Published: June 15, 2008
I was pleased to attend the AAS in January where I met the other Spitzer teachers, participated in the training session, and worked on a plan to develop a study with Dr. Rebull and the members of my group. From that point members of the team developed and wrote a research proposal to investigate LDN 425 and 981. This was a wonderful collaborative effort utilizing the Wiki, call conferencing and the internet, allowing everyone to participate in the process. In early May we finalized a date of June 14-18 for our team's conference and further training at the SSC. I was pleased to find out that the budget allowed for two of my research students to attend the session as well. I selected two students that had already completed research studies in Astronomy. One had used archival data from the RBSE program and the other student had actually worked with images from Spitzer using Leopard. At the SSC, Dr. Rebull was most thorough in her training and provided us with much hands-on time to learn the intriguesies of the data collection from LDN 425. The trip was capped with a tour of JPL which was thoroughly enjoyed by both me and my students. Presently my students are planning a research study that they will develop for next year t based on the collected data. They hope to present their work at the regional Science and Engineering fair in early February.
I have been interested in making research based astronomy education an important part of my school's research curriculum. Through NOAO's RBSE program and now through the Spitzer program I have developed many ways for my students to do meaningful Astronomy research studies. Even though I was only able to being two students with me. I have 4 more working on developing research studies from the Spitzer data about other Ldn's that have been observed. In all I know have about a dozen astronomy projects in the works with my advanced research students in the fall. In the sort term I hope to get my 6 students on track with their studies but overall I hope be involved in proposals during Spitzer's warm period.
I sent off an article to my school's PR person to publish in the Manhasset press. I have not yet seen it published. I will forward it as soon as it gets in.
I presented to the NCSSSMST (National Consortium of Specialized Secondary Science Math and Technology schools at their Teachers Convention in Dallas this past February.. The title of the talk was; Creating an Astronomy Based Science Research. It highlighted the work of the RBSE NOAO program and the Spitzer Program. I also did a few of the interactive demo's from the Infra kit. The audience size was about 20 teachers.
Additionally, I planned a training session using the kit as a motivational tool to get some of the gifted and talented 8th graders interested in the Science Research program. The demo's and lesson was a fun filled time and a huge success. The big hit was using the radio shack speaker /amplifier with the photocell and listening to the sounds of a remote control. That particular demo is going to be my demo for my classes on the first day of school in the fall.