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July-September 2008 updates for Ms. Zielinski

Published: September 15, 2008

Ms. Zielinski has six students working on learning about the Z Cha variable star that is associated with her Spitzer team's project. The students have been doing several things. They have learned about photometry, cataclysmic variable stars, and image processing. They have completed a summary about Z Cha, compiled many articles and Internet resources about the variable, and are working on how to do photometry. They are learning how to use Image J and DS 9 software to do photometry. DS 9 seems to be a much easier program to use and one student is becoming the team expert using this software. Ms. Zielinski and her students are learning a lot about variable stars and photometry and have also learned about other Internet on-line resources like the AAVSO. Over the summer, more research was done on Z Cha and Ms. Zielinski along with two members of her student team traveled to the Spitzer Science Center in September 2008 to reduce and analyze their data. They hope to present at the upcoming AAS.

Ms. Zielinski's students are very excited about the Spitzer program and have spent many hours working on "getting up to speed", sharing with Ms. Zielinski and each other. Ms. Zielinski has found that her students are forcing her to go further than she thought possible. Ms. Zielinski has been very impressed with the student's proactiveness and the leadership role that they have taken. She know that they are taking pride in their work on this project. As the word has spread, other students have become interested in the project and Ms. Zielinski has been seeking to find ways to bring them into it.

Ms. Zielinski plans on having students do some more real-data related work on variable star Z Cha and photometry. Secondly, she would like to get more students involved in photometry of variable stars and look at other Spitzer data sets like WZ Sge. She would also like to utilize Yerkes observatory to take ground-based images of cataclysmic variables that students can create light curves for. In addition she would like some of the students to use this experience to apply for science fair or other science related competitions and do some presentations or poster sessions.

During the summer, Ms. Zielinski gave a presentation to a group of astronomy teachers this summer at Yerkes observatory.

The 2023 NITARP application is now available! Go here for the instructions. Applications are due by 3pm Pacific time, Monday Sep 12, 2022. (NOTE: we do not yet know if we will be permitted to travel to the AAS!)