North Middle School, Great Falls, Montana
Ms. Thomas has been with the program since the beginning of the Spitzer Space Telescope Research Program for Teachers and Students.
Ms. Thomas visited IPAC in August 2010 with her students as part of her 2010 team. Ms. Thomas also got some media coverage from their trip to Caltech.
The 2010 class has been selected!
Ms. Thomas is involved in the proposal for WZ Sge with Steve Howell, Don Hoard, Tim Spuck and Jeff Adkins. WZ Sge is a non-magnetic interacting binary. The Spitzer observation is scheduled to occur July 3rd, while the RBSE observations (optical) will occur June 25-28 at Kitt Peak in which they hope to obtain light curves. A conference call is scheduled for July 2nd to discuss future plans.
Ms. Thomas is preparing for a teacher inservice in February and one of the modules will be light. There will be about 20 teachers in attendance. She will be sharing the infrared activities (provided in the original kits) with teachers to implement in their curriculums when they teach about light.
Ms. Thomas taught two summer science camps in which students learned about Spitzer and infrared. A total of 12 students were involved.
Ms. Thomas presented a session at the state educator's convention (MEA) and had about 20 people attend. She also had a friend take a lot of photos at her state convention that could also be used on the educational outreach poster.
Real astronomy involves being able to problem solve and think critically, apply process skills, and communicate effectively.
I cannot say enough positives about the NITARP experience for the participating students. They have had the opportunity to learn and grow and see science applied in authentic research projects while working with some of the coolest scientists around! It has allowed me to grow as a teacher and researcher and be able to share my insight and newfound knowledge with students and peers.
I extend my appreciation and gratitude to all of those people and organizations who coordinated, funded, and have in any way supported this valuable program. THANK YOU!