AAS Meeting #194 - Chicago, Illinois, May/June 1999
Session 102. Training the Next Generation of Professionals: What's New for Majors and Graduate Students
Special, Oral, Thursday, June 3, 1999, 2:00-3:30pm, Continental Ballroom C

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[102.01] Discovery Learning in Astronomy Laboratories at UC Berkeley: A Report from the Field

J. Arons, D. Cudaback (U. of California, Berkeley)

We describe new developments in laboratory courses for Astrophysics majors in the Astronomy Department at the University of California at Berkeley, both from the "bottoms up" view of the courses' conception, design and practical teaching experience, and from the "top down" view of their financing and management, including some aspects of pure luck that allowed them to be constructed at less cost than one might have normally expected. We put particular emphasis on the courses' use of discovery learning techniques, pursued by students working in teams. The relation between these laboratory efforts in optical, radio and infrared astronomy and other changes in the major, which have led to an approximate doubling of the number of students majoring in Astrophysics at UC Berkeley, will also be outlined.

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