August 2011 updates for Mr. Blackwell
Published: August 15, 2011
Mr. Blackwell writes:
Having to do with our Kepler light curve project, I have had an outreach event and two in-school events. Here is the breakdown:
- Outreach to general public at our school's observatory: 35 people in attendance, all adults and equal gender mix. No idea on minority or occupational breakdown. Topic was the project and why it is important in terms of science and in terms of education. It was well received with many questions about the future of astronomical research and the trends toward data mining.
- Talk given to the class of 1955 alumni at Phillips Exeter Academy: some 70 people in attendance, all mature adults, 75% male, 25% female. Same discussions as in #1 above.
- In class discussions with students in my Observational Astronomy class (Physics 393 astro-3) this past spring term. The class had 12 people, 4 girls, 8 boys. We spent the week (5x50minute classes) looking at the project and the data in particular to get a better handle on research methods in modern astronomy. While no conclusions were reached in such a short time, the students got a thorough appreciation for the project and helped to generate interest among those in astro-1 and 2.