the Optical Observatories as part of their curriculum. The guided trips to the ISRO’s Satellite Centre at Bangalore and the Satellite Launching Station at SHAR provide high degree of motivation apart from giving thrilling experiences to the students. Further, the motivated students are encouraged to involve themselves in regular research programmes in Astronomy at MPBIFR for publishing research papers in national and international journals. The teaching and mentoring faculty for all these programmes

  20. Astronomy in Mozambique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ribeiro, Valério A. R. M.; Paulo, Cláudio M.

    2015-03-01

    We present the state of Astronomy in Mozambique and how it has evolved since 2009 following the International Year of Astronomy. Activities have been lead by staff at University Eduardo Mondlane and several outreach activities have also flourished. In 2010 the University introduced its first astronomy module, Introduction to Astronomy and Astrophysics, for the second year students in the Department of Physics. The course has now produced the first students who will be graduating in late 2012 with some astronomy content. Some of these students will now be looking for further studies and those who have been keen in astronomy have been recommended to pursue this as a career. At the university level we have also discussed on the possibility to introduce a whole astronomy course by 2016 which falls well within the HCD that the university is now investing in. With the announcement that the SKA will be split between South Africa with its partner countries (including Mozambique), and Australia we have been working closely with the Ministry of Science and Technology to make astronomy a priority on its agenda. In this respect, an old telecommunications antenna is being converted by the South Africa SKA Project Office, and donated to Mozambique for educational purposes. It will be situated in Maluana, Mozambique.

  1. Astronomy in Iran

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sobouti, Y.

    2006-08-01

    Institute for Advanced Studies in Basic Sciences, Zanjan, Iran In spite of her renowned pivotal role in the advancement of astronomy on the world scale during 9th to 15th centuries, Iran's rekindled interest in modern astronomy is a recent happening. Serious attempts to introduce astronomy into university curricula and to develop it into a respectable and worthwhile field of research began in the mid 60's. The pioneer was Shiraz University. It should be credited for the first few dozens of astronomy- and astrophysics- related research papers in international journals, for training the first half a dozen of professional astronomers and for creating the Biruni Observatory. Here, I take this opportunity to acknowledge the valuable advice of Bob Koch and Ed Guinan, then of the University of Pennsylvania, in the course of the establishment of this observatory. At present the astronomical community of Iran consists of about 65 professionals, half university faculty members and half MS and PhD students. The yearly scientific contribution of its members has, in the past three years, averaged to about 15 papers in reputable international journals, and presently has a healthy growth rate. Among the existing observational facilities, Biruni Observatory with its 51 cm Cassegrain, CCD cameras, photometers and other smaller educational telescopes, is by far the most active place. Tusi Observatory of Tabriz University has 60 and 40 cm Cassegrains, and a small solar telescope. A number of smaller observing facilities exist in Meshed, Zanjan, Tehran, Babol and other places. The Astronomical Society of Iran (ASI), though some 30 years old, has expanded and institutionalized its activities since early 1990's. ASI sets up seasonal schools for novices, organizes annual colloquia and seminars for professionals and supports a huge body of amateur astronomers from among high school and university students. Over twenty of ASI members are also members of IAU and take active part in its

  2. Conceptual frameworks in astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pundak, David

    2016-06-01

    How to evaluate students' astronomy understanding is still an open question. Even though some methods and tools to help students have already been developed, the sources of students' difficulties and misunderstanding in astronomy is still unclear. This paper presents an investigation of the development of conceptual systems in astronomy by 50 engineering students, as a result of learning a general course on astronomy. A special tool called Conceptual Frameworks in Astronomy (CFA) that was initially used in 1989, was adapted to gather data for the present research. In its new version, the tool included 23 questions, and five to six optional answers were given for each question. Each of the answers was characterized by one of the four conceptual astronomical frameworks: pre-scientific, geocentric, heliocentric and sidereal or scientific. The paper describes the development of the tool and discusses its validity and reliability. Using the CFA we were able to identify the conceptual frameworks of the students at the beginning of the course and at its end. CFA enabled us to evaluate the paradigmatic change of students following the course and also the extent of the general improvement in astronomical knowledge. It was found that the measure of the students’ improvement (gain index) was g = 0.37. Approximately 45% of the students in the course improved their understanding of conceptual frameworks in astronomy and 26% deepened their understanding of the heliocentric or sidereal conceptual frameworks.

  3. Advances in astronomy (Scientific session of the Physical Sciences Division of the Russian Academy of Sciences, 27 February 2013)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2013-07-01

    A scientific session of the Division of Physical Sciences of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), entitled "Advances in Astronomy" was held on 27 February 2013 at the conference hall of the Lebedev Physical Institute, RAS. The following reports were put on the session agenda posted on the website http://www.gpad.ac.ru of the RAS Physical Sciences Division: (1) Chernin A D (Sternberg Astronomical Institute, Moscow State University, Moscow) "Dark energy in the local Universe: HST data, nonlinear theory, and computer simulations"; (2) Gnedin Yu N (Main (Pulkovo) Astronomical Observatory, RAS, St. Petersburg) "A new method of supermassive black hole studies based on polarimetric observations of active galactic nuclei"; (3) Efremov Yu N (Sternberg Astronomical Institute, Moscow State University, Moscow) "Our Galaxy: grand design and moderately active nucleus"; (4) Gilfanov M R (Space Research Institute, RAS, Moscow) "X-ray binaries, star formation, and type-Ia supernova progenitors"; (5) Balega Yu Yu (Special Astrophysical Observatory, RAS, Nizhnii Arkhyz, Karachaevo-Cherkessia Republic) "The nearest 'star factory' in the Orion Nebula"; (6) Bisikalo D V (Institute of Astronomy, RAS, Moscow) "Atmospheres of giant exoplanets"; (7) Korablev O I (Space Research Institute, RAS, Moscow) "Spectroscopy of the atmospheres of Venus and Mars: new methods and new results"; (8) Ipatov A V (Institute of Applied Astronomy, RAS, St. Petersburg) "A new-generation radio interferometer for fundamental and applied research". Summaries of the papers based on reports 1, 2, 4, 7, 8 are given below. • Dark energy in the nearby Universe: HST data, nonlinear theory, and computer simulations, A D Chernin Physics-Uspekhi, 2013, Volume 56, Number 7, Pages 704-709 • Investigating supermassive black holes: a new method based on the polarimetric observations of active galactic nuclei, Yu N Gnedin Physics-Uspekhi, 2013, Volume 56, Number 7, Pages 709-714 • X-ray binaries and star formation, M R

  4. Quickly creating interactive astronomy illustrations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Slater, Timothy F.

    2015-01-01

    An innate advantage for astronomy teachers is having numerous breathtaking images of the cosmos available to capture students' curiosity, imagination, and wonder. Internet-based astronomy image libraries are numerous and easy to navigate. The Astronomy Picture of the Day, the Hubble Space Telescope image archive, and the NASA Planetary Photojournal are just a few of the many available.1-3 At the same time, computer video projectors and SMART Boards are becoming ever more commonplace in classrooms. Taken together, it has never been easier to bring astronomy directly into classrooms to actively engage students to improve student understanding and motivate student learning.

  5. The Galileoscope: An Innovative Student Telescope Kit for the International Year of Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pompea, Stephen M.; Fienberg, R. T.; Arion, D. N.; Smith, T. C.

    2009-01-01

    The Galileoscope project represents a attempt to provide a high quality telescope kit for educational purposes that can be built and used to recreate the observations of Galileo. A volunteer team has aided in the design and testing of the kit. The kit is designed to function as an optical bench with an experiment kit included. For observational astronomy the high optical quality and superior usability of the telescope enable one to make detailed observations of the phases of Venus, lunar mountains and craters, the movements of the Galilean satellites, and the rings of Saturn. This talk will summarize the optical, educational, and usability requirements of the Galileoscope kit. This work was supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation Astronomy Division. NOAO is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA), Inc. under cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation.

  6. What Do Students Gain from a Week at Science Camp? Youth Perceptions and the Design of an Immersive, Research-Oriented Astronomy Camp

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fields, Deborah Anne

    2009-01-01

    This study explored American high school students' perceptions of the benefits of a summer astronomy camp, emphasizing a full cycle of the research process and how the organization of the camp contributed to those perceptions. Semi-structured interviews with students and staff were used to elicit the specific benefits that campers perceived from…

  7. A Study of General Education Astronomy Students' Understandings of Cosmology. Part II. Evaluating Four Conceptual Cosmology Surveys: A Classical Test Theory Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wallace, Colin S.; Prather, Edward E.; Duncan, Douglas K.

    2011-01-01

    This is the second of five papers detailing our national study of general education astronomy students' conceptual and reasoning difficulties with cosmology. This article begins our quantitative investigation of the data. We describe how we scored students' responses to four conceptual cosmology surveys, and we present evidence for the inter-rater…

  8. A Study of General Education Astronomy Students' Understandings of Cosmology. Part III. Evaluating Four Conceptual Cosmology Surveys: An Item Response Theory Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wallace, Colin S.; Prather, Edward E.; Duncan, Douglas K.

    2012-01-01

    This is the third of five papers detailing our national study of general education astronomy students' conceptual and reasoning difficulties with cosmology. In this paper, we use item response theory to analyze students' responses to three out of the four conceptual cosmology surveys we developed. The specific item response theory model we use is…

  9. Performance of Project Advance Students on the AP Biology Examination.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mercurio, Joseph; And Others

    1984-01-01

    Compared performance of Project Advance biology students (N=60) with Advanced Placement (AP) candidates (N=15,947) nationally on College Entrance Examination Board AP biology test. The research, conducted to determine comparability of the program as valid measures of academic achievement, determined that Project Advance students scored above the…

  10. Advancing the Relationship between Business School Ranking and Student Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Elbeck, Matt

    2009-01-01

    This commentary advances a positive relationship between a business school's ranking in the popular press and student learning by advocating market-oriented measures of student learning. A framework for student learning is based on the Assurance of Learning mandated by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International,…

  11. Gravitational Wave Astronomy: Opening a New Window on the Universe for Students, Educators and the Public

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cavaglia, Marco; Hendry, M.; Ingram, D.; Milde, S.; Pandian, S. R.; Reitze, D.; Riles, K.; Schutz, B.; Stuver, A. L.; Summerscales, T.; Ugolini, D.; Thacker, J.; Vallisneri, M.; Zermeno, A.

    2008-05-01

    The nascent field of gravitational wave astronomy offers many opportunities for effective and inspirational astronomy outreach. Gravitational waves, the `ripples in spacetime' predicted by Einstein's general theory of relativity, are produced by some of the most energetic and dramatic phenomena in the cosmos, including black holes, neutron stars and supernovae - and their discovery should help to address a number of fundamental questions in physics, from the evolution of stars and galaxies to the origin of dark energy and the nature of spacetime itself. Moreover, the cutting-edge technology developed to search for gravitational waves is pushing back the frontiers of many fields, from lasers and materials science to high performance computing, and thus provides a powerful showcase for the attractions and challenges of a career in science and engineering. For several years a worldwide network of ground-based laser interferometric gravitational wave detectors, built and run by the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, has been fully operational. These detectors are already among the most sensitive scientific instruments on the planet but in the next few years their sensitivity will achieve further significant improvement. Those developments promise to open an exciting new window on the Universe, heralding the arrival of gravitational wave astronomy as a revolutionary, new observational field. In this poster we describe the extensive program of public outreach activities already undertaken by the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, and a number of special events which we are planning for IYA2009. These activities include: * programs at Science Centers and Observatory Visitor Centers * programs on gravitational wave astronomy for the classroom, across the K-12 spectrum * interdisciplinary events linking gravitational wave astronomy to music and the visual arts * research experiences for schools and citizens through the highly successful `Einstein@Home' program.

  12. Peer Instruction for Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Green, Paul

    Peer Instruction for Astronomy is an instructor's guide to an exciting and easily-implemented enhancement for lecture classes in introductory astronomy. Application of this powerful and efficient teaching technique requires that the instructor have on hand a large number of thought-provoking, conceptual short answer questions aimed at a variety of levels. While significant numbers of such questions have been published for use in Physics, Peer Instruction for Astronomy provides the first such compilation for Astronomy, and includes hints on use of the technique and applications of the method. KEY TOPICS: Covers peer instruction, incentives, a large database of conceptual questions for use in class, and a list of readings and resources. MARKET: Ideal for introductory astronomy instructors at the undergraduate or advanced high school level.

  13. International Astronomical Search Collaboration: An Online Student-Based Discovery Program in Astronomy (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pennypacker, C.; Miller, P.

    2009-12-01

    The past 15 years has seen the development of affordable small telescopes, advanced digital cameras, high speed Internet access, and widely-available image analysis software. With these tools it is possible to provide student programs where they make original astronomical discoveries. High school aged students, even younger, have discovered Main Belt asteroids (MBA), near-Earth objects (NEO), comets, supernovae, and Kuiper Belt objects (KBO). Student-based discovery is truly an innovative way to generate enthusiasm for learning science. The International Astronomical Search Collaboration (IASC = “Isaac”) is an online program where high school and college students make original MBA discoveries and important NEO observations. MBA discoveries are reported to the Minor Planet Center (Harvard) and International Astronomical Union. The NEO observations are included as part of the NASA Near-Earth Object Program (JPL). Provided at no cost to participating schools, IASC is centered at Hardin-Simmons University (Abilene, TX). It is a collaboration of the University, Lawrence Hall of Science (University of California, Berkeley), Astronomical Research Institute (ARI; Charleston, IL), Global Hands-On Universe Association (Portugal),and Astrometrica (Austria). Started in Fall 2006, IASC has reached 135 schools in 14 countries. There are 9 campaigns per year, each with 15 schools and lasting 45 days. Students have discovered 150 MBAs and made > 1,000 NEO observations. One notable discovery was 2009 BD81, discovered by two high school teachers and a graduate student at the Bulgarian Academy of Science. This object, about the size of 3 football fields, crosses Earth’s orbit and poses a serious impact risk. Each night with clear skies and no Moon, the ARI Observatory uses its 24" and 32" prime focus telescopes to take images along the ecliptic. Three images are taken of the same field of view (FOV) over a period of 30 minutes. These are bundled together and placed online at

  14. History of Oriental Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ansari, S. M. Razaullah

    2002-12-01

    This volume deals specifically with recent original research in the history of Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Islamic, and Indian astronomy. It strikes a balance between landmarks of history of Ancient and Medieval Astronomy in the Orient on one hand, and on the other the transmission of the European Astronomy into the countries of the Orient. Most contributions are based on research by the experts in this field. The book also indicates the status of astronomy research in non-European cultural areas of the world. The book is especially of interest to historians of astronomy and science, and students of cultural heritage. Link: http://www.wkap.nl/prod/b/1-4020-0657-8

  15. Student and Community Engagement in Astronomy Through Experiential Learning and Citizen Science as Part of Research Broader Impact

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ibrahim, Alaa I.

    2015-08-01

    Fulfilling the broader impact of a research project in astronomy is an excellent opportunity for educational and outreach activities that connect scientists and society and enhance students and community engagement in STEM fields. Here we present the experience developed in this endeavor as part of our research and educational projects that introduced educational and outreach activities that included core curriculum course development for university students from all majors, community-based learning projects, citizen science and outreach programs to school students and community members. Through these activities, students worked with the project scientists on a variety of activities that ranged from citizen science and undergraduate research to run mass experiments to community awareness campaigns through the production of short documentaries and communicating them with stakeholders and target groups, including schools and TV stations. The activities enhanced students learning and the public awareness. It also connected effectively the project scientists with college and university students a well as the wider segments of the society, which resulted in a host of benefits including better scientific literacy and appreciation to the role of scientists, promoting scientists as role models, sharing the values of science, and motivating future generations to puruse a career in science.

  16. Building Astronomy Curriculum to Include the Sight Impaired: Week long summer camp activities for Middle School Students adherent to Washington State Curriculum Standards (EALR's)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramien, Natalie; Loebman, S. R.; Player, V.; Larson, A.; Torcolini, N. B.; Traverse, A.

    2011-01-01

    Currently astronomy learning is heavily geared towards visual aids; however, roughly 10 million people in North America are sight impaired. Every student should have access to meaningful astronomy curriculum; an understanding of astronomy is an expectation of national and state science learning requirements. Over the last ten years, Noreen Grice has developed Braille and large print astronomy text books aimed at sight impaired learners. We build upon Grice's written work and present here a five day lesson plan that integrates 2D reading with 3D activities. Through this curriculum, students develop an intuitive understanding of astronomical distance, size, composition and lifetimes. We present five distinct lesson modules that can be taught individually or in a sequential form: the planets, our sun, stars, stellar evolution and galaxies. We have tested these modules on sight impaired students and report the results here. Overall, we find the work presented here lends itself equally well to a week long science camp geared toward middle school sight impaired taught by astronomers or as supplemental material integrated into a regular classroom science curriculum. This work was made possible by a 2007 Simple Effective Education and Dissemination (SEED) Grant For Astronomy Researchers, Astronomical Society of the Pacific through funds provided by the Planck Mission, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology.

  17. Advanced Placement Chemistry: Project Advance and the Advanced Placement Program: A Comparison of Students' Performance on the AP Chemistry Examination.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mercurio, Joseph; And Others

    1984-01-01

    Compared performance of Syracuse University Project Advance (PA) chemistry students (N=35) with advanced placement (AP) candidates on the AP chemistry examination. PA students scored slightly above the national average on the examination, and students who performed well (B or better) in AP chemistry also did well on the examination. (JN)

  18. Recent advances in high energy astronomy; Proceedings of the Toulouse International Symposium, Toulouse, France, Mar. 17-20, 1992

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lequeux, J.; Mandrou, P.

    1993-01-01

    The present volume on recent advances in high energy astronomy discusses results of two years of observations with SIGMA on board GRANAT, initial results from OSSE at the Compton Observatory, gamma-ray burst observations, and temporal structures in gamma-ray bursts. Attention is given to the duration vs intensity diagram for a subset of PHEBUS gamma-ray bursts, SIGMA observations of extragalactic sources, the diffuse Galactic emission at 511 keV and 1809 keV, diffuse Galactic annihilation radiation, and massive stars as Galactic producers of Al-26. Topics addressed include X-rays and gamma rays from the Galactic Center, observations of the Galactic center with the TTM instrument, an analysis of nuclear gamma-ray line profiles of SN 1987A, and a theoretical prediction of gamma rays from SN 1991 T. Also discussed are optical observations of high energy sources, hard X-rays from binaries, SIGMA observations of the X-ray nova in Musca, and gamma rays from 'hidden' millisecond pulsars. (For individual items see A93-28877 to A93-28968)

  19. Students Are Not Highly Familiar with Astronomy Concepts--But What about the Teachers?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kiroglu, Kasim

    2015-01-01

    This study aims to assess primary school teachers' knowledge of basic astronomy concepts, such as the sizes and shapes of, and the distances between, the Sun, the Earth, and the Moon, lunar and solar eclipses, and the motions of the Moon and the Earth. Out of a total of 1,533 teachers, 398 (26%) were reached and asked to take a knowledge test. On…

  20. Advanced Science Students' Understandings on Nature of Science in Finland

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sormunen, Kari; Köksal, Mustafa Serdar

    2014-01-01

    Majority of NOS studies comprise of determination or assessment studies conducted with ordinary students. In order to gain further understanding on variation in NOS understandings among the students, there should be different research attempts focusing on unconventional students such as academically advanced students. The purpose of this study is…

  1. Planetary Astronomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stern, S. Alan

    1998-01-01

    This 1-year project was an augmentation grant to my NASA Planetary Astronomy grant. With the awarded funding, we accomplished the following tasks: (1) Conducted two NVK imaging runs in conjunction with the ILAW (International Lunar Atmosphere Week) Observing Campaigns in 1995 and 1997. In the first run, we obtained repeated imaging sequences of lunar Na D-line emission to better quantify the temporal variations detected in earlier runs. In the second run we obtained extremely high resolution (R=960.000) Na line profiles using the 4m AAT in Australia. These data are being analyzed under our new 3-year Planetary Astronomy grant. (2) Reduced, analyzed, and published our March 1995 spectroscopic dataset to detect (or set stringent upper limits on) Rb. Cs, Mg. Al. Fe, Ba, Ba. OH, and several other species. These results were reported in a talk at the LPSC and in two papers: (1) A Spectroscopic Survey of Metallic Abundances in the Lunar Atmosphere. and (2) A Search for Magnesium in the Lunar Atmosphere. Both reprints are attached. Wrote up an extensive, invited Reviews of Geophysics review article on advances in the study of the lunar atmosphere. This 70-page article, which is expected to appear in print in 1999, is also attached.

  2. College Student Learning about Theory, Evidence and the Interface between Science and Religion in an Astronomy Course

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shipman, H.; Brickhouse, N.; Dagher, Z.; Letts, W. J.

    1998-05-01

    Seventy years of tradition and the latest national standards documents call for inclusion of some treatment of the nature of science in the education of all Americans. However, nearly two decades of research has failed to establish just what it is that students learn about the nature of science, even when they are exposed to courses which ostensibly emphasize this topic. We have completed the first stage of an extensive study of a college level astronomy course, "Black Holes, Quasars, and Cosmic Evolution," and report on it in this paper. Our collaboration includes a scientist, who is the course instructor, as well as scholars in science education. Our results do show student growth in all three areas of study. The amount and nature of student growth is extremely variable from one student to another, and so it is not surprising that it is hard to discover with survey instruments. Some, but not all, students do develop an understanding that theories are explanations supported by evidence, not mere hunches. Most students develop an appreciation of the connection between evidence and scientific credibility. Some students in this course show a surprisingly strong response to a rather weak intervention in the interface between science and religion. We base these conclusions on extensive pre- and post- interviews with a core group of 20 students as well as on written material gathered from the entire group of 340 students enrolled in this large course. This work has been supported by the Division of Undergraduate Education of the National Science Foundation \\(DUE-95-53787\\).

  3. Elementary astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fierro, J.

    2006-08-01

    In developing nations such as Mexico, basic science education has scarcely improved. There are multiple reasons for this problem; they include poor teacher training and curricula that are not challenging for students. I shall suggest ways in which astronomy can be used to improve basic education, it is so attractive that it can be employed to teach how to read and write, learn a second language, mathematics, physics, as well as geography. If third world nations do not teach science in an adequate way, they will be in serious problems when they will try to achieve a better standard of living for their population. I shall also address informal education, it is by this means that most adults learn and keep up to date with subjects that are not their specialty. If we provide good outreach programs in developing nations we can aid adult training; astronomy is ideal since it is particularly multidisciplinary. In particular radio and television programs are useful for popularization since they reach such wide audiences.

  4. Preservice Teachers' First Experiences Teaching Astronomy: Challenges in Designing and Implementing Inquiry-Based Astronomy Instruction for Elementary Students in After School Programs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plummer, J. D.

    2012-08-01

    This study examined preservice teachers' pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) in designing astronomy investigations for children. Fifteen pairs of preservice teachers taught groups of children in after school programs once a week for five weeks; their assignment was to guide the children in a multi-day inquiry investigation about astronomy. Pre- and post-program content assessments and five lesson plans from each pair were analyzed using a mixed-methods approach to understand the successes and challenges in developing PCK by new teachers in this domain. Findings suggest that while most preservice teachers were able to implement inquiry investigations in elementary astronomy topics, many also struggled to successfully connect a scientific question to an explanation based on evidence. A correlation between the teachers' content knowledge and the sophistication of their investigation plan was found.

  5. Sensitivity of the Advanced LIGO detectors at the beginning of gravitational wave astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martynov, D. V.; Hall, E. D.; Abbott, B. P.; Abbott, R.; Abbott, T. D.; Adams, C.; Adhikari, R. X.; Anderson, R. A.; Anderson, S. B.; Arai, K.; Arain, M. A.; Aston, S. M.; Austin, L.; Ballmer, S. W.; Barbet, M.; Barker, D.; Barr, B.; Barsotti, L.; Bartlett, J.; Barton, M. A.; Bartos, I.; Batch, J. C.; Bell, A. S.; Belopolski, I.; Bergman, J.; Betzwieser, J.; Billingsley, G.; Birch, J.; Biscans, S.; Biwer, C.; Black, E.; Blair, C. D.; Bogan, C.; Bork, R.; Bridges, D. O.; Brooks, A. F.; Celerier, C.; Ciani, G.; Clara, F.; Cook, D.; Countryman, S. T.; Cowart, M. J.; Coyne, D. C.; Cumming, A.; Cunningham, L.; Damjanic, M.; Dannenberg, R.; Danzmann, K.; Costa, C. F. Da Silva; Daw, E. J.; DeBra, D.; DeRosa, R. T.; DeSalvo, R.; Dooley, K. L.; Doravari, S.; Driggers, J. C.; Dwyer, S. E.; Effler, A.; Etzel, T.; Evans, M.; Evans, T. M.; Factourovich, M.; Fair, H.; Feldbaum, D.; Fisher, R. P.; Foley, S.; Frede, M.; Fritschel, P.; Frolov, V. V.; Fulda, P.; Fyffe, M.; Galdi, V.; Giaime, J. A.; Giardina, K. D.; Gleason, J. R.; Goetz, R.; Gras, S.; Gray, C.; Greenhalgh, R. J. S.; Grote, H.; Guido, C. J.; Gushwa, K. E.; Gustafson, E. K.; Gustafson, R.; Hammond, G.; Hanks, J.; Hanson, J.; Hardwick, T.; Harry, G. M.; Heefner, J.; Heintze, M. C.; Heptonstall, A. W.; Hoak, D.; Hough, J.; Ivanov, A.; Izumi, K.; Jacobson, M.; James, E.; Jones, R.; Kandhasamy, S.; Karki, S.; Kasprzack, M.; Kaufer, S.; Kawabe, K.; Kells, W.; Kijbunchoo, N.; King, E. J.; King, P. J.; Kinzel, D. L.; Kissel, J. S.; Kokeyama, K.; Korth, W. Z.; Kuehn, G.; Kwee, P.; Landry, M.; Lantz, B.; Le Roux, A.; Levine, B. M.; Lewis, J. B.; Lhuillier, V.; Lockerbie, N. A.; Lormand, M.; Lubinski, M. J.; Lundgren, A. P.; MacDonald, T.; MacInnis, M.; Macleod, D. M.; Mageswaran, M.; Mailand, K.; Márka, S.; Márka, Z.; Markosyan, A. S.; Maros, E.; Martin, I. W.; Martin, R. M.; Marx, J. N.; Mason, K.; Massinger, T. J.; Matichard, F.; Mavalvala, N.; McCarthy, R.; McClelland, D. E.; McCormick, S.; McIntyre, G.; McIver, J.; Merilh, E. L.; Meyer, M. S.; Meyers, P. M.; Miller, J.; Mittleman, R.; Moreno, G.; Mueller, C. L.; Mueller, G.; Mullavey, A.; Munch, J.; Nuttall, L. K.; Oberling, J.; O'Dell, J.; Oppermann, P.; Oram, Richard J.; O'Reilly, B.; Osthelder, C.; Ottaway, D. J.; Overmier, H.; Palamos, J. R.; Paris, H. R.; Parker, W.; Patrick, Z.; Pele, A.; Penn, S.; Phelps, M.; Pickenpack, M.; Pierro, V.; Pinto, I.; Poeld, J.; Principe, M.; Prokhorov, L.; Puncken, O.; Quetschke, V.; Quintero, E. A.; Raab, F. J.; Radkins, H.; Raffai, P.; Ramet, C. R.; Reed, C. M.; Reid, S.; Reitze, D. H.; Robertson, N. A.; Rollins, J. G.; Roma, V. J.; Romie, J. H.; Rowan, S.; Ryan, K.; Sadecki, T.; Sanchez, E. J.; Sandberg, V.; Sannibale, V.; Savage, R. L.; Schofield, R. M. S.; Schultz, B.; Schwinberg, P.; Sellers, D.; Sevigny, A.; Shaddock, D. A.; Shao, Z.; Shapiro, B.; Shawhan, P.; Shoemaker, D. H.; Sigg, D.; Slagmolen, B. J. J.; Smith, J. R.; Smith, M. R.; Smith-Lefebvre, N. D.; Sorazu, B.; Staley, A.; Stein, A. J.; Stochino, A.; Strain, K. A.; Taylor, R.; Thomas, M.; Thomas, P.; Thorne, K. A.; Thrane, E.; Torrie, C. I.; Traylor, G.; Vajente, G.; Valdes, G.; van Veggel, A. A.; Vargas, M.; Vecchio, A.; Veitch, P. J.; Venkateswara, K.; Vo, T.; Vorvick, C.; Waldman, S. J.; Walker, M.; Ward, R. L.; Warner, J.; Weaver, B.; Weiss, R.; Welborn, T.; Weßels, P.; Wilkinson, C.; Willems, P. A.; Williams, L.; Willke, B.; Winkelmann, L.; Wipf, C. C.; Worden, J.; Wu, G.; Yamamoto, H.; Yancey, C. C.; Yu, H.; Zhang, L.; Zucker, M. E.; Zweizig, J.

    2016-06-01

    The Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) consists of two widely separated 4 km laser interferometers designed to detect gravitational waves from distant astrophysical sources in the frequency range from 10 Hz to 10 kHz. The first observation run of the Advanced LIGO detectors started in September 2015 and ended in January 2016. A strain sensitivity of better than 10-23/√{Hz } was achieved around 100 Hz. Understanding both the fundamental and the technical noise sources was critical for increasing the astrophysical strain sensitivity. The average distance at which coalescing binary black hole systems with individual masses of 30 M⊙ could be detected above a signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of 8 was 1.3 Gpc, and the range for binary neutron star inspirals was about 75 Mpc. With respect to the initial detectors, the observable volume of the Universe increased by a factor 69 and 43, respectively. These improvements helped Advanced LIGO to detect the gravitational wave signal from the binary black hole coalescence, known as GW150914.

  6. Teaching Astronomy Using Tracker

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belloni, Mario; Christian, Wolfgang; Brown, Douglas

    2013-03-01

    A recent paper in this journal1 presented a set of innovative uses of video analysis for introductory physics using Tracker. In addition, numerous other papers have described how video analysis can be a meaningful part of introductory courses.2-4 Yet despite this, there are few resources for using video analysis in introductory astronomy classes. In this paper we describe the use of Tracker in introductory astronomy to analyze a ``video'' consisting of a series of still images of star fields and sunspots. Because astronomy focuses on concepts unfamiliar to most students, the visualization that video analysis provides can be especially valuable.

