Published: January 15, 2008
Ms. Sepulveda was invited to attend the meeting for the new Spitzer teachers at the AAS. She presented a lecture on how to conduct a professional development workshop. She also introduced the SOFIA infrared teaching kits explaining the components of the kit and how they can be used both in professional development workshops and in the classroom. Ms. Sepulveda also met with a team of new Spitzer teachers to collaborate on a proposal for a new research project led by Dr. Steve Howell.
She helped present a poster at the AAS on the wiki developed by her Spitzer team. The wiki was developed as a tool that can be used by teachers and students doing research. Lincoln High School student Esseim Sharma, who helped write the Research Tools section of the poster, also attended the AAS. This was the first time a student from Lincoln High School has attended the AAS. Esseim felt the experience was invaluable because it gave him the opportunity to meet and talk with scientists, teachers and students from across the country. He was able to experience first hand the process of sharing the results of research directly with the scientific community.
Ms. Sepulveda recruited four new students to participate in the Spitzer Research project. These students are either enrolled in her physics or astronomy classes. They meet after school two days per week. The students have been taking a crash course in learning about Spitzer, light, and image processing. They will be part of a team of students making long-term I, R, V, B, U and H-alpha observations of some of the candidates using remote telescopes. Esseim Sharma, who has been part of the team for two years, helped to write the Research tools section of the wiki and is mentoring the new team members.
Due primarily to her involvement with NOAO and Spitzer Ms. Sepulveda now teaches Physics Based Astronomy at Lincoln High School. The students at Lincoln are very excited about the astronomy course and it appears to be a success. Rick Mielbrecht, a retired astronomy teacher from San Joaquin Delta College was invited to give a presentation to students in the class. It was an overwhelming success and Mr. Mielbrecht will visit again later this spring. Ms. Sepulveda has established contact with the Stockton Astronomical Society who have been very helpful. Their first star party is planned for late January.
The proposal that Ms. Sepulveda submitted with Theresa Roelofsen to present at this year's NSTA national convention in Boston was accepted. They are currently working to put together a presentation that will share their experience with NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope Observing Program for Teachers and show teachers how to integrate it into the classroom. They will give specific instructions and demonstrate techniques for working with Spitzer data.