Published: April 15, 2009
Jeff Adkins and student Ame Bartlebaugh continue to work on data collected during the Spitzer Teacher Program project on NGC 4051 sponsored by Varoujan Gorjian. Ame has participated in the project by processing images, collecting data from the images, and reporting the results. Since the project decided to redo the data collection to have a more uniform aperture setting and try to make the results more consistent, Ame has been dilligently working on redoing the photometry in the B band. We anticipate finishing that work by the 15th.
Ame also entered the Contra Costa County Science and Engineering Fair with her project that attempted to look at the size of the dust shell surrounding NGC 4051 using only the ground-based data. The project was completed and she won a 3rd place in her category. She created a poster for the project and also completed a research paper to accompany it.
Ame and Jeff went to the Long Beach AAS to help present the research and education posters for this project. "The whole project was a really good opportunity, and I'm going to encourage more kids to do something like this. It was good to see how scientists really do stuff and to work like them," according to Ame. Ame is a junior and is deciding on what kind of project she will be doing next year.
Jeff has presented overviews of Ame's research at the NSTA workshops in New Orleans, and at the AGU conference in San Francisco. He also plans to make presentations this next year that discuss student research, including Ame's, at the 2010 NSTA conference.
Jeff also has started working with the WISE group headed by Bryan Mendez and is working with the Spitzer Teachers who have signed on to be Educator Ambassadors for the WISE mission. This is mostly the group that is working on NGC 4051. The project will generate a workbook.
We continue to experiment with the software used in the project for general classroom use (APT). This summer may provide an opportunity to roll it out in the entire classroom instead of just the research project students.