  7. Discovering Astronomy Through Poetry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mannone, John C.

    2011-05-01

    The literature is replete with astronomical references. And much of that literature is poetry. Using this fact, not only can the teacher infuse a new appreciation of astronomy, but also, the student has the opportunity to rediscover history through astronomy. Poetry can be an effective icebreaker in the introduction of new topics in physics and astronomy, as well as a point of conclusion to a lecture. This presentation will give examples of these things from the ancient literature (sacred Hebraic texts), classical literature (Homer's Iliad and Odyssey), traditional poetry (Longfellow, Tennyson and Poe) and modern literature (Frost, Kooser, and others, including the contemporary work of this author).

  8. Astronomy Popularization via Sci-fi Movies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Qingkang

    2015-08-01

    It is astronomers’ duty to let more and more young people know a bit astronomy and be interested in astronomy and appreciate the beauty and great achievements in astronomy. One of the most effective methods to popularize astronomy to young people nowadays might be via enjoying some brilliant sci-fi movies related to astronomy with some guidance from astronomers. Firstly, we will introduce the basic information of our selective course “Appreciation of Sci-fi Movies in Astronomy” for the non-major astronomy students in our University, which is surely unique in China, then we will show its effect on astronomy popularization based on several rounds of teaching.

  9. Astronomy and Space Science On The School - An Outreach Project for Elementary and High School Students of Brasilia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferreira, Jose Leonardo

    2016-07-01

    This project aims to develop interdisciplinary actions, articulated and convergence in the field of education, dissemination and popularization of science and technology in Brasilia-DF, the Federal District of Brazil. These actions are also been carried out at DF surroundings areas. Since 2015 linked convergent actions are focused on the development of space science and astronomy teaching with hands on experimental activities. Workshops, short basic astronomy courses, expositions and planetarium show are been carried out by a team of professors, graduate and under graduate students from University of Brasilia- UnB. At the same time upgrade actions are been done in order to modernize The Luiz Cruls Astronomical Observatory located at the far campus of UnB, named Fazenda Água Limpa. It is now a Center for research and space science dissemination and popularization not only for students but also for the whole community of Brasilia. Working toghether with the Physics Institute of UnB we have the recently created Museum of Science and Technology of Brasilia, also located at the UnB campus. The Museum is responsible for contac with schools and Brasilia community and for the organization of the activities of the Science on the School Project. Science on the School is an educational, scientific and cultural proposal approved and financed by the brazillian national research council (CNPq) and by the Science and Technology Reseach Foundation of Brasilia. Besides science dissemination for the brazillian society the project is also developing theoretical and experimental research in the area of Space Science and Astronomy. The project also aim to transform the Museum in a strong Science Education Center for the Brazil central region population, It is going to be a cultural environment and leisure for the Federal District and surrounding areas of Brasilia. In this work we will describe the coordinate actions of The Luiz Cruls Astronomical Observatory the Physics Institute of

  10. Urban Middle-School Science Teachers Beliefs about the Influence of Their Astronomer-Educator Partnerships on Students' Astronomy Learner Characteristics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miranda, Rommel J.

    2012-01-01

    This qualitative study investigates the extent to which urban middle-school science teachers' beliefs about their students' astronomy learner characteristics were influenced by their partnership with an astronomer in their classroom. Twelve urban middle-school science teachers were interviewed after their participation in Project ASTRO during the…

  11. The Effect of 3D Computer Modeling and Observation-Based Instruction on the Conceptual Change regarding Basic Concepts of Astronomy in Elementary School Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kucukozer, Huseyin; Korkusuz, M. Emin; Kucukozer, H. Asuman; Yurumezoglu, Kemal

    2009-01-01

    This study has examined the impact of teaching certain basic concepts of astronomy through a predict-observe-explain strategy, which includes three-dimensional (3D) computer modeling and observations on conceptual changes seen in sixth-grade elementary school children (aged 11-13; number of students: 131). A pre- and postastronomy instruction…

  12. International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Soonthornthum, B.; Kunjaya, C.

    2011-01-01

    The International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics, an annual astronomy and astrophysics competition for high school students, is described. Examples of problems and solutions from the competition are also given. (Contains 3 figures.)

  13. The International Astronomy Olympiad

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gavrilov, Michael G.

    2011-06-01

    The International Astronomy Olympiad (IAO) is an annual scientific-educating event for students of the junior high-school classes, aged 14-18 years. The Euro-Asian Astronomical Society founded the IAO in 1996. The Olympiad includes an intellectual competition between these students. The style of the problems is aimed at developping the imagination, creativity and independent thinking.

  14. Early Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thurston, Hugh

    The earliest investigations that can be called scientific are concerned with the sky: they are the beginnings of astronomy. Many early civilizations produced astronomical texts, and several cultures that left no written records left monuments and artifacts-ranging from rock paintings to Stonehenge-that show a clear interest in astronomy. Civilizations in China, Mesopotamia, India and Greece had highly developed astronomies, and the astronomy of the Mayas was by no means negligible. Greek astronomy, as developed by the medieval Arab philosophers, evolved into the astronomy of Copernicus. This displaced the earth from the central stationary position that almost all earlier astronomies had assumed. Soon thereafter, in the first decades of the seventeenth century, Kepler found the true shape of the planetary orbits and Galileo introduced the telescope for astronomical observations.

  15. Impact of Modifying Activity-Based Instructional Materials for Special Needs Students in Middle School Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olsen, Julia K.; Slater, Timothy F.

    Middle school students who have special needs because they are learning disabled require targeted attention in our nation's pursuit of improved science achievement for all students. In early 2006, the Lawrence Hall of Science conducted a national field test of a newly developed GEMS (Great Explorations in Math and Science) space science curriculum package for middle school students. During this field testing, we modified a subset of the curriculum materials to reflect the principles of best practices in working with special needs students, specifically learning disabled students, in a subset of the field test classrooms to determine if these students scored differently on the assessments than students in the larger assessment database. Results suggest that many students, not just those with special needs, demonstrate achievement gains using instructional materials purposefully aligned with research- informed principles of best practices for special needs students.

  16. The preliminary conceptions, the traditional resources and digital technologies in teaching of astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Macedo, J. A.; Voelzke, M. R.

    2014-07-01

    Despite being part of the official documents astronomy is rarely taught adequately in basic education. Digital technologies are commonly used by youth, but neglected by the majority of teachers. In this sense, a survey with the aim of pointing out the potential use of digital technologies in teaching astronomy was developed. An advanced course in astronomy was offered for participants with the goal to make them understand astronomical phenomena. The following steps were to be taken: i) analysis of the pedagogical projects (PPC) of the licenciates at the Federal Institution of the North of Minas Gerais (IFNMG); ii) analysis of students' preconceptions about astronomy and digital technologies; iii) preparation of the course; iv) application of the education proposal. The test consisted of thirty-two students of physics, mathematics and biology and was conducted with the qualitative and quantitative methodology, combined with a content analysis. The results indicated that in the IFNMG only the licenciate-course in physics includes astronomy content diluted in various subjects of the curriculum; the rates of students' prior knowledge in relation to astronomy was low; an evidence of meaningfull earning of the concepts related to astronomy, and of viability of resource use involving digital technologies in the Teaching of astronomy.

  17. Bad Astronomy Goes Hollywood

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plait, P.

    2003-05-01

    It can be argued that astronomy is the oldest of all the sciences, so you'd think that after all this time people would have a pretty good understanding of it. In reality, however, misconceptions about astronomy abound, and even basic concepts are misunderstood. There are many sources of these cosmic misconceptions, including incorrect textbooks, parents and/or teachers who don't understand astronomy and therefore spread misinformation, urban legends, and so on. Perhaps the most pervasive source of bad astronomy is Hollywood. Science fiction movies are enormously popular, but are commonly written and directed by people who don't have even a passing familiarity with astronomy. The smash hit "Armageddon" (the number one box office movie of 1998), for example, used vast quantities of incorrect astronomy in the plot. It reinforced such popular misconceptions as huge asteroids impacting the Earth with little warning, small meteorites being hot when they impact, air existing in space, and that a simple bomb can blow up an asteroid the size of a small moon (even when the bomb is buried only 800 feet deep!). However, movie scenes can be used as a hook that engages the student, helping them learn and remember the correct science. In this talk, I will light-heartedly discuss specific examples of common misinformation, using movie clips, diagrams, and a splash of common sense to show just where Hollywood gets it wrong, and what you can do to help students and the public get it right.

  18. Astronomy and Mathematics Education

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ros, Rosa M.

    There are many European countries where Astronomy does not appear as a specific course on the secondary school. In these cases Astronomy content can be introduced by means of other subjects. There are some astronomical topics within the subject of Physics but this talk concerns introducing Astronomy in Mathematics classes. Teaching Astronomy through Mathematics would result in more exposure than through Physics as Mathematics is more prevalent in the curriculum. Generally it is not easy to motivate students in Mathematics but they are motivated to find out more about the universe and Astronomy current events than appears in the media. This situation can be an excellent introduction to several mathematics topics. The teachers in secondary and high school can use this idea in order to present more attractive mathematics courses. In particular some different examples will be offered regarding * Angles and spherical coordinates considering star traces * Logarithms and visual magnitudes * Plane trigonometry related orbital movements * Spherical trigonometry in connection with ecliptic obliquity * Conic curves related to sundial at several latitudes Some students do not enjoy studying Mathematics but they can be attracted by practical situations using Applied Mathematics: Astronomy is always very attractive to teenagers.

  19. 3D Virtual Reality for Teaching Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Speck, Angela; Ruzhitskaya, L.; Laffey, J.; Ding, N.

    2012-01-01

    We are developing 3D virtual learning environments (VLEs) as learning materials for an undergraduate astronomy course, in which will utilize advances both in technologies available and in our understanding of the social nature of learning. These learning materials will be used to test whether such VLEs can indeed augment science learning so that it is more engaging, active, visual and effective. Our project focuses on the challenges and requirements of introductory college astronomy classes. Here we present our virtual world of the Jupiter system and how we plan to implement it to allow students to learn course material - physical laws and concepts in astronomy - while engaging them into exploration of the Jupiter's system, encouraging their imagination, curiosity, and motivation. The VLE can allow students to work individually or collaboratively. The 3D world also provides an opportunity for research in astronomy education to investigate impact of social interaction, gaming features, and use of manipulatives offered by a learning tool on students’ motivation and learning outcomes. Use of this VLE is also a valuable source for exploration of how the learners’ spatial awareness can be enhanced by working in 3D environment. We will present the Jupiter-system environment along with a preliminary study of the efficacy and usability of our Jupiter 3D VLE.

  20. Astronomy, Astrology, and Medicine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greenbaum, Dorian Gieseler

    Astronomy and astrology were combined with medicine for thousands of years. Beginning in Mesopotamia in the second millennium BCE and continuing into the eighteenth century, medical practitioners used astronomy/astrology as an important part of diagnosis and prescription. Throughout this time frame, scientists cited the similarities between medicine and astrology, in addition to combining the two in practice. Hippocrates and Galen based medical theories on the relationship between heavenly bodies and human bodies. In an enduring cultural phenomenon, parts of the body as well as diseases were linked to zodiac signs and planets. In Renaissance universities, astronomy and astrology were studied by students of medicine. History records a long tradition of astrologer-physicians. This chapter covers the topic of astronomy, astrology, and medicine from the Old Babylonian period to the Enlightenment.

  1. Refocusing International Astronomy Education Research Using a Cognitive Focus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Slater, Timothy F.; Slater, Stephanie J.

    2015-08-01

    For over 40 years, the international astronomy education community has given its attention to cataloging the substantial body of "misconceptions" in individual's thinking about astronomy, and to addressing the consequences of those misconceptions in the science classroom. Despite the tremendous amount of effort given to researching and disseminating information related to misconceptions, and the development of a theory of conceptual change to mitigate misconceptions, progress continues to be less than satisfying. An analysis of the literature and our own research has motivated the CAPER Center for Astronomy & Physics Education Research to advance a new model that allowing us to operate on students' astronomical learning difficulties in a more fruitful manner. Previously, much of the field's work binned erroneous student thinking into a single construct, and from that basis, curriculum developers and instructors addressed student misconceptions with a single instructional strategy. In contrast this model suggests that "misconceptions" are a mixture of at least four learning barriers: incorrect factual information, inappropriately applied mental algorithms (e.g., phenomenological primitives), insufficient cognitive structures (e.g., spatial reasoning), and affective/emotional difficulties. Each of these types of barriers should be addressed with an appropriately designed instructional strategy. Initial applications of this model to learning problems in astronomy and the space sciences have been fruitful, suggesting that an effort towards categorizing persistent learning difficulties in astronomy beyond the level of "misconceptions" may allow our community to craft tailored and more effective learning experiences for our students and the general public.

  2. Science and Mathematics in Astronomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Woolack, Edward

    2009-01-01

    A brief historical introduction to the development of observational astronomy will be presented. The close historical relationship between the successful application of mathematical concepts and advances in astronomy will be presented. A variety of simple physical demonstrations, hands-on group activities, and puzzles will be used to understand how the properties of light can be used to understand the contents of our universe.

  3. A Case Study on Advanced Technology: Understanding the Impact of Advanced Technology on Student Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Morris, Jill Sellars

    2010-01-01

    While research has focused on the effect of technology on student performance, it is not yet known how advanced technology, such as Promethean boards influence student achievement. The purpose of this mixed-method study was to examine how Promethean boards impact academic performance of elementary school students in third and fifth grade…

  4. A Fishy Problem for Advanced Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Patterson, Richard A.

    1977-01-01

    While developing a research course for gifted high school students, improvements were made in a local pond. Students worked for a semester learning research techniques, statistical analysis, and limnology. At the end of the course, the three students produced a joint scientific paper detailing their study of the pond. (MA)

  5. Seattle Area High School Astronomy Projects: 4 local teachers present their work with students.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muhs, Eric C.

    2006-12-01

    4 Seattle area high school teachers will present work with students as part of the opening session of High School Teacher Day. Vince San Pietro of Shorecrest HS will discuss a project involving teachers and students in characterizing RR Lyrae candidate stars using the University of Washington’s Manastash Ridge Observatory. Rebecca Fowler of Skyline HS will present her work with student teams in the Team America rocketry contest. Phil Cooper, also of Skyline, will talk about a telescope making project. And Eric Muhs of Roosevelt HS, will show a student-built, free-floating, self-orienting robot that flew aboard NASA’s zero gravity airplane last May.

  6. Advanced infrared astronomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mumma, M. J.; Deming, D.; Espenak, F.; Kostiuk, T.

    1986-01-01

    The CO2 laser heterodyne spectrometer was used at the 3-m IRTF on Mauna Kea to make measurements of Mars during the 1984 opposition. Analysis of the observations of the mesospheric non-thermal emission demonstrated the existence of a warming of the Mars polar mesosphere, similar to the seasonal effects which are well known to occur at the Earth's mesopause. A search for CO2 and NH3 on Comet Halley was done with the new Kitt Peak system as well as with the IRTF heterodyne system. A Lamb-dip absorption cell was designed and constructed. Its use will allow extreme frequency stabilization of the laser local oscillator, which will greatly facilitate measurements of winds and dynamical phenomena. The Lamb-dip cell was used at Kitt Peak to study zonal and meridional winds in the atmosphere of Venus. Water vapor was detected in Comet Halley using Fourier transform spectrometer. The 2.65 micrometer upsilon sub 3 band was seen in emission, confirming non-thermal-equilibrium excitation models for comets. A study was made of the variability of Jovian ethane emission. The average volume mixing ratio of ethane in the Jovian stratosphere was found to be 3x10 to the -6 power, with the greatest variability seen in the auroral regions.

  7. Advanced infrared astronomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kostiuk, Theodor

    1991-01-01

    This task supports the application of infrared heterodyne spectroscopy and other high resolution techniques, as well as infrared arrays to ultra-high resolution studies of molecular constituents of planetary atmospheres. High spectral and spatial resolution measurement and analysis of individual spectral lines permits the retrieval of distributions of atmospheric molecular abundances and temperatures and thus, information on local photochemical processes. Determination of absolute line positions to better than 10(exp -8) permits direct measurement of gas velocities to a few m/sec and thus, the study of dynamics. Observations are made from ground based observatories.

  8. Advanced infrared astronomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kostiuk, T.; Deming, Drake; Mumma, M.

    1988-01-01

    This task supports the application of infrared heterodyne and Fourier transform spectroscopy to ultra-high resolution studies of molecular constituents of planetary astomspheres and cometary comae. High spectral and spatial resolutions are especially useful for detection and study of localized, non-thermal phenomena in low temperature and low density regions, for detection of trace constituents and for measurement of winds and dynamical phenomena such as thermal tides. Measurement and analysis of individual spectial lines permits retrieval of atmospheric molecular abundances and temperatures and thus, information on local photochemical processes. Determination of absolute line positions to better than 10 to the minus eighth power permits direct measurements of gas velocity to a few meters/sec. Observations are made from ground based heterodyne spectrometers at the Kitt Peak McMath solar telescope and from the NASA infrared Telescope Facility on Mauna Kea, Hawaii. Wind velocities at 110km altitude on Venus were extracted approximately 1 m/sec from measurements of non-thermal emission cores of 10.3 micron CO2 lines. Results indicate a subsolar to antisolar circulationwith a small zonal retrograde component.

  9. Asteroid! An Event-Based Science Module. Student Edition. Astronomy Module.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wright, Russell G.

    This book is designed for middle school students to learn scientific literacy through event-based science. Unlike traditional curricula, the event-based earth science module is a student-centered, interdisciplinary, inquiry-oriented program that emphasizes cooperative learning, teamwork, independent research, hands-on investigations, and…

  10. Impact of Modifying Activity-Based Instructional Materials for Special Needs Students in Middle School Astronomy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Olsen, Julia K.; Slater, Timothy F.

    2009-01-01

    Middle school students who have special needs because they are learning disabled require targeted attention in our nation's pursuit of improved science achievement for all students. In early 2006, the Lawrence Hall of Science conducted a national field test of a newly developed GEMS (Great Explorations in Math and Science) space science curriculum…

  11. Introducing Astronomy Related Research into Non-Astronomy Courses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walker, Douglas

    The concern over the insufficient number of students choosing to enter the science and engineering fields has been discussed and documented for years. While historically addressed at the national level, many states are now recognizing that the lack of a highly-skilled technical workforce within their states' borders has a significant effect on their economic health. Astronomy, as a science field, is no exception. Articles appear periodically in the most popular astronomy magazines asking the question, "Where are the young astronomers?" Astronomy courses at the community college level are normally restricted to introductory astronomy I and II level classes that introduce the student to the basics of the night sky and astronomy. The vast majority of these courses is geared toward the non-science major and is considered by many students to be easy and watered down courses in comparison to typical physics and related science courses. A majority of students who enroll in these classes are not considering majors in science or astronomy since they believe that science is "boring and won't produce any type of career for them." Is there any way to attract students? This paper discusses an approach being undertaken at the Estrella Mountain Community College to introduce students in selected mathematics courses to aspects of astronomy related research to demonstrate that science is anything but boring. Basic statistical techniques and understanding of geometry are applied to a large virgin data set containing the magnitudes and phase characteristics of sets of variable stars. The students' work consisted of developing and presenting a project that explored analyzing selected aspects of the variable star data set. The description of the data set, the approach the students took for research projects, and results from a survey conducted at semester's end to determine if student's interest and appreciation of astronomy was affected are presented. Using the data set provided, the

  12. Some Thoughts on Oral Examinations for Advanced Students in Japanese

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kato, Hiroki

    1977-01-01

    The difficulties of assessing and grading fluency in Japanese for advanced students on oral examinations is discussed. Factors of accuracy of grammar and vocabulary, pronunciation, and ease of expression are discussed. (CHK)

  13. The California-Arizona Minority Partnership for Astronomy Research and Education (CAMPARE): an Educational Experience for Undergraduates at the University of Arizona Alumni Association's Astronomy Camp.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lemon, Courtney; McCarthy, D.; Rudolph, A.

    2011-01-01

    The California-Arizona Minority Partnership for Astronomy Research and Education (CAMPARE) is an NSF-funded partnership between the Astronomy Program at Cal Poly Pomona (CPP) and the University of Arizona Steward Observatory designed to promote participation of underrepresented minorities (including women) in astronomy research and education. As part of the education component of the program, CPP undergraduate physics majors and minors are eligible to work as a counselor at the University of Arizona's Astronomy Camp, one of the premier astronomy outreach opportunities in the world. CAMPARE students have the opportunity to work in this learn-by-doing environment with a wide range of students to gain first hand experience of teaching astronomy to students of a wide variety of ages in highly structured educational setting. Cal Poly Pomona students who are interested in education, both formal and informal, work in a variety of camps, from Girl Scout camps to camps for advanced high school students, to further their understanding of what it means to be a professional in the field of education. The CAMPARE student who participated in this program during summer 2010 had the opportunity to work under Dr. Don McCarthy, camp director of University of Arizona's Astronomy Camps for 20 years, and observe the interpersonal relations between campers and staff that is so vital to the learning the students receive. Through these observations, the CAMPARE student was able to learn to gauge students' interest in the material, and experience real life teaching and learning scenarios in the informal education realm.

  14. Primary Astronomy.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Greenstone, Sid; Smith, Murray

    Selected materials needed to teach an astronomy unit as well as suggested procedures, activities, ideas, and astronomy fact sheets published by the Manitoba Planetarium are provided. Subjects of the fact sheets include: publications and classroom picture sets available from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and facts and statistics…

  15. Intermediate Astronomy.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Greenstone, Sid; Smith, Murray

    Selected materials needed to teach an astronomy unit as well as suggested procedures, activities, ideas, and astronomy fact sheets published by the Manitoba Planetarium are provided. Subjects of the fact sheets include: publications and classroom picture sets available from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and facts and statistics…

  16. Radio astronomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wolken, P. R.; Schaffer, R. D.; Gorenstein, M. V.

    1981-01-01

    The activities of the Deep Space Network in support of Radio Astronomy Operations during April and May 1981 are reported. Work in progres in support of an experiment selected for use of the DSN by the Radio Astronomy Experiment Selection Panel, Twin Quasi-Stellar Object VLBI, is reported.

  17. Radio astronomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Taylor, R. M.; Manchester, R. N.

    1980-01-01

    The activities of the Deep Space Network in support of radio and radar astronomy operations during July and August 1980 are reported. A brief update on the OSS-sponsored planetary radio astronomy experiment is provided. Also included are two updates, one each from Spain and Australia on current host country activities.

  18. Radio astronomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shaffer, R. D.; Wolken, P. R.; Gulkis, S.

    1981-01-01

    The activities of the Deep Space Network in support of radio astronomy operations during the first quarter of 1981 are reported. Results of the use of a low noise maser are presented, as well as updates in DSN support of experiments sanctioned by the Radio Astronomy Experiment Selection Panel.

  19. Radio Astronomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shaffer, R. D.; Wolken, P. R.; Niell, A. E.

    1981-01-01

    The activities of the DSN in support of Radio and Radar Astronomy Operations during September through December 1980 are described. Emphasis is on a report of an experiment selected for use of the DSN by the radio Astronomy Experiment Selection Panel: that of VLBI observations of the energetic galactic object SS-433.

  20. Blazing the Trail for Astronomy Education Research

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bailey, Janelle M.; Lombardi, Doug

    2015-01-01

    Education research has long considered student learning of topics in astronomy and the space sciences, but astronomy education research as a sub-field of discipline-based education research is relatively new. Driven by a growing interest among higher education astronomy educators in improving the general education, introductory science survey…

  1. Integration of ICT Methods for Teaching Science and Astronomy to Students and Teachers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ghosh, Sumit; Chary, Naveen; Raghavender, G.; Aslam, Syed

    All children start out as scientist, full of curiosity and questions about the world, but schools eventually destroy their curiosity. In an effective teaching and learning process, the most challenging task is to motivate the students. As the science subjects are more abstract and complex, the job of teachers become even more daunting. We have devised an innovative idea of integrating ICT methods for teaching space science to students and teachers. In a third world country like India, practical demonstrations are given less importance and much emphasis is on theoretical aspects. Even the teachers are not trained or aware of the basic concepts. With the intention of providing the students and as well as the teachers more practical, real-time situations, we have incorporated innovative techniques like video presentation, animations, experimental models, do-yourself-kits etc. In addition to these we provide hands on experience on some scientific instruments like telescope, Laser. ICT has the potential to teach complex science topics to students and teachers in a safe environment and cost effective manner. The students are provided with a sense of adventure, wherein now they can manipulate parameters, contexts and environment and can try different scenarios and in the process they not only learn science but also the content and also the reasoning behind the content. The response we have obtained is very encouraging and students as well as teachers have acknowledged that they have learnt new things, which up to now they were ignorant of.

  2. Service Learning in Introductory Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Orleski, Michael

    2013-12-01

    Service learning is a method of instruction where the students in a course use the course's content in a service project. The service is included as a portion of the students' course grades. During the fall semester 2010, service learning was incorporated into the Introduction to Astronomy course at Misericordia University. The class had eight students and the service project centered on hosting astronomy observations for fifth- and sixth-grade students from two nearby elementary schools. The astronomy students operated telescopes, pointed out constellations, and spoke to the audience members about the objects they were observing. Since service learning requires a minimum number of hours the students must log over the course of fulfilling the service project, the students planned alternative activities in case the weather did not allow the observations to be held. A key part of service learning is for the students to reflect on the service experience and how it influenced their learning of the course material.

  3. Teacher Consultant Services for Advanced Students.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Idol-Maestas, Lorna; Celentano, Ray

    1986-01-01

    The article describes the role of teacher consultants in working with classroom teachers, school counselors, and parents at one high school for academically gifted students. Two examples of how a teacher consultant effectively altered the performance of two students with organizational and study skill problems are offered. (Author/DB)

  4. Using Advance Organizers to Enhance Students' Motivation in Learning Biology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shihusa, Hudson; Keraro, Fred N.

    2009-01-01

    This study investigated the effect of using advance organizers on students' motivation to learn biology. The research design used was quasi-experimental design where the non-randomised Solomon Four group was adopted. The focus was on the topic pollution. The sample comprised of 166 form three (third grade in the secondary school cycle) students in…

  5. Blending Technology and Face-to-Face: Advanced Students' Choices

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Trinder, Ruth

    2016-01-01

    It has been suggested that current research in computer-assisted language learning (CALL) should seek to understand the conditions and circumstances that govern students' use of technology (Steel & Levy, 2013). This paper attempts to identify critical factors accounting for student choices, first, by investigating advanced learners' reported…

  6. Speaking Activities for the Advanced College-Bound Student.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Henderson, Don

    Three activities for developing speaking skills of advanced English as second language students are presented. Impromptu speaking, extemporaneous speaking, and debate activities are designed to train students to organize concepts, develop spontaneous oral skills, and enhance confidence and clarity of thought. Impromptu speaking develops…

  7. University Students' Views on the Utility of Psychiatric Advance Directives

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Scheyett, Anna M.; Rooks, Adrienne

    2012-01-01

    Objective: Rates of serious mental illnesses (SMIs) among university students are increasing, and universities are struggling with how to respond to students who show SMI symptoms. Psychiatric advance directives (PADs) allow individuals, when well, to document their wishes for treatment during a psychiatric crisis. This project explored the…

  8. Impact of Using Student-Generated Assessment Feedback to Enhance Learning Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lyons, Daniel Jonathan

    2010-01-01

    For ASTRO 101, we have implemented a backwards faded scaffolding strategy where the conventional, rigidly linear scientific method is turned on its head. Students are first taught to create conclusions based on evidence, then how experimental design creates evidence, and finally introduces students to - what we believe is the most challenging part of inquiry - inventing scientifically appropriate questions. We have been using this with hundreds of non-science majoring undergraduates to prepare them to carry out independent research projects to be presented as professional posters at an end-of-semester mini-science conference. This approach seems to have many benefits, but most importantly that students learn to successfully conceive of and produce scientific studies independently and, in the process, develop deeper understandings of the nature of science and scientific inquiry. Additionally, the tenets of how people learn clearly indicate that frequent formative assessment is critical to helping learners develop deep and flexible expertise. In response, we have created a set of peer-assessment exercises where students are provided with mock inquiry laboratory reports and tasked with evaluating them. The students are given laboratory reports where (i) conclusions are not sufficiently supported by evidence; (ii) data collection procedures do not yield sufficient evidence to answer the research question; and, most critically, (iii) evidence-based conclusions that do not tightly align with the given research questions. We also ask students to redesign one of the given inquiries, carry out the inquiry using their improved design, and finally, summarize the specific actions they took to improve the line of inquiry. We find that when students devote time to systematically evaluating less-than-perfect laboratory reports, they describe that their own skills at conducting high quality scientific inquiry are enhanced. These self-reports of metacognitive attention are

  9. Astronomy Education - the Caribbean Experience

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haque-Copilah, Shirin; Cornwall, Derick; Pasha, Syed

    This paper presents the results of a survey conducted in high schools (ages 11-18) among teachers and students to establish the status of Astronomy education in the Caribbean. The survey indicates strong interest in Astronomy among students and educators alike but because of inadequate resources and a lack of teacher training it has not been given the attention it deserves. In addition we present the results of the Caribbean Institute of Astronomy's (CARINA) ongoing efforts at astronomy education and popularization both independently and in conjunction with the only Science Center in the Caribbean. Problems specific to astronomy education in the Caribbean are also discussed with regard to funding communication and lack of human resources.

  10. Some Ideas on Teaching Astronomy.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Allan, Phil

    1980-01-01

    Described are several homework activities for use in teaching Astronomy. Topics include optical telescopes, the sun, and facts about the solar system. The format is a series of true-false questions related to diagrams which students must complete. (DS)

  11. Radio astronomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kellermann, Kenneth I.; Heeschen, David; Backer, Donald C.; Cohen, Marshall H.; Davis, Michael; Depater, Imke; Deyoung, David; Dulk, George A.; Fisher, J. R.; Goss, W. Miller

    1991-01-01

    The following subject areas are covered: (1) scientific opportunities (millimeter and sub-millimeter wavelength astronomy; meter to hectometer astronomy; the Sun, stars, pulsars, interstellar masers, and extrasolar planets; the planets, asteroids, and comets; radio galaxies, quasars, and cosmology; and challenges for radio astronomy in the 1990's); (2) recommendations for new facilities (the millimeter arrays, medium scale instruments, and small-scale projects); (3) continuing activities and maintenance, upgrading of telescopes and instrumentation; (4) long range programs and technology development; and (5) social, political, and organizational considerations.

