AAS 197, January 2001
Session 87. Innovations in Teaching Astronomy II
Joint Display, Wednesday, January 10, 2001, 9:30am-7:00pm, Exhibit Hall

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[87.23] Telescope Technology for Teachers

M. K. Hemenway, B. J. Armosky (Univ. TX - Austin)

Innovative telescopes require innovative activities to explore their uniqueness. In preparation for the opening of the Texas Astronomy Education Center at McDonald Observatory in Fall 2001, we have prepared new "hand-on, minds-on" activities for secondary schools. These inquiry-based activities allow students to compare the construction, pricing, and structural design of the Hobby-Eberly Telescope to more traditional designs. Students explore basic optics using small flat mirrors before building a human model of the primary mirror. With both the human model and basic optics principles, they discover the need for a tracker to follow a star across the sky throughout an observation as Earth rotates beneath the stationary telescope. These activities are posed as a series of challenges to the student. An addition activity on using optic fiber describes how light is transferred to the astronomical instruments. These activities, which are aligned with the National Science Education Standards, have been piloted at several teacher workshops. They are a prototype for a series of activities that we are developing for future teacher workshops and on-line dissemination to teachers.

Support for this project from the Friends of McDonald Observatory is gratefully acknowledged.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://statdate.utexas.edu/marykay/ttt/ttt.html. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: marykay@astro.as.utexas.edu

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