Published: June 15, 2008
Ms. Borders participated in the Spitzer Teachers' Program Orientation in Austin, Texas in January, 2008 and the AAS meeting in Austin. She also led an Astronomy workshop that was largely supported and connected to the Spitzer program.
Ms. Borders teaches middle school science and a middle school Astronomy & Aerospace course. She used Spitzer resources when teaching the electromagnetic spectrum. These lessons involved "listening to light" and infrared technology. In addition, the local fire department brought in an infrared camera to demonstrate. Her students also conducted investigations using Spitzer provided infrared thermometers. In addition, they studied the Spitzer Space Telescope and discoveries during the Astronomy portion of science. Ms. Borders' students have a much better understanding of the electromagnetic spectrum after engaging in Spitzer activities. In addition, they are very interested in far-away objects and their evolution and composition.
Ms. Borders will be traveling to the SSC in August to analyze data from her team's observing run. After that, she will involve Astronomy students in analyzing the data and synthesizing conclusions based on the data. These students will present their findings at a future AAS meeting.
The Spitzer program has benn tremendously beneficial for Ms. Borders' school and district. She (along with four colleagues) led an Astronomy professional development workshop for district and out-of-district teachers. Twenty two teachers participated in an all-day Saturday workshop. The evaluations were very high and these teachers are now using Spitzer educational activities in their classrooms. The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) carried an article about this workshop: http://www.pnwaiaa.org/content/PDF/Apr08.pdf
In addition, her school was recently the national winner of the Intel Schools of Distinction Middle School Science Award. Their Spitzer connection supported Intel's selection of Key Peninsula Middle School.