  12. Planetary astronomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, Harlan J.

    1991-01-01

    Lunar-based astronomy offers major prospects for solar system research in the coming century. In addition to active advocacy of both ground-based and Lunar-based astronomy, a workshop on the value of asteroids as a resource for man is being organized. The following subject areas are also covered: (1) astrophysics from the Moon (composition and structure of planetary atmospheres); (2) a decade of cost-reduction in Very Large Telescopes (the SST as prototype of special-purpose telescopes); and (3) a plan for development of lunar astronomy.

  13. Analysis of astronomy knowledge of the students in the Federal Institute Sao Paulo

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moraes, A. C.; Voelzke, M. R.

    2014-08-01

    abordados e os alunos obtiveram uma melhora significativa no aprendizado dos conceitos relacionados à astronomia. Nota-se que a astronomia está presente e é elemento importante dos parâmetros curriculares nacionais e que há muito interesse por parte dos alunos com relação ao tema. Diante dos resultados obtidos no pós-curso, pode-se afirmar que o curso básico em astronomia, realizado na própria escola, mas externo ao conteúdo programático, proporcionou uma integração entre os alunos, estreitando os laços de amizade e do conhecimento entre eles não importando a turma ou o período pois a dificuldade inicial foi vencida por todos, com muita dedicação e comprometimento entre todos; hoje estes alunos podem seguramente continuar estudando estes conceitos de astronomia. ALBRECHT, E.; VOELZKE, M. R.Teaching of Astronomy and scientific literacy. Journal of Science Education, v. 11, n. 1, p.35-38, 2010.

  14. Discovering astronomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chapman, R. D.

    1978-01-01

    An overview of basic astronomical knowledge is presented with attention to the structure and dynamics of the stars and planets. Also dealt with are techniques of astronomical measurement, e.g., stellar spectrometry, radio astronomy, star catalogs, etc. Basic physical principles as they pertain to astronomy are reviewed, including the nature of light, gravitation, and electromagnetism. Finally, stellar evolution and cosmology are discussed with reference to the possibility of life elsewhere in the universe.

  15. Exposing Calculus Students to Advanced Mathematics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Griffiths, Barry J.; Haciomeroglu, Erhan Selcuk

    2014-01-01

    To ensure the competitiveness of the USA in the global economy, and its role as a leader in science and engineering, it is important to cultivate the next generation of home grown mathematicians. However, while universities across the USA offer calculus classes to thousands of undergraduate students each year, very few of them go on to major in…

  16. Edible Astronomy Demonstrations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lubowich, D. A.

    2006-08-01

    By using astronomy demonstrations with edible ingredients, I have been able to increase student interest and knowledge of astronomical concepts. This approach has been successful with all age groups from elementary school through college students. I will present some of the edible demonstrations I have created including using popcorn to simulate radioactivity; using chocolate, nuts, and marshmallows to illustrate density and differentiation during the formation of the planets; and making big-bang brownies or chocolate chip-cookies to illustrate the expansion of the Universe. Sometimes the students eat the results of the astronomical demonstrations. These demonstrations are an effective teaching tool and the students remember these demonstrations after they are presented.

  17. Test Of Astronomy STandards TOAST Survey of K-12 Teachers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Slater, Timothy F.; Slater, Stephanie; Stork, Debra J.

    2015-01-01

    Discipline-based education research in astronomy is focused on understanding the underlying mental mechanisms used by students when learning astronomy and teachers when teaching astronomy. Systematic surveys of K-12 teacher' knowledge in the domain of astronomy are conducted periodically in order to better focus and improve professional development. These surveys are most often done when doing contemporary needs assessments or when new assessment instruments are readily available. Designed by Stephanie J. Slater of the CAPER Center for Astronomy & Physics Education Research, the 29-item multiple-choice format Test Of Astronomy STandards - TOAST is a carefully constructed, criterion-referenced instrument constructed upon a solid list of clearly articulated and widely agreed upon learning objectives. The targeted learning concepts tightly align with the consensus learning goals stated by the American Astronomical Society - Chair's Conference on ASTRO 101, the American Association of the Advancement of Science's Project 2061 Benchmarks, and the National Research Council's 1996 National Science Education Standards. Without modification, the TOAST is also aligned with the significantly less ambitious 2013 Next Generation Science Standards created by Achieve, Inc., under the auspices of the National Research Council. This latest survey reveals that K-12 teachers still hold many of the same fundamental misconceptions uncovered by earlier surveys. This includes misconceptions about the size, scale, and structure of the cosmos as well as misconceptions about the nature of physical processes at work in astronomy. This suggests that professional development in astronomy is still needed and that modern curriculum materials are best served if they provide substantial support for implementation.

  18. Rescuing Middle School Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mayo, L. A.; Janney, D.

    2010-12-01

    There is a crisis in education at the middle school level (Spellings, 2006). Recent studies point to large disparities in middle school performance in schools with high minority populations. The largest disparities exist in areas of math and science. Astronomy has a universal appeal for K-12 students but is rarely taught at the middle school level. When it is taught at all it is usually taught in isolation with few references in other classes such as other sciences (e.g. physics, biology, and chemistry), math, history, geography, music, art, or English. The problem is greatest in our most challenged school districts. With scores in reading and math below national averages in these schools and with most state achievement tests ignoring subjects like astronomy, there is little room in the school day to teach about the world outside our atmosphere. Add to this the exceedingly minimal training and education in astronomy that most middle school teachers have and it is a rare school that includes any astronomy teaching at all. In this presentation, we show how to develop and offer an astronomy education training program for middle school teachers encompassing a wide range of educational disciplines that are frequently taught at the middle school level. The prototype for this program was developed and launched in two of the most challenged and diverse school systems in the country; D.C. Public Schools, and Montgomery County (MD) Public Schools.

  19. Astronomy in Research-Based Science Education (A-RBSE): A Review of a Decade of Professional Development Programs in Support of Teacher and Student Research at the National Optical Astronomy Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pompea, S. M.; Garmany, C. D.; Walker, C. E.; Croft, S. K.

    2006-12-01

    We will review the evolution of the Research Based Science Education (RBSE) and Teacher Leaders in Research Based Science (TLRBSE) programs at the National Optical Astronomy Observatory over the last eleven years. The program has evolved from an NSF-funded program in teacher enhancement to an observatory-supported core education initiative. The present manifestation of our program is an umbrella of programs designed to aid teachers in doing research with astronomical data archives, small telescopes, large research-grade telescopes, and the Spitzer Space Telescope. The professional development program has addressed basic questions on the nature of research, best techniques to bring it into the classroom, the value of authentic research, and the mix of on-line versus in- person professional development. The current program is used to test new models of teacher professional development that for outreach programs for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope program, the Thirty-Meter Telescope program, and the National Virtual Observatory program. We will describe a variety of lessons learned (and relearned) and try to describe best practices in promoting teacher and student research. The TLRBSE Program has been funded by the National Science Foundation under ESI 0101982, funded through the AURA/NSF Cooperative Agreement AST-9613615. NOAO is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA), Inc. under cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation.

  20. College Astronomy Teaching Excellence Workshops

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Slater, T. F.; Bennett, M.; Greene, W. M.; Pompea, S.; Prather, E. E.

    2003-12-01

    As part of the education and public outreach efforts of the NASA JPL Navigator, SIRTF Mission and the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, astronomy educators affiliated with the Conceptual Astronomy and Physics Education Research (CAPER) Team at the University of Arizona are conducting a series of two- and three-day teaching excellence workshops for college faculty. These workshops are being held in conjunction with professional society meetings, such as the American Astronomical Society and the American Association of Physics Teachers, and through the infrastructure of the National Science Foundation's Summer Chautauqua Workshop program. This three-day, interactive teaching excellence workshop focuses on dilemmas astronomy teachers face and develop practical solutions for the troubling issues in curriculum, instruction, and assessment. After reviewing the latest research about how students learn, participants define and set measurable student learning goals and objectives for students in their astronomy courses and construct effective course syllabi reflecting the ASTRO 101 goals publicized by the AAS. To improve instruction, participants learn how to create productive learning environments by using interactive lectures, peer instruction, engaging demonstrations, collaborative groups, tutorials, computer-based laboratories, and observational projects. Participants also learn how to write more effective multiple-choice tests and implement authentic assessment strategies including portfolio assessment, performance tasks, and concept maps. Texts provided at the workshop are: (i) Learner-Centered Astronomy Teaching, Slater and Adams, Prentice Hall, 2002; (ii) Great Ideas for Teaching Astronomy, Pompea, Brooks Cole, 2000; and (iii) Lecture-Tutorials for Introductory Astronomy, Adams, Prather, & Slater, Prentice Hall, 2002.

  1. The NASA Center for Astronomy Education (CAE): 2007 College Astronomy Teaching Excellence Workshops

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brissenden, Gina; Prather, E. E.; Slater, T. F.; Greene, W. M.; Thaller, M.

    2006-12-01

    Since 2003 the NASA Center for Astronomy Education (CAE) has been devoted to the professional development of introductory college astronomy faculty with a special focus on faculty teaching at community colleges. As part of our efforts CAE conducts 2-day and 3-day Teaching Excellence Workshops. In Tier I (introductory) Workshops, the overarching goal is for participants to become familiar with learner-centered teaching and assessment materials, as well as how to implement them in their college introductory astronomy courses. To accomplish this goal, participants learn how to create productive learning environments by reviewing research on the nature of teaching and learning; setting course goals and objectives; and using interactive lectures, peer instruction, engaging demonstrations, collaborative groups, tutorials, and ranking tasks. Participants also learn how to create more effective multiple-choice tests. In Tier II (advanced) Workshops, the overarching goal is to help past workshop participants with their obstacles to implementing a learner-centered introductory college astronomy course. Workshop participants work to understand how students learn while engaged in learner-centered activities and what the role of the instructor is in the learner-centered class. CAE regional workshops are held at community colleges around the country, NASA Research Centers, and in conjunction with professional society meetings, such as the American Astronomical Society and the American Association of Physics Teachers, and also through the infrastructure of the National Science Foundation's Summer Chautauqua Workshop program. The NASA Center for Astronomy Education (CAE) is a partnership with the Univ. of Arizona Conceptual Astronomy & Physics Education Research (CAPER) Team. CAE is supported by NASA JPL's Navigator Public Engagement program (consisting of several space telescopes--including SIM PlanetQuest, the Terrestrial Planet Finder, the Keck Interferometer, and the Large

  2. Improving Astronomy Achievement and Attitude through Astronomy Summer Project: A Design, Implementation and Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Türk, Cumhur; Kalkan, Hüseyin; Iskeleli', Nazan Ocak; Kiroglu, Kasim

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of an astronomy summer project implemented in different learning activities on elementary school students, pre-service elementary teachers and in-service teachers' astronomy achievement and their attitudes to astronomy field. This study is the result of a five-day, three-stage, science school,…

  3. Introducing the AAS Astronomy Ambassadors Program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gurton, S.; Fienberg, R. T.; Fraknoi, A.; Prather, E. E.

    2013-04-01

    Newly established by the American Astronomical Society (AAS), the Astronomy Ambassadors program is designed to support early-career AAS members with training in resources and techniques for effective outreach to students and/or the public. A pilot Astronomy Ambassadors workshop will be held at the January 2013 AAS meeting. Workshop participants will learn to communicate effectively with public and school audiences; find outreach opportunities and establish ongoing partnerships with local schools, science centers, museums, parks, and/or community centers; reach audiences with personal stories, hands-on activities, and jargon-free language; identify strategies and techniques to improve their presentation skills; gain access to a menu of outreach resources that work in a variety of settings; and become part of an active community of astronomers who do outreach. Applications are welcome from advanced undergraduates (those doing research and committed to continuing in astronomy), graduate students, and postdocs and new faculty in their first two years after receipt of the PhD. We especially encourage applications from members of groups that are presently underrepresented in science.

  4. Infrared Astronomy in the Past Half Century

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harwit, M.

    Infrared astronomy has greatly changed in the past four decades. From a small extension to optical astronomy that stretched out to slightly longer wavelengths, infrared astronomy gradually reached out to cover the entire wavelength range to the radio regime, and established itself as a field of importance in its own right. These efforts required the development of new detection techniques that permitted access to ever larger portions of the near-,mid and far-infrared regime and extended out into the submillimeter domain. Infrared and submillimeter techniques became essential for the investigations of star formation processes that took place at such low temperatures that no optical emission could be expected. The new observations pierced the dark dust clouds populating the Milky Way to provide a clear view of the Galaxy's center. In the distant Universe startlingly luminous merging galaxies came into view. We were beginning to look far back in time to perceive the gradual evolution of galaxies over the aeons. A serious drawback, however, persisted. At progressively longer wavelengths the view of the Universe became increasingly blurred. Ordinary telescopes no longer provided sharp views. Interferometers would have to be pioneered and constructed at great cost. Major investments led to the construction of dedicated facilities, on the ground, in the air and in space. The increased funding, however, also dictated that infrared astronomers reorganize themselves.Initially started by a few individuals working with their students and a few technicians, infrared astronomy had to change as increasing numbers of scientists entered the field and began to erect facilities that required the dedicated efforts of hundreds of astronomers on a single project. Infrared astronomy has evolved into Big Science, a limit at which increasing budgets threaten to become an unacceptable burden on society. Members of our discipline will need to think carefully how we may continue to pursue

  5. The Astronomy Workshop

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamilton, D. P.; Asbury, M. L.

    2000-10-01

    The Astronomy Workshop (http://janus.astro.umd.edu) is an interactive online astronomy resource developed and maintained at the University of Maryland for use by students, educators and the general public. The Astronomy Workshop has been extensively tested in large university survey courses, as well as smaller classes for undergraduate majors and graduate students. It has also been used in High School and Junior High School science classes. Below are some tools in the Astronomy Workshop. Animated Orbits of Planets and Moons: The orbits of the nine planets and 63 known planetary satellites are shown in animated, to-scale drawings. The orbiting bodies move at their correct relative speeds about their parent, which is rendered as an attractive, to-scale gif image. Planetary Calculators (New!): Calculate a simple formula, e.g. the escape velocity, simultaneously for all planets and moons in the Solar System. Solar System Collisions: This most popular of our applications shows what happens when an asteroid or comet with user-defined size and speed impacts a given planet. The program calculates many effects, including the country impacted (if Earth is the target), energy of explosion, crater size, and magnitude of the ``planetquake'' generated. It also displays a relevant image (e.g. terrestrial crater, lunar crater, etc.). Build Your Own Solar System (New!): Choose the masses of up to four planets, and their orbital sizes and shapes, and explore the prospects for life in your creation. Astronomical Distances: Travel away from the Earth at a chosen speed and see how long it takes to reach other planets, stars and galaxies. This tool helps students visualize astronomical distances in an intuitive way. Funding for the Astronomy Workshop is provided by NSF.

  6. Strategies for Teaching Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bennett, J.

    2000-12-01

    No matter whether you are teaching school children, undergraduates, or colleagues, a few key strategies are always useful. I will present and give examples for the following five key strategies for teaching astronomy. 1. Provide a Contextual Framework: It is much easier to learn new facts or concepts if they can be ``binned" into some kind of pre-existing mental framework. Unless your listeners are already familiar with the basic ideas of modern astronomy (such as the hierarchy of structure in the universe, the scale of the universe, and the origin of the universe), you must provide this before going into the details of how we've developed this modern picture through history. 2. Create Conditions for Conceptual Change: Many people hold misconceptions about astronomical ideas. Therefore we cannot teach them the correct ideas unless we first help them unlearn their prior misconceptions. 3. Make the Material Relevant: It's human nature to be more interested in subjects that seem relevant to our lives. Therefore we must always show students the many connections between astronomy and their personal concerns, such as emphasizing how we are ``star stuff" (in the words of Carl Sagan), how studying other planets helps us understand our own, and so on. 4. Limit Use of Jargon: The number of new terms in many introductory astronomy books is larger than the number of words taught in many first courses in foreign language. This means the books are essentially teaching astronomy in a foreign language, which is a clear recipe for failure. We must find ways to replace jargon with plain language. 5. Challenge Your Students: Don't dumb your teaching down; by and large, students will rise to meet your expectations, as long as you follow the other strategies and practice good teaching.

  7. Solar Fireworks - Integrating an Exhibit on Solar Physics and Space Science into the Science and Astronomy Curriculum of High-School and College Students

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Denker, C.; Wang, H.; Conod, K. D.; Wintemberg, T.; Calderon, I.

    2005-05-01

    Astronomers at The Newark Museum's Alice and Leonard Dreyfuss Planetarium teamed up with the New Jersey Institute of Technology's (NJIT) Center for Solar-Terrestrial Research (CSTR) and the Big Bear Solar Observatory in presenting Solar Fireworks. The exhibit opened on May 15, 2004 and features two exhibition kiosks with interactive touch screen displays, where students and other visitors can take "virtual tours" in the fields of solar physics, solar activity, Sun-Earth connection, and geo-sciences. Planetarium and museum visits are an integral part of the introductory physics and astronomy classes at NJIT and the exhibition has been integrated in the astronomy curriculum. For example, NJIT students of the Astronomy Club and regular astronomy courses were closely involved in the design and development of the exhibit. The exhibit is the latest addition to the long-running natural science exhibit "Dynamic Earth: Revealing Nature's Secrets" at the museum. More than 30,000 people per year attend various programs offered by the planetarium including public shows, more than a dozen programs for school groups, after school activities, portable planetarium outreach, outdoor sky watches, solar observing and other family events. More than 1,000 high school students visited the planetarium in 2004. The exhibit is accompanied by a yearly teacher workshop (the first one was held on October 18-20, 2004) to enhance the learning experience of classes visiting the Newark Museum. The planetarium and museum staff has been working with teachers of Newark high schools and has presented many workshops for educators on a wide range of topics from astronomy to zoology. At the conclusion of the exhibit in December 2005, the exhibit will go "on the road" and will be made available to schools or other museums. Finally, the exhibit will find its permanent home at the new office complex of CSTR at NJIT. Acknowledgements: Solar Fireworks was organized by The Newark Museum and the New Jersey

  8. Students in Advanced Research for Sky Surveillance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gehrels, Tom

    1997-11-01

    Spacewatch program discovers small bodies (asteroids and comets) in the solar system and analyzes their distributions with orbital parameters and absolute magnitude. Scanning of the night sky is conducted 18-20 nights per month with tbe 0.9-m Spacewatch Telescope on Kitt Peak. About 1200. to 2000 sqare degrees of sky are searched each year to a V magnitude level of 21.3. Spacewatch discoveries support studies of the evolution of the Centaur, Trojan, Main-Belt, and Earth-approaching asteroid populations. Space watch also finds potential targets for space missions, finds objects that might present a hazard of impact on the Earth, provides accurate astrometry of about 30,000 asteroids annually, and recovers comets and asteroids that are too faint for most other observers. This AASERT grant supported several undergraduate students working on upgrades to instrumentation and analyses of date under the supervision of spacewatch engineers and researchers. The opportunity to have young, energetic new members of the group accomplished a great del of work, simulated and exxelerated our research efforts, and enhanced the students' career opportunities.

  9. Shadow Science: Astronomy in the Schoolyard

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Denney, Janice

    2005-01-01

    It is natural to study astronomy outdoors, but it is not quite as natural to study astronomy during the daytime. This lesson uses the Earth's closest star as a subject of study within the schoolyard. The importance of the rising sun is combined with hands-on inquiry in which students explore the properties of shadows. Students (a) complete a…

  10. Astronomy in the classroom

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moiteiro, Bárbara; Rodrigues, Berta

    2016-04-01

    The motivation of young students to science is much higher when the theoretical teaching is accompanied by practice and these are engaged in activities that involve real problems of their society and requiring a scientific basis for its discussion. Several activities such as collaboration on current scientific experiments, direct contact with scientists, participation in science competitions, visits to Science Museums, artistic and craft activities, the use of simulators and virtual laboratories, increase the degree of student satisfaction and motivate them in their learning processes. This poster shows some of Astronomy activities with students of schools Agrupamento de Escolas José Belchior Viegas within the Physics and Chemistry classes.

  11. Advanced Learning Space as an Asset for Students with Disabilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Císarová, Klára; Lamr, Marián; Vitvarová, Jana

    2015-01-01

    The paper describes an e-learning system called Advanced Learning Space that was developed at the Technical University of Liberec. The system provides a personalized virtual work space and promotes communication among students and their teachers. The core of the system is a module that can be used to automatically record, store and playback…

  12. MLA FOREIGN LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY TESTS FOR TEACHERS AND ADVANCED STUDENTS.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    STARR, WILMARTH H.

    THE DEVELOPMENT AND EVALUATION OF THE MODERN LANGUAGE ASSOCIATION (MLA) FOREIGN LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY TESTS FOR TEACHERS AND ADVANCED STUDENTS ARE THE SUBJECTS OF THIS FINAL PROJECT REPORT. FOLLOWING AN ACCOUNT OF THE EVENTS THAT LED TO THE AWARDING OF A GOVERNMENT CONTRACT TO MLA TO DEVELOP NATIONALLY STANDARDIZED QUALIFICATION TESTS AND A…

  13. Early Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thurston, Hugh

    The earliest investigations that we can relate to what is now science are observations of the sky: Astronomy. The earliest written records of every civilization we know of - from China, Egypt, the Tigris-Euphrates and Indus valleys, Central America, the Andes, and so forth - all contain at least some astronomical texts. There are in addition monuments and artifacts that show a clear interest in astronomy, such as Stonehenge and rock paintings, from cultures that left no written records. The interest in celestial phenomena contributed to the development of Babylonian arithmetic and Greek geometry.

  14. History of the Astronomy in the Century XX: Perspective Cosmo-philosophically of its Advances and their Origenes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernandez Quintano, Jose

    The man has for the first time been able to contemplate from the Earth space. For the first time, a cosmological theory, the big-bang, physically explains the origin of the universe. But also, for the first time, the man has seen reunited the origins of this celestial science through the paleolithics antecedents, and just discovered in Mesopotamia. Now, the philosophy proposes through the thinking J. Habermas, an ideal community of speech. Now, astronomy proposes a model that explains the causal origins of all the created one. Of the assembly of recoveries, it excels the recovery of the old cuneiform cultures. Compared vision of assembly and between the assyriologists outstanding work like Epping, Strassmaier and Kugler, goes to der Waerden and Neugebauer, along with the work of eminent physicists and thinkers of this century.

  15. Division x: Radio Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taylor, Russ; Chapman, Jessica; Rendong, Nan; Carilli, Christopher; Giovannini, Gabriele; Hills, Richard; Hirabayashi, Hisashi; Jonas, Justin; Lazio, Joseph; Morganti, Raffaella; Rubio, Monica; Shastri, Prajval

    2012-04-01

    This triennium has seen a phenomenal investment in development of observational radio astronomy facilities in all parts of the globe at a scale that significantly impacts the international community. This includes both major enhancements such as the transition from the VLA to the EVLA in North America, and the development of new facilities such as LOFAR, ALMA, FAST, and Square Kilometre Array precursor telescopes in Australia and South Africa. These developments are driven by advances in radio-frequency, digital and information technologies that tremendously enhance the capabilities in radio astronomy. These new developments foreshadow major scientific advances driven by radio observations in the next triennium. We highlight these facility developments in section 3 of this report. A selection of science highlight from this triennium are summarized in section 2.

  16. Life after Introductory Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McNamara, B.; Hameed, S.

    2000-12-01

    Beginning astronomy is a popular class for undergraduates, and a fair percentage of these students would take another nontechnical class in this field if one were available. What other courses exist for students to take after introductory astronomy? At NMSU we offer three classes that enroll large numbers of juniors/seniors who are nonscience majors. These classes are (1) Into the Final Frontier: the Human Exploration of Space, (2) The Search for Life in the Universe, (3) and Revolutionary Ideas in Science. Curricula for these classes, teaching strategies, and course materials will be provided in this poster presentation for those wishing to offer similar classes at their institutions. Some of th work presented in this poster was support by the NSF and NASA

  17. United States Astronomy Education: Past, Present, and Future

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bishop, Jeanne E.

    1977-01-01

    Assesses the history and current trends in astronomy education. Emphasis is placed in precollege science education. Recommendations to remedy the current low emphasis on astronomy in the secondary education curriculum are advanced. (CP)

  18. Astronomy in Romanian universities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barbosu, Mihail

    In this work we present characteristics of the Romanian higher education related to the study of Astronomy. In spite of Romanian economic problems, opportunities for Bachelor's degree, Master's degree (at "Babes-Bolyai" University of Cluj-Napoca) and Ph.D. degree are provided for students enrolled at the faculties of Mathematics or Physics. General regulations, description of courses, research resources and job opportunities are also described and discussed in this paper.

  19. Astronomy Science Fair Projects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pittichová, J.; Kadooka, M.-A.; Meech, K. J.

    2004-12-01

    ``Extrasolar Planet Transit", ``Lightcurve of a Variable Star", and ``Retrograde Motion of Mars" are some of the titles of high school students' projects entered in the Hawaii State Science Fair. TOPS (Toward Other Planetary Systems) teachers who participated in the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy summer outreach program under the direction of professor Karen J. Meech mentored their students. After attending the 3-week National Science Foundation Institute for several summers since 1999, these teachers in the summer of 2003 were trained to do observing plans to obtain images from telescopes, use image processing software MIRA for photometry, and produce light curves of variable stars and extrasolar planet transits. Others used the software ``Astrometrica" to do astrometry of Kuiper Belt Objects. Using Compaq laptop computers on long term loan, our teachers mentored students for astronomy projects during the 2003-2004 school year. These students made observing plans for images from the 31inch Lowell Telescope in Arizona and/or from the 2.2m University of Hawaii Telescope at Mauna Kea Observatory. Learning about filters, exposure time, magnitude, frequency of taking CCD images, and ephemeris required many iterations between students, teachers, and astronomers and graduate students who were assisting. Poor weather conditions and other frustrations exposed the students to the realities of research. However, they were rewarded with projects that impressed the judges and that will be described.

  20. Astronomy Graphics.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hubin, W. N.

    1982-01-01

    Various microcomputer-generated astronomy graphs are presented, including those of constellations and planetary motions. Graphs were produced on a computer-driver plotter and then reproduced for class use. Copies of the programs that produced the graphs are available from the author. (Author/JN)

  1. Astronomy Adventures.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Braus, Judy, Ed.

    1986-01-01

    Ranger Rick's NatureScope is a creative education series dedicated to inspiring in children an understanding and appreciation of the natural world while developing the skills they will need to make responsible decisions about the environment. The topic of this issue is "Astronomy Adventures." Contents are organized into the following sections: (1)…

  2. Lithuanian Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sudzius, J.; Murdin, P.

    2002-01-01

    Lithuanian folklore, archaic calendars and terminology show that Lithuanians were interested in astronomy from ancient times. A lot of celestial bodies have names of Lithuanian origin that are not related to widely accepted ancient Greek mythology. For example, the Milky Way is named `Pauksciu Takas' (literally the way of birds), the constellation of the Great Bear `Didieji Grizulo Ratai' (literal...

  3. Astronomy Activities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Greenstone, Sid

    This document consists of activities and references for teaching astronomy. The activities (which include objectives, list of materials needed, and procedures) focus on: observing the Big Dipper and locating the North Star; examining the Big Dipper's stars; making and using an astrolabe; examining retograde motion of Mars; measuring the Sun's…

  4. Astronomy posters. Abstracts.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Woerden, H.

    Contents: IAU Symposia Nos. 164: Stellar populations. 165: Compact stars in binaries. 166: Astronomical and astrophysical objectives of sub-milliarcsecond optical astrometry. 167: New developments in array technology and applications. 168: Examining the Big Bang and diffuse background radiations. 169: Unsolved problems of the Milky Way. Joint Discussions Nos. 1: Gas disks in galaxies. 2: Origin and detection of planetary systems. 3: Helio- and asteroseismology. 4: Current developments in astronomy education. 5: Activity in the central parts of galaxies. 6: Sun and heliosphere - challenges for solar-terrestrial physics, magneto- and hydrodynamics. 7: History of astronomy. 8: Time scales - state of the art. 9: Women in astronomy. 10: Extragalactic planetary nebulae. 11: Stellar and interstellar lithium and primordial nucleosynthesis. 12: Accuracy of the HR diagram and related parameters. 13: Recent advances in convection theory and modelling. 14: Towards the establishment of the astronomical standards. 15: Statistical evaluation of astronomical time series. 16: Astrophysical applications of powerful new atomic databases. 17: Dust around young stars: How related to solar system dust? 18: Solar system radar observations. 19: Nutation. 20: The status of archiving astronomical data. Working Groups Nos. 1: Problems of astronomy in Africa. 2: Near-Earth objects detection. 3: International catalog projects. 4: Asteroids and comets.

  5. Syllabus Computer in Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hojaev, Alisher S.

    2015-08-01

    One of the most important and actual subjects and training courses in the curricula for undergraduate level students at the National university of Uzbekistan is ‘Computer Methods in Astronomy’. It covers two semesters and includes both lecture and practice classes. Based on the long term experience we prepared the tutorial for students which contain the description of modern computer applications in astronomy.The main directions of computer application in field of astronomy briefly as follows:1) Automating the process of observation, data acquisition and processing2) Create and store databases (the results of observations, experiments and theoretical calculations) their generalization, classification and cataloging, working with large databases3) The decisions of the theoretical problems (physical modeling, mathematical modeling of astronomical objects and phenomena, derivation of model parameters to obtain a solution of the corresponding equations, numerical simulations), appropriate software creation4) The utilization in the educational process (e-text books, presentations, virtual labs, remote education, testing), amateur astronomy and popularization of the science5) The use as a means of communication and data transfer, research result presenting and dissemination (web-journals), the creation of a virtual information system (local and global computer networks).During the classes the special attention is drawn on the practical training and individual work of students including the independent one.

