Published: June 15, 2007
The Spitzer-AGN team at Deer Valley High School completed work and entered the local science fair with a report on the results of observing S5 0716+714 using the Spitzer Space Telescope and ground- based telescopes. Manutej Mulaveesala, Thomas Travagli, and Alekzandir Morton won 1st place in 11th grade physical science at the fair, and were invited to compete at the California State Science Fair. They won a 4th place at the California State Science Fair as well. The young men also received a medallion from the Yale Science and Engineering Association for Most Outstanding 11th Grade Exhibit in Computer Science, Engineering, Physics or Chemistry.
After the science fairs the students have been presenting the results of the research at various meetings. Presentations about the ongoing research were made at the June Mt. Diablo Astronomical Society Meeting to 40 people, and to 30 people at the East Bay Astronomical Society in May. Nearly 50 people heard a short version of the presentation at the Antioch Unified School District's monthly board meeting. They also did a presentation at the annual end-of-the-year roundup for the school's ESPACE academy in May.
They have also been invited to speak at the Fremont Astronomical Society this fall, and may be attending the Amateur Astronomers of Northern California's annual convention.
Two of the students are juniors-- Morton and Travagli-- and they plan to enter the fair next year as well. To this end they are working on attempting to get one more measurement of the same target using Spitzer in the last cycle of its operation using the infrared spectrometer.
On another front, during the National Science Teacher's Association in Nashville this year in March, Jeff Adkins did a session for about 30 people on using space probes in the classroom and discussed the Spitzer project in some detail. At this meeting Jeff and other teachers met with Steve Howell's Wz Sge project (which has subsequently been approved) and agreed to participate in this project. Work on this project will begin this summer and fall with a new group of students. Steve Howell sent some training materials and background material that will be shared with a new student research team this fall.