Published: April 15, 2008
Mr. Spuck's student, junior Matt Walentosky, presented his Spitzer work at the 69th Pittsburgh Regional Science & Engineering Fair. He will be one of three students from the event to move on to competition (all expenses paid) at the International Science & Engineering Fair in Atlanta, Georgia May 11 - 17, 2008. At the event he will be competing against students from 49 states and 48 other countries. Matt's research project is on the cataclysmic variable star WZ Sge. He used observations from the Spitzer Space Telescope, Perth Observatory, and light curves from previous studies to better understand the nature of the object and its associated activity. In addition to moving on to International competition, Matt has been awarded a $12,500 annual scholarship to Allegheny College, and an honorable mention award by the US Army.
Mr. Spuck's student, senior Nick Kelley, also presented his Spitzer work at the 69th Pittsburgh Regional Science & Engineering Fair. Nick conducted his research on two potential T-Tauri stars in the Witch Head Nebula. He used observations from the Spitzer Space Telescope, the Kitt Peak 0.9 Meter Telescope, and Perth Observatory to conclude that the candidates studied are indeed young sun-like stars in the early stages of development. Nick's research won him first place out of nearly 300 students competing in the Carnegie Science Award's senior division. He also won the $300 first place prize in the Earth/Space/Environment category, and a $50 sponsorship award from the Spectroscopy Society of Pittsburgh. Nick will be attending the awards banquet for the Spectroscopy Society on April 21, and the awards ceremony for the Carnegie Science Award on May 9, where he will be presenting his research and formally accepting the awards.