  6. The new Andean Regional Office of Astronomy for Development (ROAD)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Char, Farid; Forero-Romero, Jaime

    2015-08-01

    The Andean Regional Office of Astronomy for Development (ROAD) is a new effort in South America to serve several goals in astronomical development. Six countries (Bolivia, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Perú and Venezuela) will work together, representing a common language block in the Andean region and focusing on develop strategies to strengthen the professional research, education and popularization of astronomy. Our current Working Structure comprises a ROAD Coordinator and Coordinators per Task Force, as well as Organizing Committees, Collaborators and Volunteers.The participating institutions of this new ROAD have been involved in many projects involving each of the current OAD’s Task Forces: research, schools and children and public, exploring educational activities/material to be shared among the Andean countries, standardizing the knowledge and creating inspirational experiences. We expect to generate many efforts in order to bring a more homogeneous activity in each Andean country, taking into account the special role of Chile in global astronomy, due to its great conditions for astronomy and the involvement of many professional observatories, universities and astronomy institutions.Our current (and upcoming) most relevant activities includes: Andean Schools on Astronomy, Andean Graduate Program and Massive Open Online Courses (TF1); Virtual Training Sessions and Teaching material for the visually impaired students; Annual TF2 meeting to gather all the collaborators (TF2); Development for planetariums and Communicating Astronomy with the Public (TF3). The Andean region, in the other hand, will also be involved in at least two important events: the CAP Meeting in May 2016 and the XV LARIM in October 2016 (both in Colombia); and Chile will bid to host the XXXI IAU GA in 2021, with the aim of show the great advances in astronomical development from the Andean region and South America.

  7. Graduate Astronomy Education in the Early Days of Lick Observatory.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Osterbrock, Donald E.

    1980-01-01

    Discusses Lick Observatory's (University of California) early graduate students and graduate program in astronomy. The history of the Lick Observatory and famous astronomy professors and astronomers associated with the Lick Observatory are also discussed. (DS)

  8. Astronomy Books of 1984: Part II--The Technical List.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fraknoi, Andrew

    1985-01-01

    An annotated bibliography of astronomy books is presented. These books (most of which are designed for research astronomers and graduate students) demand substantial background in astronomy and physics. Nontechnical books are reviewed in part I (SE 537 910). (JN)

  9. Astronomy Olympiads in Russia and Their Position in Astronomy Education

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eskin, B.; Tarakanov, P.; Kostina, M.

    2012-12-01

    Astronomy olympiads started to be organised in Russia more than 60 years ago (then it was still USSR). In 1994, on the basis of several regional astronomy olympiads, appeared the All-Russian Astronomy Olympiad (Vserossijskaya astronomicheskaya olimpiada) or ARAO. It has been organised under the auspices of the Ministry of Education and pupils attending higher forms have taken part in it. The main objective of ARAO is to find and support talented pupils. Leading universities of the country (Russia) have also organised their own astronomy olympiads. In this way there are Astronomy Olympiads of Saint Petersburg, Moscow and Kazan. Among them the largest is that of Saint Petersburg. The main characteristic of these olympiads is that they have also included pupils of younger forms and have prepared their own tasks. The main objective of these olympiads is to find and support future students of astronomy classes at those universities. All astronomy Olympiads have played an important role in preparing future astronomers. This work is supported by Leading Scientific Schools Grant No. NSH-3290.2010.2.

  10. Attitude toward Science and Astronomy.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cohen, Edward G.

    A study was conducted at Queensborough Community College to determine if observational, laboratory, and educational activities at an astronomical observatory housing a 12-inch Cassegrain telescope enhanced the attitudes of students enrolled in Physics 110 (The Principles of Astronomy and Science). Two groups of students were involved in the study:…

  11. Service Learning in Introductory Astronomy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Orleski, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Service learning is a method of instruction where the students in a course use the course's content in a service project. The service is included as a portion of the students' course grades. During the fall semester 2010, service learning was incorporated into the Introduction to Astronomy course at Misericordia University. The class had…

  12. Teaching Astronomy at CUSAT

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuriakose, V. C.

    The Department offers a one semester course in Astronomy for PG students. The paper is titled as `Relativity and Astrophysics’ and content of the course is: Tensor Analysis, General Relativity, Cosmology and Astrophysics. From 2009-10 academic year onwards, two experiments: (1) Determination of apparent mass of a star and (2) Measurements of lunar topography are included in the M. Sc. practicals. Students are also given training in sky watching. Since 2006 onwards the department is conducting a summer programme for school children for 10 days during vacation and two days are set apart for Astronomy related topics. We give training to students to make small telescopes and they are also introduced to wonders of the sky. This is now an annual programme of the department. From last year onwards we visit schools especially in villages and students were given training in making small telescopes and a sky watching programme is also held for the benefit of the students. We also conduct sky watching programme in the campus for the benefit of students and the public.

  13. Making Astronomy Accessible

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grice, Noreen A.

    2011-05-01

    A new semester begins, and your students enter the classroom for the first time. You notice a student sitting in a wheelchair or walking with assistance from a cane. Maybe you see a student with a guide dog or carrying a Braille computer. Another student gestures "hello” but then continues hand motions, and you realize the person is actually signing. You wonder why another student is using an electronic device to speak. Think this can't happen in your class? According to the U.S. Census, one out of every five Americans has a disability. And some disabilities, such as autism, dyslexia and arthritis, are considered "invisible” disabilities. This means you have a high probability that one of your students will have a disability. As an astronomy instructor, you have the opportunity to reach a wide variety of learners by using creative teaching strategies. I will share some suggestions on how to make astronomy and your part of the universe more accessible for everyone.

  14. The covered wagon journey: student chronicles in advanced holistic nursing.

    PubMed

    Purnell, Marguerite J; Lange, Bernadette; Bailey, Christie; Drozdowicz, Aleida; Eckes, Shirley; Kinchen, Elizabeth; Smith-Atkinson, Nikkisha

    2013-01-01

    This article recounts the experiences of a first cohort of graduate students in a newly implemented advanced holistic nursing (AHN) track, one of only a handful in the nation, and the first in Florida. The increasing popularity of complementary and alternative healing processes represents the insufficiency of a health system of fragmented care and a desire for holistic healing that is beyond mainstream allopathic care. Graduate holistic nurse education equips nurses to explore the commitment needed to advance the evolution of health care. The covered wagon journey is a metaphor for this meaningful participation. Students journaled their experiences as cotravelers in a lone wagon: embarking on a courageous journey, forging a path of discovery, and reaching their destination as pioneers. This cohort experience embodied the central tenets of holistic nursing, thus creating conscious change and unity within a learning community. The future of AHN is addressed in the context of the contemporary health care environment. PMID:23600022

  15. Grassroots Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marvel, Kevin B.

    Congress has a large impact on the amount and quality of astronomical research that takes place in the United States. By funding NASA and NSF, as well as other agencies such as the Department of Education and the Department of Defense, the Federal Government enables U.S. astronomers to perform cutting edge research. However, Congress makes decisions based on input from citizens. It the citizens are silent on an issue, Congress does not know it exists. Last summer the U.S.amatuer community rallied in support of professional research, resulting in a healthy budget for both NASA and NSF astronomy research. I will present a summary of how the funding process works and how and why amateurs can and should help ensure continued research funding for U.S. astronomy.

  16. Relativistic astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klimishin, I. A.

    The ideas of special and general relativity are discussed in relation to astronomy, in particular, problems concerning blackholes and models of the universe. Such problems as the redshift in the spectra of galaxies, the nature of quasars, and the possible relationships between the microcosm and the macrocosm are also treated. Special attention is given to problems of topology and the three-dimensionality of the universe.

  17. Radio Astronomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wolken, P. R.; Shaffer, R. D.

    1983-01-01

    Deep Space Network (DSN) 26- and 64-meter antenna stations were utilized in support of Radio Astronomy Experiment Selection Panel experiments. Within a time span of 10 days, in May 1983 (267.75 hours total), nine RAES experiments were supported. Most of these experiments involved multifacility interferometry using Mark 3 data recording terminals and as many as six non-DSN observatories. Investigations of black holes, quasars, galaxies, and radio sources are discussed.

  18. Chaco astronomies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martín López, Alejandro

    2015-08-01

    This presentation discusses the result of 18 years of ethnographic and ethnohistorical studies on Chaco astronomies. The main features of the systems of astronomical knowledge of the Chaco Aboriginal groups will be discussed. In particular we will discuss the relevance of the Milky Way, the role of the visibility of the Pleiades, the ways in which the celestial space is represented, the constitution of astronomical orientations in geographic space, etc. We also address a key feature of their vision of the cosmos: the universe is seen by these groups as a socio-cosmos, where humans and non-humans are related. These are therefore actually socio-cosmologies. We will link this to the theories of Chaco Aboriginal groups about power and political relations.We will discuss how the study of Aboriginal astronomies must be performed along with the studies about astronomies of Creole people and European migrants, as well as anthropological studies about the science teaching in the formal education system and by the mass media. In this form we will discuss the relevance of a very complex system of interethnic relations for the conformation of these astronomical representations and practices.We will also discuss the general methodological implications of this case for the ethnoastronomy studies. In particular we will talk about the advantages of a study of regional scope and about the key importance of put in contact the ethnoastronomy with contemporary issues in social sciences.We also analyze the importance of ethnoastronomy studies in relation to studies of sociology of science, especially astronomy. We also study the potential impact on improving formal and informal science curricula and in shaping effective policies to protect the tangible and intangible astronomical heritage in a context of respect for the rights of Aboriginal groups.

  19. Interactive Software Modules For Introductory Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gorjian, V.; Schimpf, S.; Morris, Mark; Malkan, M.

    1993-12-01

    In an attempt to offer undergraduate students a means of visualizing some of the dynamical, geometric, evolutionary, and spectroscopic concepts encountered in introductory astronomy and astrophysics courses, we have developed a set of ten computer modules intended for the interactive investigation of these concepts in a learning center equipped with a cluster of Unix-based workstations. We present six of these software teaching tools: Galaxy (rotation curves), Redshift (line identifications, redshift determinations, and construction of a Hubble plot), Sky View (an on-screen planetarium), Stellar Evolution (dynamic trajectories in the HR diagram), Parallax (parallactic ellipses and proper motions), and Binaries (eclipsing binary light curves and projected appearances evolving with orbital phase). Developed for the X-windows interface on Unix-based workstations for maximum portability and speed, these programs, along with accompanying instruction sets, guide the student through multi-step exercises designed to demonstrate these basic ideas. The sophistication of the modules is advanced enough to permit their utilization in courses spanning a wide range of skill levels with suitable tailoring of the instruction sets. The use of these modules in lower division astronomy and astrophysics classes at UCLA has been met with positive student reviews. We anticipate increased usage as the package of modules grows. Upon request, it can be exported to other institutions. The development of the package has been supported by NSF.

  20. Communicating Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Russo, P.; Barrosa, Mariana

    2007-08-01

    Science Communication plays a crucial role in education and in the public understanding of science. It shortens the distance between scientific research, the school and the general public. Astronomy has a privileged position in the process of science communication since it embraces different areas of knowledge such as mathematics, physics, chemistry, geology and biology. It is capable of attracting a vast audience and is a powerful tool for science popularization. Nowadays, science must compete with many other subjects for a place in the media and in the public's attention. This paradigm has raised the standards and demands for science communication and pushed it into professionalism. The International Year of Astronomy 2009 (IYA2009) is one of the biggest challenges for astronomy communication. There are two key elements in the communication strategy that are often forgotten: detailed description of objectives and goals and evaluation of the results. They are in opposite poles of the communication strategy, but must both be taken into account from the beginning of any activity. In this paper we will present some guidelines that can be helpful in the initial planning of outreach activities, as well as the evaluation of its results.

  1. Humanising Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levin, S.

    2008-06-01

    Universe Awareness (UNAWE) is an international programme that aims to expose underprivileged children (in the age group 4-10) to the inspirational aspects of astronomy. We are currently at the stage of developing materials that will be utilised in a diverse range of environments. This paper explores UNAWE's particular approach to developing tools which includes not only indigenous and folkloric astronomical knowledge, but also the culture of transmission of such knowledge. A specific understanding and explanation of the Universe, the Sun, Moon and stars is present in every culture and can be found contained in its history, legends and belief systems. By consciously embracing different ways of knowing the Universe and not uniquely the rational model, UNAWE places the humanising potential of astronomy at the centre of its purpose. Whilst inspiring curiosity, pride and a sense of ownership in one's own cultural identity, such an approach also exposes children to the diversity of other peoples and their cultures as well as the unifying aspects of our common scientific heritage. The means of creating and delivering the astronomy programme are as relevant to the desired educational outcomes as the content. The challenge in the design of materials is to communicate this stimulating message to the very young. Respect for alternative values systems, the need for dialogue and community participation, and where possible the production of materials using local resources is emphasised. This paper touches recent experiences liaising with communities in India, South Africa, Tunisia, Venezuela and Colombia.

  2. Developing an Astronomy Program at the Crownpoint Institute of Technology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gino, M. C.

    2004-12-01

    The Crownpoint Institute of Technology (CIT) is a tribal college located on the eastern edge of the Navajo Nation in northwestern New Mexico. Historically CIT is a technical college which grants AAS degrees and certificates in a number of vocational and technical fields. CIT is in the process of seeking higher learning articulation and accreditation, and has received "Candidacy Status" from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Institutions of Higher Education. To meet the demands placed upon the college as it steps into its role as an institution of higher learning, CIT is dedicated to broadening its curriculum with programs that encourage math, science and technology, and to increasing the number of courses that advance knowledge in both Navajo and Western society by enhancing both laboratory and educational technologies. The introduction of astronomy into the science curriculum advances CIT's goals in all of these areas, and presents a unique opportunity to incorporate traditional Navajo scientific knowledge into a technically advanced science program. In this poster we outline the development of the astronomy program, which has started with the inclusion of the first astronomy course into the science curriculum and the acquisition of two small telescope systems for K-14 student use and public outreach, and will continue through the construction of a campus observatory capable of supporting an undergraduate research program. It is our expectation that through the introduction of astronomy into the curriculum, CIT will advance its goals of increasing science and technology educational opportunities for its students and training the next generation of Navajo science and technology professionals, while maintaining an awareness of the needs of the Navajo Nation and a sensitivity to Navajo cultural values and protocols.

  3. Contextualization of Physics and Astronomy Through Nature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dogan, Yasemin; Gurel, Z.

    2010-01-01

    This thesis focuses on the need for enriched learning environments in science education through the integrated setting of a physics course that is included in the training program for physics teachers. The participants are researchers, prospective physics teachers, civil defence volunteers and astronomers as collaborators. In this course an approach is adopted to incorporate indoor and outdoor settings in the same process to support one another with the purpose of contextualizing physics through nature. In the heart of the course is experience and observation, particularly in nature, in the form of a residential camp. Nature is a setting where students are faced with the sky and a telescope and do sky observations throughout the night. The part of the course involving astronomy is based on this engagement with the problems that arise from the topic of sky and telescope and are brought into the class in ill-structured form as a result of experience and observation. Within this thesis, the data gathered in two consecutive years, 2008 and 2009, are evaluated qualitatively. The problems were formed around a core experience but with the same core experience, problems varied from year to year depending on the human factor within the experience, namely the different characteristics of different people in different conditions, and environmental factors; geography and weather conditions, and the increasing experience of the researchers. Furthermore IYA2009 was also effective on the program of the course in 2009. Through this thesis prospective physics teachers’ participation in astronomy was broadened and it resulted in the formation of new knowledge, better understanding and led to the advancement of the use of astronomy in physics education. It is consistent with the inclusion of astronomy in new secondary and high school physics curriculum in our country as well.

  4. Astronomy on a Landfill

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Venner, Laura

    2008-05-01

    Engaging "K-to-Gray” audiences (children, families, and older adults) in astronomical activities is one of the main goals of the NJMC Center for Environmental and Scientific Education and the William D. McDowell Observatory located in Lyndhurst, NJ. Perched atop a closed and reclaimed municipal solid waste landfill, our new LEED - certified building (certification pending) and William D. McDowell observatory will assist in bringing the goals of IYA 2009 to the approximately 25,000 students and 3,000 adults that visit our site from the NY/NJ region each year. Diversifying our traditional environmental science offerings, we have incorporated astronomy into our repertoire with "The Sun Through Time” module, which includes storytelling, cultural astronomy, telescope anatomy, and other activities that are based on the electromagnetic spectrum and our current knowledge of the sun. These lessons have also been modified to bring astronomy to underserved communities, specifically those individuals that have dexterity or cognitive ability differences. The program is conducted in a classroom setting and is designed to meet New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards. With the installation of our new 20” telescope, students and amateur astronomers will be given the opportunity to perform rudimentary research. In addition, a program is in development that will allow individuals to measure local sky brightness and understand the effects of light pollution on astronomical viewing. Teaching astronomy in an urban setting presents many challenges. All individuals, regardless of ability level or location, should be given the opportunity to be exposed to the wonders of the universe and the MEC/CESE has been successful in providing those opportunities.

  5. Astronomy on a Landfill

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Venner, Laura

    2008-09-01

    Engaging "K-to-Gray” audiences (children, families, and older adults) in astronomical activities is one of the main goals of the NJMC Center for Environmental and Scientific Education and the William D. McDowell Observatory located in Lyndhurst, NJ. Perched atop a closed and reclaimed municipal solid waste landfill, our new LEED - certified building (certification pending) and William D. McDowell observatory will assist in bringing the goals of IYA 2009 to the approximately 25,000 students and 15,000 adults that visit our site from the NY/NJ region each year. Diversifying our traditional environmental science offerings, we have incorporated astronomy into our repertoire with "The Sun Through Time” module, which includes storytelling, cultural astronomy, telescope anatomy, and other activities that are based on the electromagnetic spectrum and our current knowledge of the sun. These lessons have also been modified to bring astronomy to underserved communities, specifically those individuals that have dexterity or cognitive ability differences. The program is conducted in a classroom setting and is designed to meet New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards. With the installation of our new 20” telescope, students and amateur astronomers will be given the opportunity to perform rudimentary research. In addition, a program is in development that will allow individuals to measure local sky brightness and understand the effects of light pollution on astronomical viewing. Teaching astronomy in an urban setting presents many challenges. All individuals, regardless of ability level or location, should be given the opportunity to be exposed to the wonders of the universe and the MEC/CESE has been successful in providing those opportunities.

  6. Gravitational-wave Astronomy: Opening a New Window on the Universe for Students, Educators and the Public

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cavaglià, M.; Hendry, M.; Ingram, D.; Milde, S.; Reitze, D.; Riles, K.; Schutz, B.; Stuver, A. L.; Summerscales, T.; Thacker, J.; Torres, C. V.; Ugolini, D.; Vallisneri, M.; Zermeno, A.

    2008-11-01

    The nascent field of gravitational-wave astronomy offers many opportunities for effective and inspirational astronomy outreach. Gravitational waves, the ``ripples in space-time'' predicted by Einstein's theory of General Relativity, are produced by some of the most energetic and dramatic phenomena in the cosmos, including black holes, neutron stars and supernovae. The detection of gravitational waves will help to address a number of fundamental questions in physics, from the evolution of stars and galaxies to the origin of dark energy and the nature of space-time itself. Moreover, the cutting-edge technology developed to search for gravitational waves is pushing back the frontiers of many fields, from lasers and materials science to high performance computing, and thus provides a powerful showcase for the attractions and challenges of a career in science and engineering. For several years a worldwide network of ground-based laser interferometric gravitational-wave detectors has been fully operational, including the two LIGO detectors in the United States. These detectors are already among the most sensitive scientific instruments on the planet and in the next few years their sensitivity will achieve further significant improvement. Those developments promise to open an exciting new window on the universe, heralding the arrival of gravitational-wave astronomy as a revolutionary, new observational field. In this paper we describe the extensive program of public outreach activities already undertaken by the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, and a number of special events which we are planning for IYA2009.

  7. Astronomy Education Under Dark Skies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cecylia Molenda-Zakowicz, Joanna

    2015-08-01

    We have been providing professional support for the high school students and the astronomy teachers since 2007. Our efforts include organizing astronomy events that take from several hours, like, e.g., watching the transit of Venus, to several days, like the workshops organized in the framework of the projects 'School Workshops on Astronomy' (SWA) and 'Wygasz'.The SWA and Wygasz workshops include presentations by experts in astronomy and space science research, presentations prepared by students being supervised by those experts, hands-on interactive experience in the amateur astrophotography, various pencil-and-paper exercises, and other practical activities. We pay particular attention to familiarize the teachers and students with the idea and the necessity of protecting the dark sky. The format of these events allows also for some time for teachers to share ideas and best practices in teaching astronomy.All those activities are organized either in the Izera Dark-Sky Park in Poland or in other carefuly selected locations in which the beauty of the dark night sky can be appreciated.

  8. Resources for Teaching Astronomy in UK Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roche, Paul; Newsam, Andy; Roberts, Sarah; Mason, Tom; Baruch, John

    2012-01-01

    This article looks at a selection of resources currently available for use in the teaching of astronomy in UK schools. It is by no means an exhaustive list but it highlights a variety of free resources that can be used in the classroom to help engage students of all ages with astronomy and space science. It also lists several facilities with a…

  9. Planetary astronomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morrison, David; Hunten, Donald; Ahearn, Michael F.; Belton, Michael J. S.; Black, David; Brown, Robert A.; Brown, Robert Hamilton; Cochran, Anita L.; Cruikshank, Dale P.; Depater, Imke

    1991-01-01

    The authors profile the field of astronomy, identify some of the key scientific questions that can be addressed during the decade of the 1990's, and recommend several facilities that are critically important for answering these questions. Scientific opportunities for the 1990' are discussed. Areas discussed include protoplanetary disks, an inventory of the solar system, primitive material in the solar system, the dynamics of planetary atmospheres, planetary rings and ring dynamics, the composition and structure of the atmospheres of giant planets, the volcanoes of IO, and the mineralogy of the Martian surface. Critical technology developments, proposed projects and facilities, and recommendations for research and facilities are discussed.

  10. Innovative Technology for Teaching Introductory Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guidry, Mike

    The application of state-of-the-art technology (primarily Java and Flash MX Actionscript on the client side and Java PHP PERL XML and SQL databasing on the server side) to the teaching of introductory astronomy will be discussed. A completely online syllabus in introductory astronomy built around more than 350 interactive animations called ""Online Journey through Astronomy"" and a new set of 20 online virtual laboratories in astronomy that we are currently developing will be used as illustration. In addition to demonstration of the technology our experience using these technologies to teach introductory astronomy to thousands of students in settings ranging from traditional classrooms to full distance learning will be summarized. Recent experiments using Java and vector graphics programming of handheld devices (Personal Digital Assistants and cell phones) with wireless wide-area connectivity for applications in astronomy education will also be described.

  11. Preservice elementary teachers learning of astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fidler, Chuck Gary

    The dissertation presents a new approach for the study of preservice elementary teacher astronomy education. The approach suggests that learning astronomical concepts are facilitated by greater sophistication in scale perception and spatial-aptitude. This dissertation is underscored by the national call for elementary science education reform efforts and suggests certain strategies shown more effective for the development of accurate astronomical comprehension. The present research study describes how preservice elementary teachers conceptualize and communicate ideas about Space. Instead of assuming a universal mental conception of cosmic orientations and relationships, the dissertation claims that the perception of Space related dimensions vary among preservice elementary teachers. Furthermore, the dissertation suggests individual perceptions of the scale sizes and orientations of celestial systems have direct influences on mental models used to organize and communicate astronomical information. The development of inaccurate mental models of the scaled dimensions of Space may perpetuate the teacher-student cycle of misconception and naive-theory generation among children in elementary education settings. The ability to conceptualize the vast cosmos is facilitated by the minds ability to think about vast scales and orientations of celestial objects. The Earth-based perspective of astronomy education compels the learner to think about astronomical principles within imaginary frames of reference and across unfamiliar scaled dimensions. Therefore, mental astronomical model building is underscored by the perception of scale and cosmic spatiality. This study suggests these cognitive skill sets are interconnected and facilitate the learning of accurate astronomy principles; as well as play an important role when designing an astronomy education program for preservice elementary teachers. This research study is comprised of three separate standalone articles designed and

  12. Analysis of Individual "Test Of Astronomy STandards" (TOAST) Item Responses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Slater, Stephanie J.; Schleigh, Sharon Price; Stork, Debra J.

    2015-01-01

    The development of valid and reliable strategies to efficiently determine the knowledge landscape of introductory astronomy college students is an effort of great interest to the astronomy education community. This study examines individual item response rates from a widely used conceptual understanding survey, the Test Of Astronomy Standards…

  13. NASE Training Courses in Astronomy for Teachers throughout the World

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ros, Rosa M.

    2012-01-01

    Network for Astronomy School Education, NASE, is a project that is organizing courses for teachers throughout the entire world. The main objective of the project is to prepare secondary and primary school teachers in astronomy. Students love to know more about astronomy and teachers have the opportunity to observe the sky that every school has…

  14. Further Enhancement of the Astronomy Club at the University of Arizona

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biddle, Lauren I.; Towner, A. P.; McGraw, A. M.; Walker-LaFollette, A.

    2013-06-01

    The University of Arizona Astronomy Club has progressed into what is now a thriving organization. The Astronomy Club has been successful in involving undergraduates in research and community outreach as well as building bonds between students. We have big plans for further development of the organization, while maintaining an exciting, informative, and enjoyable atmosphere for its members. One focus for the future of Astronomy Club is to develop a stronger professional presence within the astronomy department and community. In order to accomplish this goal, we will encourage member attendance at meetings such as the AAS and local talks given at Steward Observatory. Students will benefit from this learning more about subjects other than their own research. Students also benefit from social connections, and, to that end, we plan to continue and expand club social and outreach activities. Another advancement is the club web page, which provides both members, non-members, and the general public with useful resources such as programming guides, “how-to’s,” and links to online resources. A survey was distributed to the members of Astronomy Club to get feedback on how the organization can make their experience at the UofA both educational and fun. We have review the responses and make decisions based on what the members want. in activities is important to increase membership, maintain attendance, and sustain the club as a whole. The most important goal for the organization is that it will continue to evolve through years, long after the current members are graduated.

  15. Handbook of CCD Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Howell, Steve B.

    2000-04-01

    This handbook constitutes a concise and accessible reference on all practical aspects of using Charge-Coupled Devices (CCDs). Starting with the electronic workings of these modern marvels, Steven Howell discusses their basic characteristics and then gives methods and examples for determining their values. While the focus is on using CCDs in professional observational astronomy, advanced amateur astronomers, and researchers in physics, chemistry, medical imaging, and remote sensing will also benefit from the material. Tables of useful and hard-to-find data, and key practical equations round off the book's treatment. For exercises and more information, log on to www.psi.edu/~howell/ccd.html.

  16. A Study of General Education Astronomy Students' Understandings of Cosmology. Part V. The Effects of a New Suite of Cosmology "Lecture-Tutorials" on Students' Conceptual Knowledge

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wallace, Colin S.; Prather, Edward E.; Duncan, Douglas K.

    2012-01-01

    This is the final paper in a five-paper series describing our national study of the teaching and learning of cosmology in general education astronomy college-level courses. A significant portion of this work was dedicated to the development of five new "Lecture-Tutorials" that focus on addressing the conceptual and reasoning difficulties that our…

  17. Integration of the digital technologies in the teaching of astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Macedo, J. A.; Voelzke, M. R.

    2014-08-01

    This study presents results of a survey conducted at the Federal Institution of Education, Science and Technology in the North of Minas Gerais (IFNMG), and aimed to investigate the potential uses of interactive materials in the teaching of astronomy. Despite being part of official documents, proposals included in the curriculum of several states, and having contributed to human and technological development, astronomy is rarely taught adequately in the Brazilian basic education. When it is taught, it is with unsatisfactory results as presented by students and teachers as shown by several studies, such as those carried out by (Voelzke and Gonzaga, 2013). Digital technologies are commonly used by youth, but neglected by the majority of teachers. In this sense, a survey with the aim of pointing out the potential use of digital technologies in teaching astronomy was developed. An advanced course in astronomy was offered for participants with the goal to help them understand astronomical phenomena. The following steps were to be taken: i) analysis of the pedagogical projects (PPC) of the licenciates at the IFNMG, with its Campus Januária as research locus; ii) analysis of students' preconceptions about astronomy and digital technologies, identified by the application of an initial questionnaire; iii) preparation of the course taking into account the students' previous knowledge; iv) application of the education proposal developed under part-time presence modality, using various interactive tools; v) application and analysis of the final questionnaire. The test consisted of thirty-two students of physics, mathematics and biology and was conducted with the qualitative and quantitative methodology, combined with a content analysis. Among other results, it was verified that: (i) In the IFNMG only the licenciate-course in physics includes astronomy content diluted in various subjects of the curriculum; (ii) the analysis of the initial questionnaire showed even that group

  18. Visualisation of Astronomy domain: a `mapping' strategy in teaching and learning astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gulyaev, S.

    2006-08-01

    If you were to overhear several students talking, you might hear one of them say, our professors have stuffed us full, but what does it all mean? Many tertiary students are unable to perceive where all the information they have been given about a particular area of astronomy actually fits into astronomy as a whole. Furthermore, even graduates of astronomy are often unable to conceptualise and understand their field of astronomy and astronomical endeavours. Our students' vision of astronomy is similar to the situation with a metro (underground) passenger. You get out to the surface on one station and see a beautiful square with the monument and buildings around. As you come up to the other station you can see a park and a river. But what is between? What streets, roads or pathways connect these areas? Where does one area transit or transfer to the other? In tertiary education, each paper or module is like one metro station. Students' knowledge is fragmentary; they lack long-term understanding of astronomy content, much less the ability to apply it. Our students need a map of this city - a map of astronomy. Application of a concept of educational `science maps' to astronomy education is discussed. By analogy with geographic maps, scales of educational science maps - scales of integration - are introduced. Science maps of different scales are illustrated with initial examples exploring the application of this methodology in astronomy, astrophysics and geophysics. There is a significant amount of work to be done by experts in specific fields of astronomy. It is incumbent upon scientists to conceptualise and define how maps of their fields might be drawn, so that educators might utilise them more fully in developing their practice and their students learning in astronomy.

  19. The Astronomy Workshop

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamilton, Douglas P.

    2012-05-01

    {\\bf The Astronomy Workshop} (http://janus.astro.umd.edu) is a collection of interactive online educational tools developed for use by students, educators, professional astronomers, and the general public. The more than 20 tools in the Astronomy workshop are rated for ease-of-use, and have been extensively tested in large university survey courses as well as more specialized classes for undergraduate majors and graduate students. Here we briefly describe a few of the available tools. {\\bf Solar Systems Visualizer}: The orbital motions of planets, moons, and asteroids in the Solar System as well as many of the planets in exoplanetary systems are animated at their correct relative speeds in accurate to-scale drawings. Zoom in from the chaotic outer satellite systems of the giant planets all the way to their innermost ring systems. {\\bf Solar System Calculators}: These tools calculate a user-defined mathematical expression simultaneously for all of the Solar System's planets (Planetary Calculator) or moons (Satellite Calculator). Key physical and orbital data are automatically accessed as needed. {\\bf Stellar Evolution}: The "Life of the Sun" tool animates the history of the Sun as a movie, showing students how the size and color of our star has evolved and will evolve over billions of years. In "Star Race," the user selects two stars of different masses and watches their evolution in a split-screeen format that emphasizes the great differences in stellar lifetimes and fates.

