• IPAC
Christopher Martin

Mr. Christopher Martin

Christopher Martin

Howenstine High Magnet High School, Tucson, Arizona


January-June 2008

This is my first report. I was selected as a spitzer reacher teacher in December 2007, and went to AAS in January 2008. Our original proposal for observing time was not accepted. On May 16th, I and other teachers had a teleconference with Varoujan Gorijan to discuss the new project exploring NGC 4051. This seyfert galaxy was to be imaged in IR and visible. Unfortunately, my school closed for summer vacation on the 23rd May, so there was little time for classroom involvement. However, I did arrange for four students to use NMSO to image NGC 4051. I am learning about Active Galactic Nuclei. I am learning how IR data is gained from Spitzer, and I am thinking about how WISE could be used.

Four of my students gathered in a local hotel to use NMSO on 8 nights. They successfully gained images on six of those nights. The two students who will come to Pasadena with me will spearhead the spitzer project in my Physics class. The Physics curriculum is designed around projects and this spitzer project fits. I am planning for my grade 9 students to use the images from this project and project RGB images with imageJ. The art teacher at my school is keen to work with my students on visual representations of NGC 4051.

My school is a small school where 50% of the students have learning difficulties and many are at risk. There is great enthusiasm for this spitzer project. I had no trouble finding students to use NMSO during their summer vacation. What is the status of student work in this program? The students have imaged NGC 4051 in R,V and B. The next task is to use the APT photometry tool to measure the flux of the nucleus. My students have used photometry in two projects; examining open clusters, and searching for blue band dropouts in the Bootes field. The photometry in this project will not be difficult.

Future Plans:

The Physics students will be doing most of the research in this project. However, I want to develop projects that can be used in the integrated science class and the Art classes. I also want to investigate how the WISE survey data can be used to investigate other seyfert galaxies. As soon as I return from Pasadena, I will schedule a professional development meeting with the staff at my school, so that I can share the project with them and plan cross curricula projects. Has this program had any positive effect on your school or school district? Absolutely. The school district has an award ceremony where individuals are recognized. I was presented an award for my participation in the Spitzer project.


Howenstine High School, professional development, April 16th 30 staff





We're back from the Jan 2024 AAS and we had a grand time!