  20. School Workshops on Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Molenda-Żakowicz, J.; Żakowicz, G.

    2015-03-01

    Do you want to know how to make students volunteer to stay all night long watching the stars with their telescopes freezing? Or how to inspire decent adults to prepare a `queue-list to Jupiter', wait for their turn for hours, and control that no one approaches the telescope bypassing the line? Or how to attract people of all age to forget their laziness and duties, and to get up at 3 a.m. to watch the transit of Venus? If your answer is `yes', then come and see what can be done at the School Workshops on Astronomy.

  1. Astronomy in Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barbuy, Beatriz; Maciel, Walter J.

    2013-01-01

    A historical background combined with political decisions along time explain the increasing importance of Brazil in the world's astronomical scenario. Professional astronomy was triggered in the late sixties and early seventies by the two main historical institutions then existing (ON and IAG/USP), together with the creation of agencies for research and combined with individual actions. There are presently 670 astronomers working in the country, including permanent jobs and graduate students. A brief description of observational facilities and plans to increase access to other facilities is presented.

  2. Evaluating Astronomy Laboratories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zirbel, E. L.

    2002-12-01

    A set of non-traditional astronomy laboratories for non-science majors will be presented along with evaluations of lab technicians (these labs were originally developed at the College of Staten Island of the City University of New York). The goal of these labs is twofold: (a) to provide the students with hands-on experiences of scientific methodology and (b) to provoke critical thinking. Because non-science majors are often rather resistant to learning the relevant methodology - and especially to thinking critically - this manual is structured differently. It does not only provide traditional cook-book recipes but also contains several leading questions to make the students realize why they are doing what. The students are encouraged to write full sentences and explain how they reach which conclusions. This poster summarizes the experiences of the laboratory assistants that worked with the instructor and presents how they judge the effectiveness of the laboratories.

  3. Relation of Astronomy to other Sciences, Culture and Society

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harutyunian, H. A.; Mickaelian, A. M.; Farmanyan, S. V.

    2015-07-01

    The book contains the Proceedings of XIII Annual Meeting of the Armenian Astronomical Society "Relation of Astronomy to other Sciences, Culture and Society". It consists of 9 main sections: "Introductory", "Astronomy and Philosophy", "Astrobiology", "Space-Earth Connections", "Astrostatistics and Astroinformatics", "Astronomy and Culture, Astrolinguistics", "Archaeoastronomy", "Scientific Tourism and Scientific Journalism", and "Armenian Astronomy". The book may be interesting to astronomers, philosophers, biologists, culturologists, linguists, historians, archaeologists and to other specialists, as well as to students.

  4. Laboratory Activities for Introductory Astronomy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kruglak, Haym

    1973-01-01

    Presents sample laboratory activities designed for use in astronomy teaching, including naked eye observations, instrument construction, student projects, and cloudy weather activities. Appended are bibliographies of journal articles and reference books and lists of films, laboratory manuals, and distributors of apparatus and teaching aids. (CC)

  5. Astronomy and Astrophysics in India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Narlikar, J.; Murdin, P.

    2001-07-01

    The growth in astronomy and astrophysics (A&A) in India has been mostly since the country achieved independence in 1947. The present work is carried out in a few select research institutes and in some university departments. The Astronomical Society of India has around 300 working A&A scientists as members, with another 50-60 graduate students....

  6. Multi-Level High School Classes: Astronomy Diagnostic Test Results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hubbard, R.; Hufnagel, B.

    2001-12-01

    A content survey, the Astronomy Diagnostic Test (ADT) designed for undergraduate non-science astronomy courses, was administered as a post-course survey to five senior high classes in a Maryland high school. In 2001, the five classes chosen included all three levels of physics and an astronomy class. Each class had an even distribution of male and female students, with a total of 115 girls and 104 boys as subjects. Results of the survey include: (1) The Advanced Placement (AP) physics class scored highest and general physics lowest. (2) The AP class, most of whom will major in engineering or computer sciences, had a mean ADT score similar to post-course undergraduate non-science astronomy classes. (3) For all five classes, the girls had lower mean scores than the boys. (4) In two classes the girls' self-reported mean confidence was 40% lower than the boys' confidence; in the other three classes the confidence levels were the same. Additional detailed research was done on the three cosmology and ten physics questions in the ADT; girls outperformed the boys in only two of these thirteen questions.

  7. Development of the Advanced Energetic Pair Telescope (AdEPT) for Medium-Energy Gamma-Ray Astronomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hunter, Stanley D.; Bloser, Peter F.; Dion, Michael P.; McConnell, Mark L.; deNolfo, Georgia A.; Son, Seunghee; Ryan, James M.; Stecker, Floyd W.

    2011-01-01

    Progress in high-energy gamma-ray science has been dramatic since the launch of INTEGRAL, AGILE and FERMI. These instruments, however, are not optimized for observations in the medium-energy (approx.0.3< E(sub gamma)< approx.200 MeV) regime where many astrophysical objects exhibit unique, transitory behavior, such as spectral breaks, bursts, and flares. We outline some of the major science goals of a medium-energy mission. These science goals are best achieved with a combination of two telescopes, a Compton telescope and a pair telescope, optimized to provide significant improvements in angular resolution and sensitivity. In this paper we describe the design of the Advanced Energetic Pair Telescope (AdEPT) based on the Three-Dimensional Track Imager (3-DTI) detector. This technology achieves excellent, medium-energy sensitivity, angular resolution near the kinematic limit, and gamma-ray polarization sensitivity, by high resolution 3-D electron tracking. We describe the performance of a 30x30x30 cm3 prototype of the AdEPT instrument.

  8. Successful Innovative Methods in Introducing Astronomy Courses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chattejee, T. K. C.

    2006-08-01

    Innovating new informative methods to induce interest in students has permitted us to introduce astronomy in several universities and institutes in Mexico. As a prelude, we gave a popular course in the history of astronomy. This was very easy as astronomy seems to be the most ancient of sciences and relating the achievements of the ancient philosophers/scientists was very enlightening. Then we put up an amateur show of the sky every week (subject to climatic conditions for observability). We showed how to take photographs and make telescopic observations. We enlightened the students of the special missions of NASA and took them to museums for space exploration. We gave a popular seminar on "Astrodynamics," highlighting its importance. We gave a series of introductory talks in radio and T.V. Finally we exposed them to electronic circulars, like "Universe Today" and "World Science." The last mentioned strategy had the most electrifying effect. We may not have been successful without it, as the students began to take the matter seriously only after reading numerous electronic circulars. In this respect, these circulars are not only informative about the latest news in astronomy, but highlight the role of astronomy in the modern world. Without it, students seem to relate astronomy to astrology; it is due to this misconception that they are not attracted to astronomy. Students were hardly convinced of the need for an astronomy course, as they did not know about the scope and development of the subject. This awakened the interests of students and they themselves proposed the initiation of an elementary course in astronomy to have a feel of the subject. Later on they proposed a course on "Rocket Dynamics." We will discuss our methods and their impact in detail.

  9. Hispanic Student Performance on Advanced Placement Exams: A Multiyear, National Investigation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jara, Teresa Dianne

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this study was to analyze the Advanced Placement exams that Hispanic students complete and to compare their overall performance with the performance of White students from 2000 to 2012. A second purpose was to determine which Advanced Placement exams were the most difficult exams for Hispanic students and which Advanced…

  10. Torun Radio Astronomy Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

    Torun Center for Astronomy is located at Piwnice, 15 km north of Torun, Poland. A part of the Faculty of Physics and Astronomy of the Nicolaus Copernicus University, it was created by the union of Torun Radio Astronomy Observatory (TRAO) and the Institute of Astronomy on 1 January 1997....

  11. Astronomy Books of 1985.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mercury, 1986

    1986-01-01

    Provides annotated listing of books in 16 areas: (1) amateur astromony; (2) children's books; (3) comets; (4) cosmology; (5) education in astronomy; (6) general astronomy; (7) history of astronomy; (8) life in the universe; (9) miscellaneous; (10) physics and astronomy; (11) pseudo-science; (12) space exploration; (13) stars and stellar evolution;…

  12. Evolving Best Practices in Online Astronomy Teaching

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berryhill, K. J.; Brandt, K.; Slater, T. F.

    2014-12-01

    As online education continues to mature, we have gained an understanding of some best (and worst) practices in teaching introductory astronomy to non-science majors at a distance. There are strategies that can improve the delivery of instruction, attrition rates, student interaction, and understanding/assessment of the astronomy content in the online environment. Strategies include the use of citizen science projects to engage students with authentic data and research.

  13. The history of the International Astronomy Olympiad

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gavrilov, Michael G.; Salnikov, Igor V.; Vaesterberg, Anders R.

    2011-06-01

    The International Astronomy Olympiad (IAO) was founded in the 1990s as an annual scientific educating event for students of the junior high school classes. Starting from 4 teams at the 1st event in 1996 the Olympiad includes more than 20 countries nowadays. The style of the problems of IAO is aimed at developing the imagination, creativity and independent thinking. They stimulate the students to recognize the problem independently, to choose a model, to make necessary suppositions, estimations, to conduct multiway calculations or logic operations. The Asian-Pacific Astronomy Olympiad was founded as a ``daughter'' (``affiliated'') olympiad in system of the International Astronomy Olympiad in 2005.

  14. Stereotype Threat? Male and Female Students in Advanced High School Courses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Corra, Mamadi

    Propositions of stereotype threat theory imply that the social consequences of academic distinction in advanced quantitative areas (such as math and the physical sciences) for women may promote the under representation of female students in advanced quantitative academic courses. The hypothesis that female students will be underrepresented in advanced quantitative (honors and advanced placement math and physical science) courses is tested using academic performance and enrollment data for high school students in a "Student/Parent Informed Choice" (open registration) school district in North Carolina. Results show female students to be overrepresented in both advanced verbal/writing intensive (honors and advanced placement English, foreign language, and social science) and advanced quantitative (honors and advanced placement math and physical science) courses compared to their proportion of the student body. More surprisingly, results also indicate female students (compared to male students) to be overrepresented in advanced courses compared to their proportion of high-performing students. Furthermore, as with patterns observed at the district level, additional analysis of enrollment data for the entire state reveals similar results. Taken together, the findings call into question the prevailing presumption that female students continue to be underrepresented in math and physical science courses. Instead, the changing social context within which females and males experience schooling may provide an explanation for the findings.

  15. The Development and Validation of the Test Of Astronomy STandards (TOAST)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Slater, Stephanie J.

    2014-01-01

    The Test Of Astronomy STandards (TOAST) is a comprehensive assessment instrument designed to measure students' general astronomy content knowledge. Built upon the research embedded within a generation of astronomy assessments designed to measure single concepts, the TOAST is appropriate to measure across an entire astronomy course. The TOAST's…

  16. Astronomy LITE Demonstrations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brecher, Kenneth

    2006-12-01

    Project LITE (Light Inquiry Through Experiments) is a materials, software, and curriculum development project. It focuses on light, optics, color and visual perception. According to two recent surveys of college astronomy faculty members, these are among the topics most often included in the large introductory astronomy courses. The project has aimed largely at the design and implementation of hands-on experiences for students. However, it has also included the development of lecture demonstrations that employ novel light sources and materials. In this presentation, we will show some of our new lecture demonstrations concerning geometrical and physical optics, fluorescence, phosphorescence and polarization. We have developed over 200 Flash and Java applets that can be used either by teachers in lecture settings or by students at home. They are all posted on the web at http://lite.bu.edu. For either purpose they can be downloaded directly to the user's computer or run off line. In lecture demonstrations, some of these applets can be used to control the light emitted by video projectors to produce physical effects in materials (e.g. fluorescence). Other applets can be used, for example, to demonstrate that the human percept of color does not have a simple relationship with the physical frequency of the stimulating source of light. Project LITE is supported by Grant #DUE-0125992 from the NSF Division of Undergraduate Education.

  17. Astronomy books in Spanish

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fierro, Julieta

    Great cultures have created language. They have discovered its strength among other reasons for education. For a long time the Bible was one of the few books available in western culture, its influence is beyond any doubt. Many developing nations have no science books in their mother tongue. They might carry a few translations but these do not convey the local culture so it is harder for students to grasp the concepts and to build on what they know. Books, even if they are extremely simple, should be written in local languages because that will facilitate the conveying of knowledge and the creation of scientific culture. In the books examples that pertain to every day local life must be given, in particular examples that have to do with women. Women play a central role in developing nations by child bearing; if they become literate they will influence enormously the quality of their children's education, in particular their science comprehension. In Mexico a collection that includes astronomy books has recently been edited by the National Council for Culture and Arts. The books are small and light, which encourages middle-school students to carry them around and read them while traveling in public transportation, such as the subway. Every other page is a new subject, that carries illustrations, abstracts and conclusions. The astronomy books are on search for extraterrestrial life, the stars and the universe. These books are distributed nation-wide and are inexpensive. They have been written by Mexican astronomers.

  18. Analysis of knowledge in Astronomy of the students of the technology course in industrial automation at the Federal Institute São Paulo at the Campus Cubatão

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moraes, Ataliba Capasso; Voelzke, Marcos Rincon

    2014-05-01

    This work is part of a research of the academic Masters in Science in Education in its final stages. It seeks to present the results of the survey conducted among students of the technology course in industrial automation at the Federal Institute São Paulo at the Campus Cubatão. In the first step, the students' lack of knowledge to the related primary concepts of Astronomy turned out. Correcting these deficiencies found, external to the program content, a Basic Course in Astronomy, containing dialogued or expository lectures with the aid of audiovisual resources and access to textbooks. Analysed the responses of this second step, it was found that students had a significant improvement in learning.

  19. Analysis of knowledge in Astronomy of the students of the Course of Technology in Industrial Automation at the Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology of São Paulo - Campus Cubatao

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moraes, A. C.

    2014-02-01

    This work is part of a research of the academic Masters in Science in Education. It seeks to present the results of the survey conducted among students of the technology course in industrial automation at the Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology of São Paulo at the Campus Cubatão (IFSP Campus Cubatão). In the first step, the students' lack of knowledge to the related primary concepts of Astronomy turned out. In a second step, a Basic Course in Astronomy was held outside the syllabus, including classes, lectures and films with pertinent content, which corrected initially found erros. Through a special approach, containing diverse teaching strategies, astronomical concepts were learned or relearned. Analysing the responses of this second step it was found that students had a significant improvement in learning.

  20. Grade 9 Astronomy Study: Interests of Boys and Girls Studying Astronomy at Fletcher's Meadow Secondary School

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Krstovic, Mirjan; Brown, Laura; Chacko, Merin; Trinh, Brenda

    2008-01-01

    In this report, we discuss the interests of Grade 9 boys and girls studying astronomy at Fletcher's Meadow Secondary School in Brampton, Ontario. A total of 152 Grade 9 academic students were asked to rate their interest levels in various astronomy topics on a scale of 0-3, where 0 represented no interest and 3 represented a high level of…

  1. The Effect of Media on Preservice Science Teachers' Attitudes toward Astronomy and Achievement in Astronomy Class

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bektasli, Behzat

    2013-01-01

    Studies show that it is hard to change students' attitudes toward science. This study specifically explored if media affect preservice science teachers' attitudes toward astronomy and their astronomy achievement. The sample for the pilot study consisted of 196 preservice science and mathematics teachers for attitude assessment and 230 preservice…

  2. NAOJ's activities on Astronomy for Development: Aiding Astronomy Education in Developing Nations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sekiguchi, K.; Yoshida, F.

    2015-03-01

    We summarize NAOJ's efforts to promote astronomy in developing nations. The Office of International Relations, collaborations with the Office of Public Outreach at NAOJ and with the East Asia Core Observatories Association (EACOA), has engaged children, students and educators about astronomy development in the Asia-Pacific region. In particular, we introduce ``You are Galileo!`` project, which is a very well received astronomy education program for children. We also report on a continuing effort by the Japanese Government in support of astronomy programs in the developing nations.

  3. Remote access astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beare, Richard; Bowdley, David; Newsam, Andrew; Roche, Paul

    2003-05-01

    There is still nothing to beat the excitement and fulfilment that you can get from observing celestial bodies on a clear dark night, in a remote location away from the seemingly ever increasing light pollution from cities. However, it is also the specific requirements for good observing that can sometimes prevent teachers from offering this opportunity to their students. Compromises for a town-based school or college might be to view only bright objects such as planets, or stars of magnitude 4 or brighter because of light pollution, but you would still require a knowledgeable teacher or astronomer and equipment to take outside with the students. Remote access astronomy using robotic telescopes can partly provide a solution to these problems and also opens up the doors to exciting projects that may otherwise be inaccessible to schools and colleges.

  4. GRAD-MAP: A Joint Physics and Astronomy Diversity Initiative at the University of Maryland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Megson, Peter; Anderson, Neil; Jameson, Katie; Price, Lora; Roberg-Clark, Gareth; Rogoszinksi, Zeeve; Sheppard, Kyle; Taylor, Corbin; Uher, Tim; Wilkins, Ashlee; Hammer, Donna

    Graduate Resources for Advancing Diversity with Maryland's Astronomy and Physics (GRAD-MAP), builds connections between UMD and mid-Atlantic HBCUs, Minority-Serving Institutions, and community colleges, and uses seminars, forums, and workshops to foster a diverse community of undergraduates prepared to succeed in graduate school, and is now in its third year. GRAD-MAP launched with a three-pronged approach: 1) Collaborative Seminars, 2) A Winter Workshop, and 3) A Spring Symposium. This program allows GRAD-MAP to do more than just increase the numbers of minority students participating in astronomy and physics research (or, worse, simply shuffle around students who already are or would be); it is committed to identifying students who are otherwise underserved or overlooked by the traditional academic pipeline, not only to get them on the path to be successful undergraduate researchers and eventual graduate applicants, but also to make the climate of academic physics and astronomy more inclusive to them and all other underrepresented minority students. We will describe the key elements of our program, and highlight successes and lessons learned; GRAD-MAP can serve as a model for other universities committed to diversity and inclusion. Supported by NSF PIRE and CAREER programs, Maryland Space Grant Consortium, and UMD Departments of Physics and Astronomy.

  5. Neutrino astronomy

    SciTech Connect

    Schramm, D.N.

    1980-01-01

    Current knowledge and proposed experiments in the field of neutrino astronomy are reviewed, with particular emphasis on expected sources and existing and proposed detectors for intermediate-energy (10 to 50 MeV) and ultrahigh energy (greater than 10 GeV) neutrinos. Following a brief discussion of the counting rate obtained in the solar neutrino experiment of Davis (1978) and possible statistical sources for the discrepancy between the expected and observed rates, consideration is given to the physics of neutrino ejection in stellar gravitational collapse and sources of high-energy proton collisions giving rise to ultrahigh energy neutrinos. The capabilities of operating Cerenkov detectors at the Homestake Gold Mine, the Mt. Blanc Tunnel and in the Soviet Caucasus are considered in relation to the detection of gravitational collapse in the center of the galaxy, and it is pointed out that neutrino detectors offer a more reliable means of detecting collapses in the Galaxy than do gravitational wave detectors. The possibility of using Cerenkov detectors for ultrahigh energy neutrino detection is also indicated, and applications of large neutrino detectors such as the proposed DUMAND array to measure the lifetime of the proton are discussed.

  6. Interdisciplinary Astronomy Activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nerantzis, Nikolaos; Mitrouda, Aikaterini; Reizopoulou, Ioanna; Sidiropoulou, Eirini; Hatzidimitriou, Antonios

    2016-04-01

    On November 9th, 2015, three didactical hours were dedicated to Interdisciplinary Astronomy Activities (http://wp.me/p6Hte2-1I). Our students and their teachers formed three groups and in rotation, were engaged with the following activities: (a) viewing unique images of the Cosmos in the mobile planetarium STARLAB (http://www.planitario.gr/tholos-starlab-classic-standard.html), (b) watching the following videos: Journey to the end of the universe (https://youtu.be/Ufl_Nwbl8xs), Rosetta update (https://youtu.be/nQ9ivd7wv30), The Solar System (https://youtu.be/d66dsagrTa0), Ambition the film (https://youtu.be/H08tGjXNHO4) in the school's library. Students and teachers were informed about our solar system, the Rosetta mission, the universe, etc. and (c) tactile activities such as Meet our home and Meet our neighbors (http://astroedu.iau.org, http://nuclio.org/astroneighbours/resources) and the creation of planets' 3D models (Geology-Geography A' Class Student's book, pg.15). With the activities above we had the pleasure to join the Cosmic Light Edu Kit / International Year of Light 2015 program. After our Interdisciplinary Astronomy Activities, we did a "small" research: our students had to fill an evaluation about their educational gains and the results can be found here http://wp.me/p6Hte2-2q. Moreover, we discussed about Big Ideas of Science (http://wp.me/p3oRiZ-dm) and through the "big" impact of the Rosetta mission & the infinity of our universe, we print posters with relevant topics and place them to the classrooms. We thank Rosa Doran (Nuclio - President of the Executive Council) for her continuous assistance and support on innovative science teaching proposals. She is an inspiration.

  7. Research on the potential use of interactive materials on astronomy education

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Voelzke, Marcos Rincon; Macedo, Josue

    2016-07-01

    This study presents results of a survey conducted at the Federal Institution of Education, Science and Technology in the North of Minas Gerais (IFNMG), and aimed to investigate the potentialities of the use of interactive materials in the teaching of astronomy. An advanced training course with involved learning activities about basic concepts of astronomy was offered to thirty-two Licenciate students in Physics, Mathematics and Biological Sciences, using the mixed methodology, combined with the three pedagogical moments. Among other aspects, the viability of the use of resources was noticed, involving digital technologies and interactive materials on teaching of astronomy, which may contribute to the broadening of methodological options for future teachers and meet their training needs.

  8. Multi-Institutional Collaborative Astronomy Education Research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Slater, T. F.; Slater, S. J.

    2011-09-01

    ASP, AAS, APS, and AAPT advocate that scientists should be engaged and acknowledged for successfully engaging in astronomy and physics education research and the scholarship of teaching because these efforts serve to improve pedagogical techniques and the evaluation of teaching. However, scientists have had the opportunity to pursue formal training in how to meaningfully engage in astronomy education research as an important scholarly endeavor. This special interest session for college and university physics and astronomy faculty, post-docs, and graduate students provided a forum to discuss the motivations, strategies, methodology, and publication routes for improving astronomy education through conducting rigorous science education research. Topics for discussion targeted the value of various education research questions, strengths and weaknesses of several different research design methodologies, strategies to successfully obtain Institutional Review Board approval to conduct education research on human subjects, and become more aware of how education research articles are created for publication in journals such as the Astronomy Education Review.

  9. Engaging High School Students in Advanced Math and Science Courses for Success in College: Is Advanced Placement the Answer?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kelley-Kemple, Thomas; Proger, Amy; Roderick, Melissa

    2011-01-01

    The current study provides an in-depth look at Advanced Placement (AP) math and science course-taking in one school district, the Chicago Public Schools (CPS). Using quasi-experimental methods, this study examines the college outcomes of students who take AP math and science courses. Specifically, this study asks whether students who take AP math…

  10. Astronomy After-School Programs: Effective Pathways to Success

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krishnamurthi, A.; Porro, I.

    2008-06-01

    We discuss our experiences with developing and implementing two astronomy after-school programs. Afterschool Universe, formerly called the Beyond Einstein Explorers' Program, is targeted at middle school students and the Youth Astronomy Apprenticeship is directed at high school students. For the benefit of those readers interested in developing their own astronomy OST program, we summarize here how to get started, implementation challenges and lessons learned.

  11. Dyslexia and Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schneps, Matthew H.; Greenhill, L. J.; Rose, L. T.

    2007-12-01

    Dyslexia is a hereditary neurological disability that impairs reading. It is believed that anywhere from 5% to 20% of all people in the US may have dyslexia to a greater or lesser degree. Though dyslexia is common, it is a "silent disability" in the sense that it is not easy to tell which individuals suffer from dyslexia and which do not. There is a substantial body of evidence to suggest that people with dyslexia tend to do well in science. For example, Baruj Benacerraf, a Nobel laureate in medicine, is among those whose impairments have been documented and studied. Given that dyslexia was not diagnosed in schools prior to the late 1970's, many established science researchers may have dyslexia and be unaware of their impairment. Therefore, it would not be surprising to find that substantial numbers of scientists working in the fields of astronomy and astrophysics have dyslexia, and yet be unaware of the effects this disability has had on their research. A recently proposed theory by the authors suggests that there may be specific neurological reasons why those with dyslexia may be predisposed to science, and predicts that dyslexia may be associated with enhanced abilities for certain types of visual processing, with special implications for image processing. Our study, funded by the NSF, investigates this hypothesis in the context of astronomy and astrophysics. We expect this work will uncover and document challenges faced by scientists with dyslexia, but perhaps more importantly, lead to an understanding of the strengths these scientists bring to research. The program will serve as a clearing-house of information for scientists and students with dyslexia, and begin to provide mentoring for young people with dyslexia interested in astronomy. Scientists who have reason to believe they may have dyslexia are encouraged to contact the authors.

  12. Astronomy Camp = IYA x 22: 22 Years of International Astronomy Education

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hooper, Eric Jon; McCarthy, D. W.; Camp Staff, Astronomy

    2010-01-01

    Do you remember childhood dreams of being an astronomer, or the ravenous desire for ever larger glass and better equipment as an amateur astronomer? What if your child or the person down the street could live that dream for a weekend or a week? The University of Arizona Astronomy Camp continues to substantiate those dreams after more than two decades in existence. Astronomy Camp is an immersion hands-on field experience in astronomy, ranging from two to eight nights, occurring a few times per year. Participants span an age range from elementary students to octogenarians. The three basic offerings include adult camps, a beginning Camp for teenagers, and an advanced teen Camp. Several variants of the basic Camp model have evolved, including an ongoing decade long series of specialized Camps for Girl Scout leaders from across the country, funded by the NIRCam instrument development program for the James Webb Space Telescope. The advanced teen Camp is a microcosm of the entire research arc: the participants propose projects, spend the week collecting and analyzing data using research grade CCDs, infrared arrays, and radio/sub-millimeter telescopes, and finish with a presentation of the results. This past summer the Camps moved to Kitt Peak National Observatory for the first time, providing access to a vast and diverse collection of research instruments, including the 0.9-meter WIYN and 2.3-meter Bok telescopes, the McMath-Pierce Solar Telescope, and the 12-meter ARO radio telescope. Education research into the Camp's impact indicates that reasons for its appeal to youth include a learner-centered and personal approach with a fun attitude toward learning, authentic scientific inquiry led by mentors who are real scientists, a peer group with common interests in science and engineering, and the emotional appeal of spending time on a dark "sky island" devoted to the exploration of nature.

  13. Global Astronomy Month: Astronomy around the World

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McMonigal, C.; Simmons, M.

    2015-09-01

    For six years Global Astronomy Month has taken place each April, growing into a wide-ranging and diverse array of programmes comprising the world's largest worldwide, annual celebration of astronomy. Innovative programmes developed through partnerships, along with the availability of this novel platform, have allowed an expansion of what the month has to offer. Beginning with familiar observing programmes that engage amateur astronomers, programmes have become increasingly inclusive, extending to non-astronomy fields inspired by space. This article explores the development of Global Astronomy Month, the lessons learnt and how the project has provided a stage for expanding existing programmes and testing new ideas.

  14. Edible Astronomy Demonstrations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lubowich, Donald A.

    2007-12-01

    Astronomy demonstrations with edible ingredients are an effective way to increase student interest and knowledge of astronomical concepts. This approach has been successful with all age groups from elementary school through college students - and the students remember these demonstrations after they are presented. In this poster I describe edible demonstrations I have created to simulate the expansion of the universe (using big-bang chocolate chip cookies); differentiation during the formation of the Earth and planets (using chocolate or chocolate milk with marshmallows, cereal, candy pieces or nuts); and radioactivity/radioactive dating (using popcorn). Other possible demonstrations include: plate tectonics (crackers with peanut butter and jelly); convection (miso soup or hot chocolate); mud flows on Mars (melted chocolate poured over angel food cake); formation of the Galactic disk (pizza); formation of spiral arms (coffee with cream); the curvature of Space (Pringles); constellations patterns with chocolate chips and chocolate chip cookies; planet shaped cookies; star shaped cookies with different colored frostings; coffee or chocolate milk measurement of solar radiation; Oreo cookie lunar phases. Sometimes the students eat the results of the astronomical demonstrations. These demonstrations are an effective teaching tool and can be adapted for cultural, culinary, and ethnic differences among the students.

  15. An Update on the AAS Astronomy Ambassadors Program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fienberg, Richard T.; Gurton, S.; Fraknoi, A.; Prather, E. E.; Hurst, A.; Schatz, D. L.

    2013-06-01

    The American Astronomical Society, partnering with organizations active in science education and public outreach (EPO), has launched a series of professional-development workshops and a community of practice designed to help improve early-career astronomers’ ability to effectively communicate with students and the public. Called Astronomy Ambassadors, the program provides mentoring and training experiences for young astronomers, from advanced undergraduates to beginning faculty; it also provides access to resources and a network of contacts within the astronomy EPO community. By learning how to implement effective education and outreach strategies, Astronomy Ambassadors become better teachers, better presenters at meetings, and better representatives of our science to the public and to government. And because young astronomers are a more diverse group than those who currently do the majority of outreach, they help the astronomical community present a more multicultural and gender-balanced face to the public, enabling members of underserved groups to see themselves as scientists. Ambassadors are provided with a large library of outreach activities and materials that are suitable for a range of venues and audiences and that will grow with time. For much of this library we are using resources developed by organizations such as the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, the Pacific Science Center, and the Center for Astronomy Education for other outreach programs, though some resources have been created by one of us (AF) specifically for this program. The first Astronomy Ambassadors workshop was held at the 221st meeting of the AAS in January 2013 and served 30 young astronomers chosen from more than 75 applicants. Incorporating feedback from workshop participants and lessons learned from the reports they’ve submitted after conducting their own outreach events, we are now planning the second annual workshop to be held 4-5 January 2014 at the 223rd AAS meeting in

  16. A Status Report on the AAS Astronomy Ambassadors Program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fienberg, Richard Tresch; Fraknoi, Andrew; Gurton, Suzanne; Hurst, Anna; Schatz, Dennis L.

    2014-06-01

    The American Astronomical Society, in partnership with the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP), has launched a series of professional-development workshops and a community of practice designed to improve early-career astronomers’ ability to communicate effectively with students and the public. Called AAS Astronomy Ambassadors, the program provides training and mentoring for young astronomers, from advanced undergraduates to beginning faculty; it also provides them access to resources and a network of contacts within the astronomy education and public outreach (EPO) community. Ambassadors are provided with a library of outreach activities and resource materials suitable for a range of venues and audiences. For much of this library we are using resources developed by organizations such as the ASP, the Pacific Science Center, and the Center for Astronomy Education for other outreach programs, though some resources have been created by one of us (AF) specifically for this program. After a period of evaluation and revision, the program’s “Menu of Outreach Opportunities for Science Education” (MOOSE) is now posted on the AAS website at http://aas.org/outreach/moose-menu-outreach-opportunities-science-education.The first two Astronomy Ambassadors workshops were held at AAS meetings in January 2013 and January 2014; each served 30 young astronomers chosen from about twice that many applicants. Web-based follow-up activities are being provided through a website at the ASP designed to keep cohorts of educators trained in their programs in touch with one another. The AAS is exploring ways to fund additional workshops at future winter meetings; suggestions are most welcome. Meanwhile, the Astronomy Ambassadors trained to date have logged more than 150 outreach events, reaching many thousands of children and adults across the U.S. and Canada.

  17. Grade 9 Astronomy Study: Interests of Boys and Girls Studying Astronomy at Fletcher's Meadow Secondary School

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krstovic, Mirjan; Brown, Laura; Chacko, Merin; Trinh, Brenda

    In this report, we discuss the interests of Grade 9 boys and girls studying astronomy at Fletcher's Meadow Secondary School in Brampton, Ontario. A total of 152 Grade 9 academic students were asked to rate their interest levels in various astronomy topics on a scale of 0 3, where 0 represented no interest and 3 represented a high level of interest. We also asked the students to rate all the in-class activities on the same scale. Our analysis of the data suggests that there are many similarities in interest levels in various astronomy topics between boys and girls. In addition, boys and girls expressed similar preferences for in-class astronomy activities with only minor differences, suggesting similar learning styles in astronomy for boys and girls at the Grade 9 level.

  18. Astronomy all the time for everybody

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grigore, Valentin

    2015-08-01

    General contextCommunicating astronomy with the public must be done all year and with all community members using all the available methods to promote the all aspects of astronomy: education, science, research, new technologies, dark-sky protection, astrophotography, mythology, astropoetry, astro arts and music.An annual calendarTwo aspect must be taken in consideration when create a calendar of activity:- astronomical events (eclipses, meteor showers, comets, etc.)- international and local astronomical events: Global Astronomy Months, Astronomy Day, Globe at Night, ISAN, public activitiesCommunicating astronomy with the whole communityA description of the experience of the author organizing over 500 events in 30 years of activity including all the community members: general public, students, teachers, artists, authorities, people with disabilities, minor and adult prisoners, etc.An experience of seven years as TV producer of the astronomy TV show “Ùs and the Sky” is presented.Promotion of the activityThe relation with the mass-media is an important aspect communicating astronomy with the public.Mass-media between rating and correct information of the public.The role of the cooperation with the community in astronomy projectsA successful model: EURONEAR project

  19. Organizations and Strategies in Astronomy Vol. 7

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heck, Andre

    2006-12-01

    This book is the seventh volume under the title Organizations and Strategies in Astronomy (OSA). The OSA series covers a large range of fields and themes: in practice, one could say that all aspects of astronomy-related life and environment are considered in the spirit of sharing specific expertise and lessons learned. The chapters of this book are dealing with socio-dynamical aspects of the astronomy (and related space sciences) community: characteristics of organizations, strategies for development, operational techniques, observing practicalities, journal and magazine profiles, public outreach, publication studies, relationships with the media, research communication, series of conferences, evaluation and selection procedures, research indicators, national specificities, contemporary history, and so on. The experts contributing to this volume have done their best to write in a way understandable to readers not necessarily hyperspecialized in astronomy while providing specific detailed information and sometimes enlightening 'lessons learned' sections. The book concludes with an updated bibliography of publications related to socio-astronomy and to the interactions of the astronomy community with the society at large. This volume will be most usefully read by researchers, editors, publishers, librarians, sociologists of science, research planners and strategists, project managers, public-relations officers, plus those in charge of astronomy-related organizations, as well as by students aiming at a career in astronomy or related space sciences.

  20. Organizations and Strategies in Astronomy, volume 4

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heck, A.

    2003-10-01

    This book is the fourth volume under the title Organizations and Strategies in Astronomy (OSA). These OSA Books are intended to cover a large range of fields and themes. In practice, one could say that all aspects of astronomy-related life and environment are considered in the spirit of sharing specific expertise and lessons learned. This book offers a unique collection of chapters dealing with socio-dynamical aspects of the astronomy (and related space sciences) community: characteristics of organizations, society activities, strategies for development, operational techniques, observing practicalities, environmental constraints, educational policies, public outreach, journal and magazine profiles, publication studies, electronic-media problematics, research communication, evaluation and selection procedures, research indicators, national policies and specificities, expertise sharing, contemporary history, and so on. The experts contributing to this book have done their best to write in a way understandable to readers not necessarily hyperspecialized in astronomy while providing specific detailed information and sometimes enlightening 'lessons learned' sections. The book concludes with an updated bibliography of publications related to socio-astronomy and to the interactions of the astronomy community with the society at large. This book will be most usefully read by researchers, teachers, editors, publishers, librarians, sociologists of science, research planners and strategists, project managers, public-relations officers, plus those in charge of astronomy-related organizations, as well as by students aiming at a career in astronomy or related space science. Link: http://www.wkap.nl/prod/b/1-4020-1526-7

  1. Active Astronomy Roadshow Haiti

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laycock, Silas; Oram, Kathleen; Alabre, Dayana; Douyon, Ralph; UMass Lowell Haiti Development Studies Center

    2016-01-01

    College-age Haitian students working with advisors and volunteers from UMass Lowell in 2015 developed and tested an activity-based K-8 curriculum in astronomy, space, and earth science. Our partner school is located in Les Cayes, Haiti a city where only 65% of children attend school, and only half of those will complete 6th grade. Astronomy provides an accessible and non-intimidating entry into science, and activity-based learning contrasts with the predominant traditional teaching techniques in use in Haiti, to reach and inspire a different cohort of learners. Teachers are predominantly women in Haiti, so part of the effort involves connecting them with scientists, engineers and teacher peers in the US. As a developing nation, it is vital for Haitian (as for all) children to grow up viewing women as leaders in science. Meanwhile in the US, few are aware of the reality of getting an education in a 3rd world nation (i.e. most of the world), so we also joined with teachers in Massachusetts to give US school children a peek at what daily life is like for their peers living in our vibrant but impoverished neighbor. Our Haitian partners are committed to helping their sister-schools with curriculum and educator workshops, so that the overall quality of education can rise, and not be limited to the very few schools with access to resources. We will describe the activites, motivation, and and the lessons learned from our first year of the project.

  2. Challenges in Astronomy Education

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Greve, Jean-Pierre

    2010-11-01

    Astronomy is an attractive subject for education. It deals with fascination of the unknown and the unreachable, yet is uses tools, concepts and insights from various fundamental sciences such as mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology. Because of this it can be well used for introducing sciences to young people and to raise their interest in further studies in that direction. It is also an interesting subject for teaching as its different aspects (observation techniques, theory, data sampling and analysis, modelling,?) offer various didactical approaches towards different levels of pupils, students and different backgrounds. And it gives great opportunities to teach and demonstrate the essence of scientific research, through tutorials and projects. In this paper we discuss some of the challenges education in general, and astronomy in particular, faces in the coming decades, given the major geophysical and technological changes that can be deducted from our present knowledge. This defines a general, but very important background in terms of educational needs at various levels, and in geographical distribution of future efforts of the astronomical community. Special emphasis will be given to creative approaches to teaching, to strategies that are successful (such as the use of tutorials with element from computer games), and to initiatives complementary to the regular educational system. The programs developed by the IAU will be briefly highlighted.

  3. A New Resource for College Distance Education Astronomy Laboratory Exercises

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vogt, Nicole P.; Cook, Stephen P.; Muise, Amy Smith

    2013-01-01

    This article introduces a set of distance education astronomy laboratory exercises for use by college students and instructors and discusses first usage results. This General Astronomy Education Source exercise set contains eight two-week projects designed to guide students through both core content and mathematical applications of general…

  4. Academic Self-Perceptions of Ability and Course Planning among Academically Advanced Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rudasill, Kathleen Moritz; Callahan, Carolyn M.

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to examine the contribution of gender to the academic self-perceptions of ability and related coursework plans for high school and college across academically advanced students. Participants were academically advanced students (N = 447) from grades 5 to 12. Findings revealed that (a) girls' self-perceptions of ability…

  5. Astronomy Village: Innovative Uses of Planetary Astronomy Images and Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Croft, S. K.; Pompea, S. M.

    2008-06-01

    Teaching and learning science is best done by hands-on experience with real scientific data and real scientific problems. Getting such experiences into public and home-schooling classrooms is a challenge. Here we describe two award-winning multimedia products that embody one successful solution to the problem: Astronomy Village: Investigating the Universe, and Astronomy Village: Investigating the Solar System. Each Village provides a virtual environment for inquiry-based scientific exploration of ten planetary and astronomical problems such as ``Mission to Pluto'' and ``Search for a Supernova.'' Both Villages are standards-based and classroom tested. Investigating the Solar System is designed for middle and early high school students, while Investigating the Universe is at the high school and introductory college level. The objective of both Villages is to engage students in scientific inquiry by having them acquire, explore, and analyze real scientific data and images drawn from real scientific problems.

  6. Interactive Astronomy.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Martin, Jean K.

    1997-01-01

    Presents guiding principles for developing interactive lessons for the World Wide Web. Describes "Amazing Space: Education Online from the Hubble Space Telescope", a program where students study spectacular Hubble Space Telescope images of stars and star-forming regions to learn about the life cycle of stars and the creation of atoms. (JRH)

  7. Observing Projects in Introductory Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taylor, M. Suzanne

    2016-01-01

    Introductory astronomy classes without laboratory components face a unique challenge of how to expose students to the process of science in the framework of a lecture course. As a solution to this problem small group observing projects are incorporated into a 40 student introductory astronomy class composed primarily of non-science majors. Students may choose from 8 observing projects such as graphing the motion of the moon or a planet, measuring daily and seasonal motions of stars, and determining the rotation rate of the Sun from sunspots. Each group completes two projects, requiring the students to spend several hours outside of class making astronomical observations. Clear instructions and a check-list style observing log help students with minimal observing experience to take accurate data without direct instructor assistance. Students report their findings in a lab report-style paper, as well as in a formal oral or poster presentation. The projects serve a double purpose of allowing students to directly experience concepts covered in class as well as providing students with experience collecting, analyzing, and presenting astronomical data.

  8. Interdisciplinary Approaches to Astronomy.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fraknoi, Andrew

    1986-01-01

    Provides a bibliography of materials which deal with astronomy and: (1) science fiction; (2) poetry; (3) general fiction; (4) music; (5) psychology; and (6) the law. Also cites two general references on interdisciplinary approaches with astronomy topics. (JN)

  9. Nontechnical Astronomy Books of 1989.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mercury, 1990

    1990-01-01

    Presented are 126 reviews. Categories include amateur astronomy, children's books, computers and astronomy, cosmic rays, cosmology, education in astronomy, galaxies, general astronomy, history of astronomy, life in the universe, physics and astronomy, pseudoscience, quasars and active galaxies, reference, solar system, space exploration, stars and…

  10. Early infrared astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lequeux, James

    2009-07-01

    I present a short history of infrared astronomy, from the first scientific approaches of the ‘radiant heat’ in the seventeenth century to the 1970's, the time when space infrared astronomy was developing very rapidly. The beginning of millimeter and submillimeter astronomy is also covered. As the progress of infrared astronomy was strongly dependent on detectors, some details are given on their development.

  11. Astronomy Research Seminar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johson, Jolyon; Genet, Russell; Armstrong, James; Boyce, Grady; Boyce, Pat; Brewer, Mark; Buchheim, Robert; Carro, Joseph; Estrada, Reed; Estrada, Chris; Freed, Rachel; Gillette, Sean; Harshaw, Richard; Hollis, Thomas; Kenney, John; McGaughey, Seven; McNab, Christine; Mohanan, Kakkala; Sepulveda, Babs; Wallace, Dan; Wallen, Vera

    2015-05-01

    Traditional science lectures and labs are often enhanced through project- and team-based learning. Some students go beyond these classroom studies by conducting research, often under the guidance of university professors. A one-semester astronomy research seminar was initiated in 2006 in collaboration with the community of professional and amateur double star astronomers. The result was dozens of jointly-authored papers published in the Journal of Double Star Observations and the Annual Proceedings of the Society of Astronomical Sciences. This seminar, and its affiliated community, launched a series of conferences and books, providing students with additional forums to share their double star research. The original seminar, and its derivatives, enhanced educational careers through college admissions and scholarships. To expand the seminar's reach, it was restructured from a few teams at one school, to many teams, each from a different school. A volunteer from each school became an assistant instructor. Most of them were seminar veterans, experienced astronomers, or science teachers. The assistant instructors, in turn, recruited enthusiastic students for their teams. To avoid student and instructor overload, the seminar focused on its three deliverables: a formal proposal, published paper, and public PowerPoint presentation. Future seminars may offer other astronomical research options such as exoplanet transit or eclipsing binary photometry.

  12. History of Astronomy at James Cook University, Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Orchiston, Wayne; Duerbeck, H.; Glass, I.; Malville, K.; Marsden, B.; Simonia, I.; Slee, B.; Stephenson, F. R.; Strom, R.; Whittingham, I.; Wielebinski, R.

    2011-01-01

    The Centre for Astronomy at James Cook University (JCU) in Australia has been offering totally internet-delivered Master of Astronomy degrees since 2003 and Doctor of Astronomy and Ph.D. degrees since 2004. In 2005 a new dimension was added with unique offerings in the history of astronomy at both Masters and Doctoral levels. With the aid of 1 full-time staff member and 10 adjunct staff, 4 students have now graduated with Ph.D. degrees, 1 student died from cancer after completing the first draft of his thesis, and 14 students are currently enrolled in Ph.D. degrees. In addition 12 students have completed Master of Astronomy degrees in history of astronomy, and there are 3 students who are currently enrolled for Masters degrees. As part of its commitment to the international development of history of astronomy, the Centre for Astronomy also arranges boutique `invitation only’ history of astronomy conferences in March each year, and produces the Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage.

  13. Astronomy in Modern Turkey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eker, Zeki; Demircan, Osman, Kirbiyik, Halil; Bilir, Selcuk

    2013-01-01

    Present-day astronomy and its development in the recent history of Turkey are described. Current astronomy education in modern-day Turkish Republic from primary to high schools, including modern-day university education is discussed. Astronomical and space research together with the existing observatories and present-day Turkish astronomy in the global state is presented.

  14. Some Daytime Activities in Solar Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burin, Michael J.

    2016-01-01

    This century's transits of Venus (2004, 2012) captured significant public attention, reminding us that the wonders of astronomy need not be confined to the night. And while nighttime telescope viewing gatherings (a.k.a. "star parties") are perennially popular, astronomy classes are typically held in the daytime. The logistics of coordinating students outside of class can often be problematic, leading to dark-sky activities that are relegated to extra credit for only those who can attend.

  15. National Radio Astronomy International Exchange Program (NINE)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wingate, Lory Mitchell

    2016-01-01

    NINE aims to create synergistic partnerships between NRAO and its US-Based NINE partner institutions and universities, with astronomy-related institutions in other countries. We seek to create a vibrant exchange of students that are interested in learning about activities associated with the radio astronomy field, and to create enduring partnerships that will help train a global, collaborative Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) knowledgeable workforce.

  16. Astronomy Patch Day: An Interactive Astronomy Experience for Girl Scouts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Knierman, K. A.; McCarthy, D. W.; Schutz, K.

    2005-12-01

    To help encourage a new generation of women in science, we have created Astronomy Patch Day for the Sahuaro Girl Scout Council in Tucson, Arizona. This all-day event is an interactive experience for Girl Scouts ages 5-18 to learn about astronomical concepts and women in astronomy. Our first Astronomy Patch Day, held on March 19, 2005, in conjunction with the Sahuaro Council's annual Science, Math, and Related Technologies (SMART) program, was very successful, reaching about 150-200 girls and their leaders. Individual troops rotated every half hour among our six activity booths: Earth-Moon, Solar System, Stars, Galaxies, Universe, and Ask an Astronomer, which were staffed by trained Girl Scout Leaders as well as faculty, post-doctoral researchers, and graduate students from Steward Observatory. To earn a patch, younger girls (ages 5-12) had to complete activities at three booths and older girls had to complete all six activities. Positive feedback for this event was received from both the girls and leaders. We plan to hold Astronomy Patch Day annually, possibly with different and/or additional activities in future years. K. Knierman is supported by an Arizona/NASA Space Grant Fellowship. This outreach program is supported by NIRCam/JWST E/PO.

  17. An Online Tutor for Astronomy: The GEAS Self-Review Library

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vogt, Nicole P.; Muise, Amy Smith

    2015-01-01

    We introduce an interactive online resource for use by students and college instructors in introductory astronomy courses. The General Education Astronomy Source (GEAS) online tutor guides students developing mastery of core astronomical concepts and mathematical applications of general astronomy material. It contains over 12,000 questions, with…

  18. Astronomy on a Landfill

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Venner, L.

    2008-11-01

    Engaging ``K-to-Gray'' audiences (children, families, and older adults) in astronomical activities is one of the main goals of the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission Center for Environmental and Scientific Education (CESE) and the William D. McDowell Observatory located in Lyndhurst, NJ, operated by Ramapo College of New Jersey. Perched atop a closed and reclaimed municipal solid waste landfill, our new LEED--certified building (certification pending) and William D. McDowell observatory will assist in bringing the goals of the International Year of Astronomy 2009 (IYA2009) to the ˜25,000 students and ˜15,000 visitors that visit our site from the NY/NJ region each year.

  19. Do-it-yourself astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fulco, M. T.

    2008-06-01

    Do-it-yourself astronomy is an educational project conceived and developed by the INAF-Capodimonte Astronomical Observatory at Naples, Italy. Based on the manufacturing of a small astronomical mirror by high school students, it is aimed at stirring up the interest of youngsters for modern science by applying the logic of "doing" as opposed to that of just "listening" and/or "watching".

  20. Barriers to Advanced Placement for Latino Students at the High-School Level

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Walker, Susan A.; Pearsall, Laura D.

    2012-01-01

    In order to gain a better understanding about Latino student underrepresentation in advanced placement (AP) coursework, this investigation explored the factors that inhibit and/or encourage Latino student enrollment in AP coursework at one suburban public high school in the Western United States. Latino high-school students and their parents…

  1. The Role of Collaboration and Feedback in Advancing Student Learning in Media Literacy and Video Production

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Casinghino, Carl

    2015-01-01

    Teaching advanced video production is an art that requires great sensitivity to the process of providing feedback that helps students to learn and grow. Some students experience difficulty in developing narrative sequences or cause-and-effect strings of motion picture sequences. But when students learn to work collaboratively through the revision…

  2. Measuring Success: Examining Achievement and Perceptions of Online Advanced Placement Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnston, Sharon; Barbour, Michael K.

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of the research was to compare student performance on Advanced Placement (AP) exams from 2009 to 2011 at Florida Virtual School and to explore student perceptions of their online course experience compared with the classroom-based AP experiences. The data indicated that students performed at levels comparable to the national sample but…

  3. Student Participation and Performance on Advanced Placement Exams: Do State-Sponsored Incentives Make a Difference?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jeong, Dong Wook

    2009-01-01

    Many states provide incentives to students, teachers, and schools for the participation and success of students on Advanced Placement (AP) examinations administered by the College Board. The purpose of this article is to examine whether these incentives help students enroll and succeed in AP exams. An analysis of nationally representative AP exam…

  4. The Astronomy Workshop

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamilton, Douglas P.

    2013-05-01

    Abstract (2,250 Maximum Characters): The Astronomy Workshop (http://janus.astro.umd.edu) is a collection of interactive online educational tools developed for use by students, educators, professional astronomers, and the general public. The more than 20 tools in the Astronomy Workshop are rated for ease-of-use, and have been extensively tested in large university survey courses as well as more specialized classes for undergraduate majors and graduate students. Here we briefly describe the tools most relevant for the Professional Dynamical Astronomer. Solar Systems Visualizer: The orbital motions of planets, moons, and asteroids in the Solar System as well as many of the planets in exoplanetary systems are animated at their correct relative speeds in accurate to-scale drawings. Zoom in from the chaotic outer satellite systems of the giant planets all the way to their innermost ring systems. Orbital Integrators: Determine the orbital evolution of your initial conditions for a number of different scenarios including motions subject to general central forces, the classic three-body problem, and satellites of planets and exoplanets. Zero velocity curves are calculated and automatically included on relevant plots. Orbital Elements: Convert quickly and easily between state vectors and orbital elements with Changing the Elements. Use other routines to visualize your three-dimensional orbit and to convert between the different commonly used sets of orbital elements including the true, mean, and eccentric anomalies. Solar System Calculators: These tools calculate a user-defined mathematical expression simultaneously for all of the Solar System's planets (Planetary Calculator) or moons (Satellite Calculator). Key physical and orbital data are automatically accessed as needed.

  5. The Astronomy Workshop

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamilton, Douglas P.

    2012-05-01

    The Astronomy Workshop (http://janus.astro.umd.edu) is a collection of interactive online educational tools developed for use by students, educators, professional astronomers, and the general public. The more than 20 tools in the Astronomy Workshop are rated for ease-of-use, and have been extensively tested in large university survey courses as well as more specialized classes for undergraduate majors and graduate students. Here we briefly describe the tools most relevant for the Professional Dynamical Astronomer. Solar Systems Visualizer: The orbital motions of planets, moons, and asteroids in the Solar System as well as many of the planets in exoplanetary systems are animated at their correct relative speeds in accurate to-scale drawings. Zoom in from the chaotic outer satellite systems of the giant planets all the way to their innermost ring systems. Orbital Integrators: Determine the orbital evolution of your initial conditions for a number of different scenarios including motions subject to general central forces, the classic three-body problem, and satellites of planets and exoplanets. Zero velocity curves are calculated and automatically included on relevant plots. Orbital Elements: Convert quickly and easily between state vectors and orbital elements with Changing the Elements. Use other routines to visualize your three-dimensional orbit and to convert between the different commonly used sets of orbital elements including the true, mean, and eccentric anomalies. Solar System Calculators: These tools calculate a user-defined mathematical expression simultaneously for all of the Solar System's planets (Planetary Calculator) or moons (Satellite Calculator). Key physical and orbital data are automatically accessed as needed.

  6. Astronomy Aid

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1995-01-01

    As a Jet Propulsion Laboratory astronomer, John D. Callahan developed a computer program called Multimission Interactive Planner (MIP) to help astronomers analyze scientific and optical data collected on the Voyager's Grand Tour. The commercial version of the program called XonVu is published by XonTech, Inc. Callahan has since developed two more advanced programs based on MIP technology, Grand Tour and Jovian Traveler, which simulate Voyager and Giotto missions. The software allows astronomers and space novices to view the objects seen by the spacecraft, manipulating perspective, distance and field of vision.

  7. Astronomy and Politics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steele, John M.

    The relationship between astronomy and politics is a complex but important part of understanding the practice of astronomy throughout history. This chapter explores some of the ways that astronomy, astrology, and politics have interacted, placing particular focus on the way that astronomy and astrology have been used for political purposes by both people in power and people who wish to influence a ruler's policy. Also discussed are the effects that politics has had on the development of astronomy and, in particular, upon the recording and preservation of astronomical knowledge.

  8. Invite an Alien to Astronomy Night

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Governor, Donna; Richwine, Pebble

    2007-01-01

    Dozens of inflatable aliens recently "descended" upon the authors' middle school to kick-off their first school-wide Astronomy night. With an estimated attendance of over 500, their eighth-grade students hosted over a dozen activity-rich sessions designed to entertain and educate students and their families about the wonders of the solar system…

  9. The Student-Centered Classroom Made Real: Transforming Student Presentations in an Advanced Course on Technical German

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rarick, Damon O.

    2010-01-01

    This article describes how the author has successfully combined polling with more traditional instructional strategies to enhance student presentation skills in an advanced course teaching technical German. By helping students select and prepare topics, anticipate questions and engage the audience, instructors can eliminate some of the root causes…

  10. Design Concepts for the Cherenkov Telescope Array CTA: An Advanced Facility for Ground-Based High-Energy Gamma-Ray Astronomy

    SciTech Connect

    Actis, M

    2012-04-17

    Ground-based gamma-ray astronomy has had a major breakthrough with the impressive results obtained using systems of imaging atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes. Ground-based gamma-ray astronomy has a huge potential in astrophysics, particle physics and cosmology. CTA is an international initiative to build the next generation instrument, with a factor of 5-10 improvement in sensitivity in the 100 GeV-10 TeV range and the extension to energies well below 100 GeV and above 100 TeV. CTA will consist of two arrays (one in the north, one in the south) for full sky coverage and will be operated as open observatory. The design of CTA is based on currently available technology. This document reports on the status and presents the major design concepts of CTA.

  11. Astronomy On-Line Programme Enters "hot Week"

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1996-11-01

    World's Biggest Astronomy WWW-Event Attracts Thousands of Students The Astronomy On-line Programme (See ESO Press Release 09/96 of 18 June 1996) began officially on 1 October and is now about to enter its most intense phase, known as the Hot Week . On 18 - 22 November, an estimated 4000 astronomy-interested, mostly young people in Europe and on four other continents will get together during five days in what - not unexpected - has become the world's biggest astronomy event ever organised on the World Wide Web. This carefully structured Programme is carried out in collaboration between the European Association for Astronomy Education (EAAE), the European Southern Observatory and the European Commission, under the auspices of the Fourth European Week for Scientific and Technological Culture. The Programme has already had a most visible impact on the school education of natural sciences in various countries; for instance, the Internet-connection of schools has been advanced in some, in order to allow groups to participate. There have been numerous contacts among the groups across the borders and there are clear signs that many Astronomy On-line participants have progressed to use the impressive possibilities of the Web in an efficient and structured way. There has been a lively media interest in Astronomy On-line all over Europe and it is expected to increase during the next week. The current status of Astronomy On-line It is obvious that the pilot function of the Astronomy On-line Programme in the use of the Web has been very effective and that the associated dissemination of astronomical knowledge has been successful. At this time, more than 650 groups have registered with Astronomy On-line. Most come from 31 different European countries and a few dozen groups are located in North and South America as well as in Asia and Australia. Together they have experienced the steady build-up of Astronomy On-line over the past weeks, by means of numerous contributions from a

  12. The California-Arizona Minority Partnership for Astronomy Research and Education (CAMPARE): Astronomy Education Research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Serna, Gabriela E.; Eckenrode, J.; McCarthy, D. W.; Wallace, C. S.; Prather, E. E.; Brissenden, G.; Rudolph, A. L.; Collaboration of Astronomy Teaching Scholars (CATS)

    2013-01-01

    The California-Arizona Minority Partnership for Astronomy Research and Education (CAMPARE) is an NSF-funded network of research opportunities for students at Cal Poly Pomona, CSU Fullerton, and other CSU campuses and Southern California community colleges at four world-class research institutions: the University of Arizona Steward Observatory, the SETI Institute, JPL, and Caltech. CAMPARE students interested in astronomy education or public outreach are given the opportunity to work with the acclaimed Astronomy Camp and Center for Astronomy Education (CAE), both in Steward Observatory at the University of Arizona. On this 25th anniversary of Astronomy Camp, we involved children in real astronomical observing at Kitt Peak National Observatory, in Arizona. At CAE, we analyzed answers to Lecture-Tutorials (an interactive instructional strategy) from students in an introductory astronomy (Astro 101) mega-course taught at a large open-enrollment, research institution. We investigated whether there is a correlation between coherency and correctness in their answers to Lecture-Tutorial questions, and how well they understand the material based on course assessment, such as exams. We will present the results of the Lecture-Tutorial analysis and of the educational experience at the Astronomy Camp.

  13. First Results from the Test Of Astronomy STandards (TOAST) Assessment Instrument

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Slater, Stephanie

    2009-01-01

    Considerable effort in the astronomy education research over the past several years has focused on developing assessment tools in the form of multiple-choice conceptual diagnostics and content knowledge surveys. This has been critically important in advancing astronomy as a sub-discipline of physics education research, allowing researchers to establish the initial knowledge state of students as well as to attempt to measure some of the impacts of innovative instructional interventions. Before now, few of the existing instruments were constructed upon a solid list of clearly articulated and widely agreed upon learning objectives. Moving beyond the 10-year old Astronomy Diagnostics Test, we have developed and validated a new assessment instrument that is tightly aligned to the consensus learning goals stated by the American Astronomical Society - Chair's Conference on ASTRO 101, the American Association of the Advancement of Science's Project 2061 Benchmarks, and the National Research Council's National Science Education Standards. Researchers from the Cognition in Astronomy, Physics and Earth sciences Research (CAPER) Team at the University of Wyoming's Science and Math Teaching Center (UWYO SMTC) designed a criterion-referenced assessment tool, called the Test Of Astronomy STandards (TOAST). Through iterative development, this multiple-choice instrument has a high degree of reliability and validity for instructors and researchers needing information on students’ initial knowledge state at the beginning of a course and can be used, in aggregate, to help measure the impact of course-length duration instructional strategies for undergraduate science survey courses with learning goals tightly aligned to the consensus goals of the astronomy education community.

  14. Past, Present and Future of Chinese Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fang, Cheng

    2015-03-01

    Through out the ancient history, Chinese astronomers had made tremendous achievements. Since the main purpose of the ancient Chinese astronomy was to study the correlation between man and the universe, all the Emperors made ancient Chinese astronomy the highly regarded science throughout the history. After a brief introduction of the achievement of ancient Chinese astronomy, I describe the beginnings of modern astronomy research in China in the 20th century. Benefiting from the fast development of Chinese economy, the research in astronomy in China has made remarkable progress in recent years. The number of astronomers has doubled in the past ten years, and the number of graduate students has grown over 1300. The current budget for astronomy research is ten times larger than that ten years ago. The research covers all fields in astronomy, from galaxies to the Sun. The recent progress in both the instruments, such as the Guo Shoujing's telescope, a Large Sky Area Multi-Object Fiber Spectroscopic Telescope (LAMOST), and the theoretical research will be briefly presented. The ongoing and future projects on the space- and ground-based facilities will be described, including the Five Hundred Meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST), ``Chang E'' (Lunar mission) project, Hard X-ray Modulate Telescope (HXMT), DArk Matter Particle Explorer (DAMPE), Deep Space Solar Observatory (DSO), Chinese Antarctic Observatory (CAO), 65m steerable radio telescope, Chinese Spectral Radioheliogaph (CSRH) etc.

  15. The Under-Utilization and Problems Associated with the Advanced Placement Program of Adult High School Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barham, Mary Ann

    2009-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the low participation rate among high school students 18 years of age or older in Advanced Placement courses. The subjects in this study were 129 Advanced Placement Students and 129 non-Advanced Placement high school students 18 years of age or older in five high schools in two Louisiana parishes.…

  16. Students' Understanding of Advanced Properties of Java Exceptions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rashkovits, Rami; Lavy, Ilana

    2012-01-01

    This study examines how Information Systems Engineering School students on the verge of their graduation understand the mechanism of exception handling. The main contributions of this paper are as follows: we construct a questionnaire aimed at examining students' level of understanding concerning exceptions; we classify and analyse the students'…

  17. The effects of student-led and teacher-led advance organizers on students' achievement and motivation of high school biology students

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hopkins, Melody Denise

    The purpose of this research study was to explore what effects student-led and teacher-led advance organizer's instruction had on students' achievement and motivation in a high school biology class. The study used three advance organizers - Venn diagrams, concept maps, and KWL charts. There was a total of 83 students who participated in this study, and were enrolled in four sections of high school biology. The students were divided into two groups using systematic matching and received different advance organizer's instruction. Two groups received student-led instruction using cooperative learning, whereas, the other two groups received teacher-led instruction. Each group received a pretest, Advance Organizer Motivation Survey, weekly advance organizer-based lessons and weekly advance organizer evaluations for six weeks, posttest, and Advance Organizer Motivation Survey. Pretest and posttest scores on the biology exam, weekly objective quizzes, and presurvey and postsurvey scores on the Advance Organizer Motivation Survey were collected. Statistical analyses found no overall statistically significant difference in achievement between groups. When looking at achievement results for redundant organizers it was found that the student-led group had a higher mean than the teacher-led group when working with concept maps. Furthermore, there was a statistically significant difference in students' motivation to learn and motivation to participate in student-led activities between groups. The student-led group reported higher motivation than the teacher-led group. In regard to motivation and kinds of advance organizers, Venn diagrams and concept maps showed a statistically significant difference between groups, with the student-led group possessing more motivated with those two kinds of advance organizers than the teacher-led group. Qualitative data were also collected through weekly advance organizer evaluations, Advance Organizer Motivation Survey, and focus groups. These

  18. Should Astronomy Abolish Magnitudes?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brecher, K.

    2001-12-01

    barrier to student and public understanding of astronomy. Perhaps it is time to add astronomical magnitudes to the dustbin of scientific history, along with caloric, phlogiston and the ether.

  19. Methodological pluralism in the teaching of Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Macedo, Josué Antunes; Voelzke, Marcos Rincon

    2015-04-01

    This paper discusses the feasibility of using a teaching strategy called methodological pluralism, consisting of the use of various methodological resources in order to provide a meaningful learning. It is part of a doctoral thesis, which aims to investigate contributions to the use of traditional resources combined with digital technologies, in order to create autonomy for future teachers of Natural Sciences and Mathematics in relation to themes in Astronomy. It was offered an extension course at the "Federal Institution of Education, Science and Technology" in the North of Minas Gerais (FINMG), Campus Januaria, for thirty-two students of licentiate courses in Physics, Mathematics and Biological Sciences, involving themes of Astronomy, in order to search and contribute to improving the training of future teachers. The following aspects are used: the mixed methodology, with pre-experimental design, combined with content analysis. The results indicate the rates of students' prior knowledge in relation to Astronomy was low; meaningful learning indications of concepts related to Astronomy, and the feasibility of using digital resources Involving technologies, articulated with traditional materials in the teaching of Astronomy. This research sought to contribute to the initial teacher training, especially in relation to Astronomy Teaching, proposing new alternatives to promote the teaching of this area of knowledge, extending the methodological options of future teachers.

  20. Teaching Advance Care Planning to Medical Students with a Computer-Based Decision Aid

    PubMed Central

    Levi, Benjamin H.

    2013-01-01

    Discussing end-of-life decisions with cancer patients is a crucial skill for physicians. This article reports findings from a pilot study evaluating the effectiveness of a computer-based decision aid for teaching medical students about advance care planning. Second-year medical students at a single medical school were randomized to use a standard advance directive or a computer-based decision aid to help patients with advance care planning. Students' knowledge, skills, and satisfaction were measured by self-report; their performance was rated by patients. 121/133 (91%) of students participated. The Decision-Aid Group (n=60) outperformed the Standard Group (n=61) in terms of students´ knowledge (p<0.01), confidence in helping patients with advance care planning (p<0.01), knowledge of what matters to patients (p=0.05), and satisfaction with their learning experience (p<0.01). Likewise, patients in the Decision Aid Group were more satisfied with the advance care planning method (p<0.01) and with several aspects of student performance. Use of a computer-based decision aid may be an effective way to teach medical students how to discuss advance care planning with cancer patients. PMID:20632222

  1. Making Space for Specialized Astronomy Resources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    MacMillan, D.

    2007-10-01

    With the growth of both free and subscription-based resources, articles on astronomy have never been easier to find. Locating the best and most current materials for any given search, however, now requires multiple tools and strategies dependent on the query. An analysis of the tools currently available shows that while astronomy is well-served by Google Scholar, Scopus and Inspec, its literature is best accessed through specialized resources such as ADS (Astrophysics Data System). While no surprise to astronomers, this has major implications for those of us who teach information literacy skills to astronomy students and work in academic settings where astronomy is just one of many subjects for which our non-specialist colleagues at the reference desk provide assistance. This paper will examine some of the implications of this analysis for library instruction, reference assistance and training, and library webpage development.

  2. Astronomy Olympiads a Challenge for Future Scientists

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ninkovic, S.

    2013-05-01

    Contests in astronomy for secondary school pupils, very often called "Astronomy Olympiads", have acquired a general recognition in many countries. They are regarded in various manners: as the best way to attract to science young talented people in general, the possibility to discriminate the most successful participants, who are then in position to be offered to become students of famous universities which is viewed as the beginning of a nice career, the possibility of affirmation of astronomy in secondary schools, the way to put together young amateur astronomers from various parts of the world, etc. On the other hand, there are some organisational problems which follow such events; they concern the relationship with the International Astronomical Union, outreach of the contests in different countries and many others. Serbia has been a member in the Astronomy-Olympiad Movement from 2002.

  3. Organizations and Strategies in Astronomy, Volume 5

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heck, André

    2004-10-01

    This book is the fifth volume under the title Organizations and Strategies in Astronomy (OSA). These OSA Books are intended to cover a large range of fields and themes. In practice, one could say that all aspects of astronomy-related life and environment are considered in the spirit of sharing specific expertise and lessons learned. This book offers a unique collection of chapters dealing with socio-dynamical aspects of the astronomy (and related space sciences) community: characteristics of organizations, strategies for development, operational techniques, observing practicalities, educational policies, public outreach, publication studies, research communication, evaluation procedures, research indicators, national specificities, contemporary history, and so on. The experts contributing to this book have done their best to write in a way understandable to readers not necessarily hyperspecialized in astronomy while providing specific detailed information and sometimes enlightening ‘lessons learned’ sections. The book concludes with an updated bibliography of publications related to socio-astronomy and to the interactions of the astronomy community with the society at large. This book will be most usefully read by researchers, teachers, editors, publishers, librarians, sociologists of science, research planners and strategists, project managers, public-relations officers, plus those in charge of astronomy-related organizations, as well as by students aiming at a career in astronomy or related space science. The book includes a CD-ROM containing the visionary and fascinating work of L. Pešek as a space artist. "More than anything else, Organizations and Strategies in Astronomy is about change, recording where we've been and how we have evolved, and extrapolating to where we will be in the coming decades." Caty Pilachowski, outgoing President of the AAS

  4. Using Data Mining to Explore Which Students Use Advanced Placement to Reduce Time to Degree

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eykamp, Paul W.

    2006-01-01

    This chapter explores how multiple approaches including data mining can help examine how the lengths of student enrollment are associated with varying numbers of advanced placement units. (Contains 3 tables and 5 figures.)

  5. Astronomy for African development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Govender, Kevindran

    2011-06-01

    In recent years there have been a number of efforts across Africa to develop the field of astronomy as well as to reap benefit from astronomy for African people. This presentation will discuss the case of the SALT (Southern African Large Telescope) Collateral Benefits Programme (SCBP) which was set up to ensure societal benefit from astronomy. With African society as the target, the SCBP has embarked on various projects from school level education to public understanding of science to socio-economic development, the latter mainly being felt in the rural communities surrounding the South African Astronomical Observatory (home to SALT). A development plan for ``Astronomy in Africa'' will also be discussed. This plan has been drawn up with input from all over Africa and themed ``Astronomy for Education''. The Africa case stands as a good example for the IYA cornerstone project ``Developing Astronomy Globally'' which focuses on developing regions.

  6. Armenian Cultural Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farmanyan, S. V.; Mickaelian, A. M.

    2015-07-01

    Cultural Astronomy is the reflection of sky events in various fields of nations' culture. In foreign literature this field is also called "Astronomy in Culture" or "Astronomy and Culture". Cultural astronomy is the set of interdisciplinary fields studying the astronomical systems of current or ancient societies and cultures. It is manifested in Religion, Mythology, Folklore, Poetry, Art, Linguistics and other fields. In recent years, considerable attention has been paid to this sphere, particularly international organizations were established, conferences are held and journals are published. Armenia is also rich in cultural astronomy. The present paper focuses on Armenian archaeoastronomy and cultural astronomy, including many creations related to astronomical knowledge; calendars, rock art, mythology, etc. On the other hand, this subject is rather poorly developed in Armenia; there are only individual studies on various related issues (especially many studies related to Anania Shirakatsi) but not coordinated actions to manage this important field of investigation.

  7. Using Computers in Introductory Astronomy Courses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deming, Grace L.

    1995-12-01

    Computer literacy is fast becoming a focal point in undergraduate education. Scientific literacy has been a continuing goal of undergraduate programs across the nation and a course in introductory astronomy is often used to satisfy such science requirements. At U. MD an introduction to computer skills is being integrated into our astronomy curriculum for non-science majors. The campus is adequately equipped with computer labs, yet many students enter college without basic computer skills. In Astronomy 101 (General Astronomy) students are introduced to electronic mail, a Listserver, and the world wide web. Students in this course are required to register for a free campus computer account. Their first assignment is to use e-mail to subscribe to the class Listserver, Milkyway. Through Milkyway, students have access to weekly lecture summaries, questions to review for exams, and copies of previous exams. Using e-mail students may pose questions, provide comments, or exchange opinions using Milkyway, or they may e-mail the instructor directly. Studies indicate that using e-mail is less intimidating to a student than asking a question in a class of 200 students. Monitoring e-mail for student questions has not been a problem. Student reaction has been favorable to using e-mail, since instructor office hours are not always convenient, especially to commuting or working students. Through required assignments, students receive an introduction to accessing information on the world wide web using Netscape. Astronomy has great resources available on the Internet which can be used to supplement and reinforce introductory material. Assignments are structured so that students will gain the techniques necessary to access available information. It is hoped that students will successfully apply the computer skills they learn in astronomy class to their own fields and as life-long learners. We have found that students comfortable with computers are willing to share their knowledge

  8. Extragalactic astronomy: The universe beyond our galaxy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jacobs, K. C.

    1976-01-01

    This single-topic brochure is for high school physical science teachers to use in introducing students to extragalactic astronomy. The material is presented in three parts: the fundamental content of extragalactic astronomy; modern discoveries delineated in greater detail; and a summary of the earlier discussions within the structure of the Big-Bang Theory of evolution. Each of the three sections is followed by student exercises (activities, laboratory projects, and questions-and-answers). The unit close with a glossary which explains unfamilar terms used in the text and a collection of teacher aids (literature references and audiovisual materials for utilization in further study).

  9. Astronomy in Indian Schools

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhatia, V. B.

    Tradition of astronomy in India goes back to ancient times. Many festivals and rituals are associated with astronomical phenomena. Indian children start learning rudiments of astronomy from primary classes. But primary teachers are not equipped to handle this subject so not much learning actually takes place. The first serious interface with astronomy occurs when children reach class X when they are 15 years old. Till last year astronomy was there in class XII also but it has now been dropped. This is a serious setback for the study of astronomy. In class X astronomy forms part of general science. Since children at this stage are not proficient in physics and mathematics the subject remains descriptive though there are useful activities for children to do. However the teachers are not equipped to handle this subject and there is no help in the form of visual material. So the subject remains neglected. The Indian astronomical community can help by training teachers and providing visual material. It must also urge authorities to reintroduce astronomy in class XII if astronomy is to flourish in India. Moreover India needs to network with developing countries share experiences with them and evolve a strategy that promotes astronomy.

  10. Journey of Ethiopia Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belay Tessema, Solomon

    2015-08-01

    Ancient astronomy had contributed away for the modern development of astronomy. The history of astronomy development in Ethiopian was liked with different beliefs and culture of the society. The Ethiopians were the first who invented the science of stars, and gave names to the planets, not at random and without meaning, but descriptive of the qualities which they conceived them to possess; and it was from them that this art passed, still in an imperfect state, to the Egyptians. Even though, Ethiopian’s contributions for astronomy in the world were immense but the journey of modern astronomy is still in the infant stage. The modern astronomy and space program in Ethiopia was started in 2004 in well organized form from three individuals to the public. In the past eleven years of journey of astronomy development in Ethiopia was the most challenging from national to international level. After strong struggle of a few committed individuals for the past eleven years the development of astronomy is completely changed from dark age to bright age. This paper will try to address the details of journey of astronomy in Ethiopia.

  11. GRAD-MAP: A Joint Physics and Astronomy Diversity Initiative at the University of Maryland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilkins, Ashlee N.; Jameson, Katherine; Taylor, Corbin James; Anderson, Neil; Megson, Peter; Roberg-Clark, Gareth; Sheppard, Kyle; Uher, Tim; Hammer, Donna; Vogel, Stuart N.

    2016-01-01

    Graduate Resources for Advancing Diversity with Maryland's Astronomy and Physics (GRAD-MAP), builds connections between UMD and mid-Atlantic HBCUs, Minority-Serving Institutions, and community colleges, and uses seminars, forums, and workshops to foster a diverse community of undergraduates prepared to succeed in graduate school, and is now in its third year. GRAD-MAP launched with a three-pronged approach: 1) Collaborative Seminars, 2) A Winter Workshop, and 3) A Spring Symposium. This program allows GRAD-MAP to do more than just increase the numbers of minority students participating in astronomy and physics research (or, worse, simply shuffle around students who already are or would be); it is committed to identifying students who are otherwise underserved or overlooked by the traditional academic pipeline, not only to get them on the path to be successful undergraduate researchers and eventual graduate applicants, but also to make the climate of academic physics and astronomy more inclusive to them and all other underrepresented minority students. Our poster describes the key elements of our program, and highlights successes and lessons learned; GRAD-MAP can serve as a model for other universities committed to diversity and inclusion.

  12. Astronomy On-Line - the World's Biggest Astronomy Event on the World-Wide-Web

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Albrecht, R.; West, R.; Naumann, M.; Madsen, C.

    This educational programme was organised in a collaboration between ESO, the European Association for Astronomy Education (EAAE) and the European Union (EU) during the 4th European Week for Scientific and Technological Culture. Astronomy On-Line brought together about 5000 students from all over Europe and other continents. Learning to use the vast resources of tomorrow's communication technology, they also experienced the excitement of real-time scientific adventure and the virtues of international collaboration.

  13. Can Astronomy Be Taught Without History?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zeilik, Michael; Hall, Shannon

    1994-12-01

    Many introductory astronomy courses for the non-science major take a somewhat historical approach, especially at the start of the course. At the University of New Mexico, we are developing an innovative course in a large (about 300 students) lecture format. The main thrust has been to restructure the traditional "descriptive" astronomy course into one that focuses on the process of science by identifying and linking essential concepts. The goal: to teach explicitly the structural knowledge of astronomy, which is clear to experts but opaque to novices. To focus on the process of science, we have decided to minimize a historical treatment of the material. But this strategy results in a cognitive twist. We know that students bring into class their personal world views, largely unexamined, about how nature works. Some of these alternative conceptions mimic pre-Newtonian notions and in a loose sense recapitulate the history of astronomy. Is taking a historical approach a good heuristic device for teaching introductory astronomy? Or does it reinforce alternative concepts and so confuse students? This work is supported in part by NSF grant DUE-9253983

  14. A Radio Astronomy Curriculum for STARLAB

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boltuch, D.; Hund, L.; Buck, S.; Fultz, C.; Smith, T.; Harris, R.; Castelaz, M. W.; Moffett, D.; LaFratta, M.; Walsh, L.

    2005-12-01

    We present elements of a curriculum that will accompany the STARLAB module "Sensing the Radio Sky" a portable planetarium program and projection of the radio sky. The curriculum will serve to familiarize high school students to a set of topics in radio astronomy. The curriculum includes lessons and activities addressing several topics related to radio astronomy and the Milky Way that consists of two main resources: a manual and a multimedia website. It is designed to accommodate a wide variety of possible uses and time constraints. The manufacturer of STARLAB, Learning Technologies, Inc. produces a short manual to accompany each presentation for the STARLAB. The "Sensing the Radio Sky" manual we have created includes the mandatory, minimum background information that students need to understand radio astronomy. It briefly discusses waves and electromagnetic radiation, similarities and differences between optical and radio astronomy, probable misconceptions about radio astronomy, how radio images are produced, synchrotron radiation in the Milky Way, and galactic coordinates. It also includes a script that presenters can choose to follow inside the STARLAB, a lesson plan for teachers, and activities for students to complete before and after the STARLAB experience that mirror the scientific method. The multimedia website includes more detailed information about electromagnetic radiation and a more detailed comparison of optical and radio astronomy. It also discusses the life cycles of stars, radiation from a variety of specific sources, and pulsars, as each relates to radio astronomy. The five highly detailed lessons are pulled together in sixth "overview lesson", intended for use by teachers who want to present more than the basic material in the manual, but do not have the classroom time to teach all five of the in-depth lessons. . We acknowledge support from the NSF Internship in Public Science Education Program grant number 0324729.

  15. 2005 College Astronomy Teaching Excellence Workshops

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prather, E. E.; Slater, T. F.; Greene, W. M.; Thaller, M.; Brissenden, G.; UA Steward Observatory CAPER Team; NASA JPL Navigator EPO CenterAstrononomy Education Team; NASA Spitzer EPO Team

    2004-12-01

    As part of the education and public outreach efforts of the NASA JPL Navigator and Spitzer EPO Programs along with the American Astronomical Society and the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, astronomy educators affiliated with the Conceptual Astronomy and Physics Education Research (CAPER) Team at the University of Arizona are conducting a series of two- and three-day teaching excellence workshops for college faculty. These regional workshops are being held at community colleges around the country and in conjunction with professional society meetings, such as the American Astronomical Society and the American Association of Physics Teachers, and through the infrastructure of the National Science Foundation's Summer Chautauqua Workshop program. These interactive teaching excellence workshops focus on dilemmas astronomy teachers face and develop practical solutions for the troubling issues in curriculum, instruction, and assessment. After reviewing the latest research about how students learn, participants define and set measurable student learning goals and objectives for students in their astronomy courses and construct effective course syllabi reflecting the ASTRO 101 goals publicized by the AAS. To improve instruction, participants learn how to create productive learning environments by using interactive lectures, peer instruction, engaging demonstrations, collaborative groups, tutorials, computer-based laboratories, and observational projects. Participants also learn how to write more effective multiple-choice tests and implement authentic assessment strategies including portfolio assessment, performance tasks, and concept maps. Texts used at the workshop include: (i) Learner-Centered Astronomy Teaching, Slater and Adams, Prentice Hall, 2002; (ii) Great Ideas for Teaching Astronomy, Pompea, Brooks Cole, 2000; Insights into the Universe, Slater and Zeilik, and (iv) Lecture-Tutorials for Introductory Astronomy, Adams, Prather, & Slater, Prentice Hall, 2005.

  16. The role of astronomy in society and culture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Valls-Gabaud, David; Boksenberg, Alexander

    2011-06-01

    As an ancient and multidisciplinary field, astronomy is an ambassador for all sciences. Astronomy's broad appeal, whether from its cultural interest of our place in the universe, or its practical aims such as sea- or space navigation, is well recorded in history from ancient to modern times, and sky-awareness, more generally, began prehistorically. Astronomy's perceived role and purpose has continually developed over the ages. In all, astronomy is not to be viewed as a narrow subject operating in isolation but one that has contributed comprehensively to the advancement of society.

  17. Use of Modern Technologies in Improving Astronomy Education in Tanzania

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiwaji, N. T.

    2006-08-01

    With only the most basic astronomy content officially included in the Physics syllabus of Secondary Schools in Tanzania and a one semester Astrophysics option course offered in the Physics Department of one University, the reasons for apathy towards astronomy education in Tanzania are discussed. Using the current focus on introducing ICT into Primary and Secondary schools in Tanzania, the potential for advancing astronomy education per se and natural sciences in general is presented. Limiting factors such as teachers in general and science and astronomy literate teachers in particular, infrastructure and running costs of providing ICT based education, cultural impediments need to be overcome.

  18. Making an International Impact: A Joint International Astronomy Project

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Scott, Robert; Shen, Xinrong; Mulley, Ian

    2012-01-01

    Early in 2010, a group of year 11 students (age 15-16) studying GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education) Astronomy at The Radclyffe School, Oldham, in the UK, teamed up with a similar age group from Tianyi High School, Wuxi City, in China, to undertake a joint astronomy investigation. This article outlines the outcome of the first stage…

  19. Gravitation, Book 3. The University of Illinois Astronomy Program.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Atkin, J. Myron; Wyatt, Stanley P., Jr.

    Presented is book three in a series of six books in the University of Illinois Astronomy Program which introduces astronomy to upper elementary and junior high school students. The causes of celestial motion are investigated and the laws that apply to all moving things in the universe are examined in detail. Topics discussed include: the basic…

  20. Radio Astronomy: A Strong Link between Undergraduate Education and Research.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pratap, Preethi; Salah, Joseph E.

    2001-01-01

    Describes a successful pilot program to develop and test a program that facilitates the linking of undergraduate research and education through radio astronomy. Based on the pilot experiences, students everywhere should be able to exploit the opportunity to strengthen their education through practical research using radio astronomy. (Author/SAH)

  1. Space-Based Astronomy: A Teacher's Guide with Activities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Washington, DC.

    This curriculum guide uses hands-on activities to help grade 5-8 students and teachers understand the significance of space-based astronomy--astronomical observations made from outside the Earth's atmosphere. The guide begins with a survey of astronomy-related spacecraft that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has sent into…

  2. Shaping Attitudes toward Science in an Introductory Astronomy Course

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wittman, David

    2009-01-01

    At many universities, astronomy is a popular way for nonscience majors to fulfill a general education requirement. Because general education astronomy may be the only college-level science course taken by these students, it is the last chance to shape the science attitudes of these future journalists, teachers, politicians, and voters. Hobson…

  3. Raising the Bar: Significant Advances and Future Needs for Promoting Learning for Students with Severe Disabilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Spooner, Fred; Browder, Diane M.

    2015-01-01

    This essay describes major advances in educating students with severe disabilities. The authors propose that applied behavior analysis, the focus on functional life skills, and the promotion of academic content have been the major advances in the "how" and "what" of learning for this population. An increased focus on literacy,…

  4. Preparing Future Biology Faculty: An Advanced Professional Development Program for Graduate Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lockwood, Stephanie A.; Miller, Amanda J.; Cromie, Meghan M.

    2014-01-01

    Formal professional development programs for biology graduate students interested in becoming faculty members have come far; however, programs that provide advanced teaching experience for seasoned graduate teaching assistants are scarce. We outline an advanced program that focuses on further training of graduate teaching assistants in pedagogy…

  5. The Integrated Student: Fostering Holistic Development to Advance Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Haynes, Carolyn

    2006-01-01

    Those educators who work with academically high-achieving college students have long known that these individuals face challenges along with their less scholastically prepared peers. Recently, the author and her colleagues at Miami University were reminded of this fact when they discovered that 80 percent of their honors students were exiting the…

  6. Twice-Exceptional Students Enrolled in Advanced Placement Classes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schultz, Susan M.

    2012-01-01

    Twice-exceptional students, those who have disabilities and display areas of gifts or talents, frequently spend their high school years with a focus on their disabilities. Using semistructured interviews, this study explores the perceptions of parents, teachers, and guidance counselors regarding participation of twice-exceptional students in…

  7. Participation of Minority Students Rises 32 Pct. in Advanced-Placement Tests; Many Score High.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Watkins, Beverly T.

    1988-01-01

    The Advanced Placement Program has become a "program of academic opportunity" for students in high schools that enroll large numbers of minority groups. These schools are raising the expectations of minority students and helping them achieve higher goals, and they are bringing them into professional and graduate schools. (MLW)

  8. Effects of Early Acceleration of Students in Mathematics on Taking Advanced Mathematics Coursework in High School

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ma, Xin

    2010-01-01

    Based on data from the Longitudinal Study of American Youth (LSAY), students were classified into high-, middle-, and low-ability students. The effects of early acceleration in mathematics on the most advanced mathematics coursework (precalculus and calculus) in high school were examined in each category. Results showed that although early…

  9. Student Learning in Linear Algebra: The Gateways To Advance Mathematical Thinking Project.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Manes, Michelle

    This document provides a preliminary report of the study Gateways To Advance Mathematical Thinking (GAMT) run by Educational Development Center, Inc. (EDC). The study was designed to see what types of reasoning students who have recently completed a linear algebra course apply to problems in algebraic thinking. Student interviews were used as the…

  10. A National Dilemma: African American Students Underrepresented in Advanced Mathematics Courses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Clarence; Kritsonis, William Allan

    2006-01-01

    A lack of access to educational opportunities has been a reality for African American students. As a result, America's schools are facing a national dilemma. African American students are significantly underrepresented in advanced mathematics courses. One of the most segregated places in American society is the mathematics classroom. African…

  11. Facebook and Classroom Group Work: A Trial Study Involving University of Botswana Advanced Oral Presentation Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Magogwe, Joel M.; Ntereke, Beauty; Phetlhe, Keith R.

    2015-01-01

    In the 21st century, the use of information technology in the classroom is advancing rapidly, especially in higher education. The Internet, through social networking, has made it possible for students to learn and teachers to teach outside the classroom walls. Facebook in particular has made it possible for students to interact and communicate…

  12. Benefits of Collaborative Writing for ESL Advanced Diploma Students in the Production of Reports

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fong, Lin Siew

    2012-01-01

    This study analyzes the collaborative writing sessions of two groups of advanced diploma economics students with mixed proficiency. Although studies in collaborative writing usually highlight the mixed results of students' collaboration ranging from promoting peer learning to having unresolved conflict, the findings of this paper only provide the…

  13. Experiences of High-Achieving High School Students Who Have Taken Multiple Concurrent Advanced Placement Courses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Milburn, Kristine M.

    2011-01-01

    Problem: An increasing number of high-achieving American high school students are enrolling in multiple Advanced Placement (AP) courses. As a result, high schools face a growing need to understand the impact of taking multiple AP courses concurrently on the social-emotional lives of high-achieving students. Procedures: This phenomenological…

  14. Using the Student Research Project to Integrate Macroeconomics and Statistics in an Advanced Cost Accounting Course

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hassan, Mahamood M.; Schwartz, Bill N.

    2014-01-01

    This paper discusses a student research project that is part of an advanced cost accounting class. The project emphasizes active learning, integrates cost accounting with macroeconomics and statistics by "learning by doing" using real world data. Students analyze sales data for a publicly listed company by focusing on the company's…

  15. The Effect of Explicit Embedded Reflective Instruction on Nature of Science Understandings in Advanced Science Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Koksal, Mustafa Serdar; Cakiroglu, Jale; Geban, Omer

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to investigate the effectiveness of explicit-embedded-reflective (EER) instruction in nature of science (NOS) understandings of ninth-grade advanced science students. This study was conducted with 71 students, who were divided into three groups, by using non-equivalent quasi-experimental design. In the treatment…

  16. Estimated Effect of the Teacher Advancement Program on Student Test Score Gains

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Springer, Matthew G.; Ballou, Dale; Peng, Art

    2014-01-01

    This article presents findings from the first independent, third-party appraisal of the impact of the Teacher Advancement Program (TAP) on student test score gains in mathematics. TAP is a comprehensive school reform model designed to attract highly effective teachers, improve instructional effectiveness, and elevate student achievement. We use a…

  17. Visions 2020.2: Student Views on Transforming Education and Training through Advanced Technologies

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    US Department of Education, 2004

    2004-01-01

    The U.S. Departments of Commerce and Education (who co-chair the NSTC Working Group) and NetDay formed a partnership aimed at analyzing K-12 student views about technology for learning. These views are analyzed in this second report, "Visions 2020.2: Student Views on Transforming Education and Training Through Advanced Technologies." In…

  18. Dropping Out of Advanced Mathematics: How Much Do Students and Schools Contribute to the Problem?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ma, Xin; Willms, J. Douglas

    1999-01-01

    Uses data from six waves of the Longitudinal Study of American Youth to discern when and why students drop out of advanced mathematics. Between grades 8 and 9, prior achievement plays a more important role than attitude or socioeconomic status, and between grades 11 and 12, student attitude toward mathematics is the most important factor. (SLD)

  19. Communicating with Patients Who Have Advanced Dementia: Training Nurse Aide Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Beer, Laura E.; Hutchinson, Susan R.; Skala-Cordes, Kristine K.

    2012-01-01

    The increase of dementia in older adults is changing how medical care is delivered. Recognizing symptoms of pain, managing behaviors, and providing quality of life for people who have advanced dementia requires a new skill set for caregivers. Researchers in this study targeted nurse aide students to test an educational module's effect on students'…

  20. Advanced Standing and Two-Year Program MSW Students: An Empirical Investigation of Foundation Interviewing Skills.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carrillo, Dorothy; Thyer, Bruce A.

    1994-01-01

    A study compared the interviewing skills of 15 advanced-standing (bachelor's degree-holding) and 23 master's degree students of social work, with blind raters evaluating student use of 3 core skills: facilitation; questioning/clarification; support/empathy. No statistically significant differences were found between the groups, supporting the…

  1. The Effects of Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate Programs on Student Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Luo, Samia Merza

    2013-01-01

    This study compared student academic achievement in two college readiness programs, Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) and attempted to determine how well program participation predict student performance compared to variables such as SES, parent education level, GPA, gender, and SAT II scores. Finally, the research…

  2. A Phenomenological Exploration of Teacher Training Regarding Academically Advanced/High-Ability Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sueker, Carrie Olstad

    2011-01-01

    The needs of academically advanced/high-ability students may not be met in today's schools. When educational needs are not met, students may not reach full potential, may lose intrinsic motivation for learning, and may develop poor work and study habits. The rural school district involved in this study lacks a formal gifted and talented program.…

  3. Technologies That Facilitate the Study of Advanced Mathematics by Students Who Are Blind: Teachers' Perspectives

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    DePountis, Vicki M.; Pogrund, Rona L.; Griffin-Shirley, Nora; Lan, William Y.

    2015-01-01

    This research examined the perspectives of teachers of students with visual impairments (TVIs) regarding the use and effectiveness of electronic assistive technology (EAT) purported to assist students who are blind in advanced mathematics subjects. The data for this study were collected via an online survey distributed to a convenience sample of…

  4. Interdisciplinary Approaches to Astronomy: Cosmic Fiction, Drama and Poetry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fraknoi, A.

    2015-09-01

    I have spent four decades teaching introductory astronomy to university students whose primary subject of study is not astronomy, as well as developing activities to help the public appreciate astronomical ideas and developments. One of the more effective tools that I have found for capturing the interest of non-scientists has been approaching astronomy through its influence on the humanities. In this article I examine some examples of astronomical inspiration in the humanities, looking at plays, poetry and fiction. A second paper, devoted to music inspired by astronomy, will appear in a future issue of the CAPjournal.

  5. Frank N. Bash Symposium 2011: New Horizons in Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salviander, S.; Green, J.; Pawlik, A.

    The University of Texas at Austin Department of Astronomy and McDonald Observatory will be hosting the fourth biennial Frank N. Bash Symposium on the topic of New Horizons in Astronomy, October 9-11, 2011. This meeting will bring together young researchers at the cutting edge of astronomy and astrophysics, to promote the exchange of research ideas and visions for the future of astronomy. The symposium will focus on invited review talks, and will include discussions and contributed poster papers from postdocs and graduate student

  6. Frank N. Bash Symposium 2013: New Horizons in Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pavel, Michael D.; Meschiari, Stefano

    2013-10-01

    The University of Texas at Austin Department of Astronomy and McDonald Observatory hosted the fifth biennial Frank N. Bash Symposium on the topic of New Horizons in Astronomy, October 6-8, 2013, in the Avaya Auditorium, POB 2.302 [map] on The University of Texas at Austin campus. This meeting brought together young researchers at the cutting edge of astronomy and astrophysics, to promote the exchange of research ideas and visions for the future of astronomy. The symposium focused on invited review talks, and included discussions and contributed poster papers from postdocs and students.

  7. Contemporary discipline-based astronomy education research study of K-12 teachers' astronomy knowledge using the test of astronomy standards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stork, Debra J.

    A conventional constructivist approach to science teacher education calls for teachers and teacher educators to understand the prior knowledge their learners have when entering the learning environment. Teachers in many fields of science have lacked substantive opportunities to have formal college-level coursework in their assigned teaching domains. In the earth sciences, astronomy in particular, teachers have a generally acknowledged deficiency in formal college astronomy coursework. Consequently, teacher educators and professional development providers would benefit greatly from knowing the existing astronomy prior knowledge state of future and in-service teachers. This study uses a widely recognized conceptual assessment inventory to examine the existing knowledge state of teachers tasked with teaching basic astronomy concepts dictated by national science education reform documents. The Test Of Astronomy STandards (TOAST) assessment instrument is a 27 item multiple-choice survey tightly aligned to the consensus learning goals articulated by the American Astronomical Society, Achieve, Inc.'s Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), the American Association for the Advancement of Science's (AAAS) Project 2061 Benchmarks, and the National Research Council's National Science Education Standards (NSES). In addition to documenting deficits in teachers' understanding of astronomy concepts related to sky motions, solar system dynamics, and size and structure of the universe, this study provides a detailed item by item distractor analysis to determine the sensitivity and effectiveness of each item and compares those results to the existing literature on the teaching and learning of astronomy. The results of this study of more than 500 teachers provides a contemporary evaluation of K-12 teachers' overall understanding of astronomy concepts outlined in modern science education reform and policy documents in the United States.

  8. Teaching Introductory Astronomy Using Lecture-Tutorials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adams, Jeffrey P.; Bailey, Janelle M.; Prather, Edward E.; Slater, Timothy F.

    Contemporary science education reforms suggest that teacher-centered lectures are ineffective when compared to student-centered active learning approaches. Funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation this project has developed a series of innovative classroom instructional materials for the introductory science survey course for non-science and pre-service education majors as well as secondary school astronomy courses. The materials package called Lecture-Tutorials for Introductory Astronomy is a self-contained classroom-ready product for use with collaborative student learning groups. The materials are designed specifically to be easily integrated into the conventional lecture course. As such this product directly addresses the needs of busy faculty and heavily-loaded teaching faculty for effective student-centered classroom-ready materials that do not require a drastic course revision for implementation. Each activity requires no equipment and takes 10 to 15 minutes of class time. Students are asked to reason about difficult concepts in astronomy while working in pairs and to discuss their ideas openly. The 30 Lecture-Tutorials for Introductory Astronomy are based upon educational research on student misconceptions demonstrated effective instructional strategies and extensive pilot and field-testing. Funding for the project was made available by NSF CCLI #9952232 and NSF Geosciences Education #9907755.

  9. Space based astronomy: Teacher's guide with activities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosenberg, Carla B. (Editor); Weiler, Edward; Morrow, Cherilyn; Bacon, Pamela M.; Thorne, Muriel; Blanchard, Paul A.; Howard, Sethane; Pengra, Patricia R.; Brown, Deborah A.; Winrich, Ralph

    1994-01-01

    This curriculum guide uses hands-on activities to help students and teachers understand the significance of space-based astronomy - astronomical observations made from outer space. The guide contains few of the traditional activities found in many astronomy guides such as constellation studies, lunar phases, and planetary orbits. Instead, it tells the story of why it is important to observe celestial objects from outer space and how to study the entire electromagnetic spectrum. The guide begins with a survey of astronomy related NASA spacecraft. This is followed by a collection of activities in four units: (1) the atmospheric filter; (2) the electromagnetic spectrum; (3) collecting electromagnetic radiation; and (4) down to Earth. A curriculum index identifies the curriculum areas each activity addresses. The guide concludes with a glossary, reference list, a NASA Resources list, and an evaluation card. It is designed for students in grades 5 through 8.

  10. Dispelling superstitions in Nepalese society with astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shah, Rishi

    2011-06-01

    Throughout human history, astronomy has played crucial rôle in the development of our civilization, culture and daily chores of lives that have been influenced by observations of Sun, moon, planets, stars and other cosmic entities. Our ancestors who were hunting and gathering and foraging food while living in caves learned to think logically by gazing at the twinkling stars in the heavens. Seasons for crops plantation were determined, time concept was introduced, entire sky was charted and the motions of celestial objects were meaningfully understood. With the advent of telescopes, the geocentric model of universe was replaced by the revolutionary heliocentric concept of our Solar System. Astronomy dispelled superstitious beliefs strongly prevailing in societies. Closely associated with numerous disciplines of science astronomy is still flourishing worldwide and is attempting to fly us away to those habitable cosmic bodies of our universe. By establishing well-equipped observational infrastructure local and international astronomy research and development could be enhanced. Introduction of astronomy in education system right from school would attract and encourage students to pursue higher studies for enabling them for participating in future international scientific and exploration programmes. Astronomy has helped our society to progress peacefully and efficiently.

  11. The relationship of certified flight instructors' emotional intelligence levels on flight student advancement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hokeness, Mark Merrill

    Aviation researchers estimate airline companies will require nearly 500,000 pilots in the next 20 years. The role of a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) is to move student pilots to professional pilots with training typically conducted in one-on-one student and instructor sessions. The knowledge of aviation, professionalism as a teacher, and the CFI’s interpersonal skills can directly affect the successes and advancement of a student pilot. A new and emerging assessment of people skills is known as emotional intelligence (EI). The EI of the CFI can and will affect a flight students’ learning experiences. With knowledge of emotional intelligence and its effect on flight training, student pilot dropouts from aviation may be reduced, thus helping to ensure an adequate supply of pilots. Without pilots, the growth of the commercial aviation industry will be restricted. This mixed method research study established the correlation between a CFI’s measured EI levels and the advancement of flight students. The elements contributing to a CFI’s EI level were not found to be teaching or flight-related experiences, suggesting other life factors are drawn upon by the CFI and are reflected in their emotional intelligence levels presented to flight students. Students respond positively to CFIs with higher levels of emotional intelligence. Awareness of EI skills by both the CFI and flight student contribute to flight student successes and advancement.

  12. Astronomy and Culture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stavinschi, M.

    2006-08-01

    Astronomy is, by definition, the sum of the material and spiritual values created by mankind and of the institutions necessary to communicate these values. Consequently, astronomy belongs to the culture of each society and its scientific progress does nothing but underline its role in culture. It is interesting that there is even a European society which bears this name "Astronomy for Culture" (SEAC). Its main goal is "the study of calendric and astronomical aspects of culture". Owning ancient evidence of astronomical knowledge, dating from the dawn of the first millennium, Romania is interested in this topic. But Astronomy has a much deeper role in culture and civilization. There are many aspects that deserve to be discussed. Examples? The progress of astronomy in a certain society, in connection with its evolution; the place held by the astronomy in literature and, generally, in art; the role of the SF in the epoch of super-mediatization; astronomy and belief; astronomy and astrology in the modern society, and so forth. These are problems that can be of interest for IAU, but the most important one could be her educational role, in the formation of the culture of the new generation, in the education of the population for the protection of our planet, in the ensuring of a high level of spiritual development of the society in the present epoch.

  13. Junior High Astronomy.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Greenstone, Sid; Smith, Murray

    Selected materials needed to teach an astronomy unit as well as suggested procedures, activities, ideas, and astronomy fact sheets published by the Manitoba Planetarium are provided. Subjects of the fact sheets include: publications and classroom picture sets available from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and facts and statistics…

  14. High energy particle astronomy.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Buffington, A.; Muller, R. A.; Smith, L. H.; Smoot, G. F.

    1972-01-01

    Discussion of techniques currently used in high energy particle astronomy for measuring charged and neutral cosmic rays and their isotope and momentum distribution. Derived from methods developed for accelerator experiments in particle physics, these techniques help perform important particle astronomy experiments pertaining to nuclear cosmic ray and gamma ray research, electron and position probes, and antimatter searches.

  15. Indian Astronomy: History of

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mercier, R.; Murdin, P.

    2002-01-01

    From the time of A macronryabhat under dota (ca AD 500) there appeared in India a series of Sanskrit treatises on astronomy. Written always in verse, and normally accompanied by prose commentaries, these served to create an Indian tradition of mathematical astronomy which continued into the 18th century. There are as well texts from earlier centuries, grouped under the name Jyotishaveda macronn d...

  16. Astronomy Demonstrations and Models.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eckroth, Charles A.

    Demonstrations in astronomy classes seem to be more necessary than in physics classes for three reasons. First, many of the events are very large scale and impossibly remote from human senses. Secondly, while physics courses use discussions of one- and two-dimensional motion, three-dimensional motion is the normal situation in astronomy; thus,…

  17. Towards "Astronomy for Development"

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Govender, Kevindran

    2015-08-01

    The ambition of the IAU's decadal strategic plan is to use astronomy to stimulate development globally. The Office of Astronomy for Development was established in 2011 to implement this visionary plan. This talk will reflect on the past, present and future activities of the office, and describe the status of implementation of the plan at this halfway point in the 2010-2020 decade.

  18. High Energy Astronomy Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1980-01-01

    An overview of the High Energy Astronomy Observatory 2 contributions to X-ray astronomy is presented along with a brief description of the satellite and onboard telescope. Observations relating to galaxies and galactic clusters, black holes, supernova remnants, quasars, and cosmology are discussed.

  19. The First Big Wave of Astronomy Education Research Dissertations and Some Directions for Future Research Efforts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Slater, Timothy F.

    2008-01-01

    The past several years have presented the astronomy education research community with a host of foundational research dissertations in the teaching and learning of astronomy. These PhD candidates have been studying the impact of instructional innovations on student learning and systematically validating astronomy learning assessment instruments,…

  20. Native American (K-5) and Math (9 - 12 ) Astronomy Lessons Plans.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Canterna, Ronald W.; Singer, E.; Hoffman, J.

    2007-12-01

    As part of the education component of the Wyoming RET program astronomy lesson plans were developed for elementary and senior HS students. E. Singer developed a thematic unit for grades K-5 based on Native American astronomy. J Hoffman developed lesson plans for high school (9-12) math classes based on astronomy topics. Both plans will be present.

  1. Undergraduate Astronomy Instruction With an Automated Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fanelli, Michael; Littler, Christopher; Weathers, Duncan

    2001-10-01

    The University of North Texas currently enrolls 2400 students per academic year in survey astronomy classes. As one element in our laboratory program, we are developing an automated observatory for use by these students. The UNT Monroe Observatory is located at a dark site approximately 45 miles northwest of Denton (80 miles from the Dallas / Fort Worth Metroplex). We plan 2-4 telescopes in the 36-40 cm range, outfitted with CCD cameras, to be remotely operated from the University in Denton. This automated observatory will permit students to conduct individualized observational astronomy experiments in a manner similar to those employed in astronomical research. These imaging experiments will be the centerpiece of the students' laboratory experience. Our goal is to provide an exemplary laboratory experience for students attempting to meet a natural science curriculum requirement. Currently, the equipment has been procured and the observing site prepared. We anticipate first use during the 2002-2003 academic year.

  2. Joseph Henry and Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rothenberg, Marc

    2016-01-01

    Joseph Henry (1797-1878) is best known for his work in electromagnetism and as the first secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. But he was also a pioneer solar physicist, an early advocate of US participation in astrophysics, and a facilitator of international cooperation in astronomy. This paper will briefly trace his role in the development of the US astronomical community from the time he taught astronomy at Princeton in the 1830s through his death, focusing on failed efforts to persuade US astronomers and patrons of astronomy that the best path for US astronomy should be astrophysics. He thought that the US could make a more significant contribution to astronomy science by striking out on a less travelled path rather than competing with the established European observatories.

  3. Astronomical Book Trek: Astronomy Books of 1982.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fraknoi, Andrew

    1983-01-01

    Provided in two separate annotated lists are technical and nontechnical astronomy books. Categories in the latter group include: general astronomy; astronomy textbooks; amateur astronomy; astronomy history; life on other worlds; astrophysics; the solar system; space exploration; and the sun. (JN)

  4. Freshman Seminars: Interdisciplinary Engagements in Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hemenway, M. K.

    2006-08-01

    The Freshman Seminar program at the University of Texas is designed to allow groups of fifteen students an engaging introduction to the University. The seminars introduce students to the resources of the university and allow them to identify interesting subjects for further research or future careers. An emphasis on oral and written communication by the students provides these first-year students a transition to college-level writing and thinking. Seminar activities include field trips to an art museum, a research library, and the Humanities Research Center rare book collection. This paper will report on two seminars, each fifteen weeks in length. In "The Galileo Scandal" students examine Galileo's struggle with the church (including a mock trial). They perform activities that connect his use of the telescope and observations to astronomical concepts. In "Astronomy and the Humanities" students analyze various forms of human expression that have astronomical connections (art, drama, literature, music, poetry, and science fiction); they perform hands-on activities to reinforce the related astronomy concepts. Evaluation of the seminars indicates student engagement and improvement in communication skills. Many of the activities could be used independently to engage students enrolled in standard introductory astronomy classes.

  5. Developing Astronomy in Cuba

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodriguez Taboada, R. E.

    2006-08-01

    Introduction Beginning from a brief historical introduction the up to day situation is presented and the topics relevant to Astronomy development analyzed from the view point of a person actually working in Astrophysics. Arising from national needs, Astronomical Calculations is the only "native-born" branch of astronomy in Cuba. Cuba was an observational platform capable to provide the Soviet Union with the 24 hours solar patrol needed by its Space Agency System to protect the men in orbit. This was the beginning of a very fruitful development of solar research in Cuba. Russia installed the instruments, trained the people to operate them, and gives the academic environment to develop the scientific work in solar physics, space weather, and related topics. What about Stellar Astronomy? The Cuban astro-climate is not good to develop an observational base. We are trying to develop stellar astronomy in collaboration with institutions capable to provide both, the academic and technical environment; but to continue developing Stellar Astronomy we need to influence the public opinion and convince people they need groups working in Astronomy. How to do that? Publishing. Giving conferences talking about OUR work, not only like spectators of the science. Showing science is culture in modern times. Showing projects in Astronomy can be cheap. ¡This is very important! Astronomy is not a luxury. Real possibilities I consider the Virtual Observatory concept the more appropriate in the near future, but it is necessary to have a connectivity level that is not commonly provided in Cuba, and to train the people. Concluding remarks From my experience "engagement" is the key word for Astronomy development in developing countries. Astronomy can not be developed without an appropriate academic environment, and we have not it. It is not "only" about financial resources, it is about "real collaboration" with a mature partner and common research goals.

  6. Teaching and learning science in a museum: Examining the role of attitudes toward science, knowledge of science, and participatory learning in an astronomy internship for high school students

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stroud, Nicholas Seward

    This thesis adds to the empirical research foundation of informal science education through an investigation of a museum-based astronomy internship for high school students, in the domains of attitudes toward science, knowledge of science, and participatory science learning. Results are presented as three studies, all using a qualitative methodology and including the methods of semi-structured interview, reflective journal, direct observation, audio recording, and artifact collection. In the first study, four aspects of attitudes toward science were investigated. Results revealed that interns held mixed views of themselves as scientists, held positive attitudes toward science for four primary reasons, and provided twelve reasons for their pursuit of science activities outside of school. The internship also solidified interns' (largely science-related) careers aspirations. In the second study, four aspects of scientific knowledge were investigated. After participation, the majority of interns believed teaching was part of the scientific enterprise. Interns also used at least six modes of scientific thought, only one of which was taught explicitly to them. The amount and depth of science content learned during the internship depended on interns' prior knowledge, and was learned during three specific aspects of the internship. Finally, interns used numerous science concepts during the internship, the most frequent of which were closely related to the internship activities. In the third study, six aspects of participatory science learning were investigated. Results across the six domains indicated that interns found teaching to be the most salient aspect, viewing it as an authentic practice and a path to science learning, as well as providing a sense of ownership in their practices. Also, interns created a unique community within the internship, combining aspects of the pre-established museum educators' community of practice and an internship-centered activity group

  7. Development of the Test Of Astronomy STandards (TOAST) Assessment Instrument

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Slater, Timothy F.; Slater, S. J.

    2008-05-01

    Considerable effort in the astronomy education research (AER) community over the past several years has focused on developing assessment tools in the form of multiple-choice conceptual diagnostics and content knowledge surveys. This has been critically important in advancing the AER discipline so that researchers could establish the initial knowledge state of students as well as to attempt measure some of the impacts of innovative instructional interventions. Unfortunately, few of the existing instruments were constructed upon a solid list of clearly articulated and widely agreed upon learning objectives. This was not done in oversight, but rather as a result of the relative youth of AER as a discipline. Now that several important science education reform documents exist and are generally accepted by the AER community, we are in a position to develop, validate, and disseminate a new assessment instrument which is tightly aligned to the consensus learning goals stated by the American Astronomical Society - Chair's Conference on ASTRO 101, the American Association of the Advancement of Science's Project 2061 Benchmarks, and the National Research Council's National Science Education Standards. In response, researchers from the Cognition in Astronomy, Physics and Earth sciences Research (CAPER) Team at the University of Wyoming's Science & Math Teaching Center (UWYO SMTC) have designed a criterion-referenced assessment tool, called the Test Of Astronomy STandards (TOAST). Through iterative development, this instrument has a high degree of reliability and validity for instructors and researchers needing information on students’ initial knowledge state at the beginning of a course and can be used, in aggregate, to help measure the impact of course-length duration instructional strategies for courses with learning goals tightly aligned to the consensus goals of our community.

  8. Resource Letter EMAA-2: Laboratory Experiences for Elementary Astronomy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kruglak, Haym

    1976-01-01

    This article provides resource materials teaching astronomy. Included are references to laboratory manuals, articles, films, telescopes, handbooks, and atlases. Each reference is classified as elementary, intermediate or advanced. (SL)

  9. Astronomy Education and Research With Digital Viewing: Forming a New Network of Small Observatories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bogard, Arthur; Hamilton, T. S.

    2011-01-01

    Small observatories face two major hindrances in teaching astronomy to students: weather and getting students to recognize what they're seeing. The normal astronomy class use of a single telescope with an eyepiece is restricted to good skies, and it allows only one viewer at a time. Since astronomy labs meet at regular times, bad weather can mean the loss of an entire week. As for the second problem, students often have difficulties recognizing what they are seeing through an eyepiece, and the instructor cannot point out the target's features. Commercial multimedia resources, although structured and easy to explain to students, do not give students the same level of interactivity. A professor cannot improvise a new target nor can he adjust the image to view different features of an object. Luckily, advancements in technology provide solutions for both of these limitations without breaking the bank. Astronomical video cameras can automatically stack, align, and integrate still frames, providing instructors with the ability to explain things to groups of students in real time under actual seeing conditions. Using Shawnee State University's Mallincam on an 8" Cassegrain, our students are now able to understand and classify both planetary and deep sky objects better than they can through an eyepiece. To address the problems with weather, SSU proposes forming a network among existing small observatories. With inexpensive software and cameras, telescopes can be aligned and operated over the web, and with reciprocal viewing agreements, users who are clouded out could view from another location. By partnering with institutions in the eastern hemisphere, even daytime viewing would be possible. Not only will this network aid in instruction, but the common user interface will make student research projects much easier.

  10. Reaching the Next Stephen Hawking: Five Ways to Help Students with Disabilities in Advanced Placement Science Classes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Howard, Lori A.; Potts, Elizabeth A.; Linz, Ed

    2013-01-01

    As the federal government encourages all students to attempt advanced math and science courses, more students with disabilities are enrolling in Advanced Placement (AP) science classes. AP science teachers can better serve these students by understanding the various types of disabilities (whether physical, learning, emotional, or behavioral),…

  11. Thinking Big for 25 Years: Astronomy Camp Research Projects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hooper, Eric Jon; McCarthy, D. W.; Benecchi, S. D.; Henry, T. J.; Kirkpatrick, J. D.; Kulesa, C.; Oey, M. S.; Regester, J.; Schlingman, W. M.; Camp Staff, Astronomy

    2013-01-01

    Astronomy Camp is a deep immersion educational adventure for teenagers and adults in southern Arizona that is entering its 25th year of existence. The Camp Director (McCarthy) is the winner of the 2012 AAS Education Prize. A general overview of the program is given in an accompanying contribution (McCarthy et al.). In this presentation we describe some of the research projects conducted by Astronomy Camp participants over the years. Many of the Camps contain a strong project-oriented emphasis, which reaches its pinnacle in the Advanced Camps for teenagers. High school students from around the world participate in a microcosm of the full arc of astronomy research. They plan their own projects before the start of Camp, and the staff provide a series of "key projects." Early in the Camp the students submit observing proposals to utilize time on telescopes. (The block of observing time is secured in advance by the staff.) The participants collect, reduce and analyze astronomical data with the help of staff, and they present the results to their peers on the last night of Camp, all in a span of eight days. The Camps provide research grade telescopes and instruments, in addition to amateur telescopes. Some of the Camps occur on Kitt Peak, where we use an ensemble of telescopes: the 2.3-meter (University of Arizona) with a spectrograph; the WIYN 0.9-meter; the McMath-Pierce Solar Telescope; and the 12-meter millimeter wave telescope. Additionally the Camp has one night on the 10-meter Submillimeter Telescope on Mt. Graham. Campers use these resources to study stars, galaxies, AGN, transiting planets, molecular clouds, etc. Some of the camper-initiated projects have led to very high level performances in prestigious international competitions, such as the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. The key projects often contribute to published astronomical research (e.g., Benecchi et al. 2010, Icarus, 207, 978). Many former Campers have received Ph.D. degrees in

  12. Patrick O'Brian's Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mumford, George S.

    With the opening in the fall of 2003 of the 20th Century Fox motion picture Master and Commander-The Far Side of the World, starring Russell Crowe as Captain Jack Aubrey and Paul Belany as Jack's friend and colleague Stephen Maturin, a new generation will be introduced to the maritime novels of the late Patrick O'Brian. Here we explore some possibilities of using parts of these stories to foster student interest in astronomy and to introduce some of the astronomical and other resources on the Internet.

  13. Asynchronous, web-based course in astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spergel, M.

    The course described here is a general educational, non-prerequisite and non- mathematical college course in astronomy offered on the web. It consists of readings from the text plus other periodical sources both online and offline. The course also requires the student to utilize a virtual planetarium to perform exercises in viewing the sky. The students respond to conceptual, multiple-choice questions. This course gives the student a sense of the night sky through the use of computer simulations and night observation. The students learn to understand and express scientific ideas. In addition, since the course is enhanced in computer usage and writing, students also develop these important skills.

  14. Astronomy Education: Becoming a Hybrid Researcher

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brogt, Erik

    2007-01-01

    This article describes the experiences of a former astronomer who is making the transition to astronomy education research as an international graduate student in the United States. The article describes the author's encounters with education research, its methodologies, and his changing research interests as he progresses through the graduate…

  15. The Radio JOVE Project - Shoestring Radio Astronomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thieman, J.; Flagg, R.; Greenman, W.; Higgins, C.; Reyes, F.; Sky, J.

    2010-01-01

    Radio JOVE is an education and outreach project intended to give students and other interested individuals hands-on experience in learning radio astronomy. They can do this through building a radio telescope from a relatively inexpensive kit that includes the parts for a receiver and an antenna as well as software for a computer chart recorder emulator (Radio Skypipe) and other reference materials

  16. A Teaching Lab in Radio Astronomy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Kirk R.; Cudaback, David D.

    1976-01-01

    Describes a study in which participants in a summer institute for secondary science teachers performed a series of experiments with a radio telescope. Concludes that a radio astronomy teaching facility would encourage students to use their own initiative and strategy in working with the scientific concepts involved. (MLH)

  17. Teaching and learning astronomy in primary schools

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharp, J. G.; Bowker, R.; Mooney, C.; Grace, M.; Jeans, R.

    A quasi-experimental study of the influence of the National Curriculum of England and Wales on 10-year old students' understanding of the earth-sun-moon system and the solar system was conducted using pre/post instruction interviews. The authors challenge some commonly held beliefs about what children can and cannot learn in astronomy, based on their results.

  18. Building an Extensive Liberal Arts Astronomy Program

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wertz, James R.

    1974-01-01

    Described is an astronomy program at Moorhead State College (Minnesota) for liberal arts students. Facilities and equipment and factors related to the program's success are discussed. Suggestions to others who may want to develop such programs are given. (Author/RH)

  19. Advanced Undergraduate and Early Graduate Physics Students' Misconception about Solar Wind Flow: Evidence of Students' Difficulties in Distinguishing Paradigms

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gross, Nicholas A.; Lopez, Ramon E.

    2009-01-01

    Anecdotal evidence has suggested that advanced undergraduate students confuse the spiral structure of the interplanetary magnetic field with the flow of the solar wind. Though it is a small study, this paper documents this misconception and begins to investigate the underlying issues behind it. We present evidence that the traditional presentation…

  20. Astronomy at the Market

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roten, Robert; Constantin, A.; Christensen, E.; Dick, E.; Lapolla, J.; Nutter, A.; Corcoran, J.; DiDomenico, N.; Eskridge, B.; Saikin, A.

    2014-01-01

    We present here an energetic grass-roots outreach program run entirely by undergraduate physics and astronomy majors at James Madison University. Our "Team Awestronomy" takes Astronomy out to the Market, literally. Once a month, for eight months during the academic year, the group sets up a “scientific corner” at the Harrisonburg Farmers Market, offering people the chance to meet with astrophysicists (in the making) and discuss science. Our group members wear t-shirts with simple messages like “Ask me about the Sun,” “...about Black Holes and Mega-Masers” or “...about Big Bang” that initiate the dialog. We help our audience with observations of solar activity through our department’s Coronado telescope equipped with a safe H-alpha filter, sunspotters, and the incredibly simple yet durable and accurate handheld (Project Star) spectrometers, and invite them to the free Saturday Planetarium shows and the star parties hosted by our department on the JMU campus. The team is also prepared with a suite of fun activities aimed particularly at K-5 kids, e.g., building (and eating, after investigating out-gassing properties of) ”dirty comets,” making craters (in pans with flour or sand) and testing how different types of impactors (pebbles, ping-pong balls or even crumpled aluminum foil) affect crater formation, and demonstrations of shock wave created in supernova explosions. The main goals of this outreach program are: 1) to illustrate to people of all ages that science is a fun, creative, and exciting process; 2) to empower people to be curious and to ask questions; 3) to demonstrate that science is a viable career path chosen by many diverse individuals; and 4) to nurture a sense of wonder and awe for the Universe. While this outreach program is aimed at a very general audience, of an extremely wide range, we expect to produce a significant impact on K-12 students in general and in particular on the home-schooled kids. There is a relatively high