AAS 197, January 2001
Session 120. Innovations in Teaching Astronomy III
Joint Oral, Thursday, January 11, 2001, 10:30am-12:00noon, Pacific One

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[120.03] ``From the Ground Up!": Investigations in Physical Science Using the MicroObservatory Online Telescopes

A. R. Contos, M. E. Dussault, P. M. Sadler, R. R. Gould (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA)

Many students have a deep interest in astronomy, but limited opportunities to use telescopes to explore the heavens. The MicroObservatory network of five robotic, online telescopes enables middle- and high-school teachers and their students to investigate the night sky from the convenience of their classrooms. By means of an intuitive web interface, students control the telescopes by specifying the target, exposure time, observation time, filter, and site location. Located at sites around the world, the telescopes have a combined capability of a quarter of a million observations each year. Students in twenty states now access the telescopes to carry out investigations ranging from the distance to the Moon to the expansion of the Universe.

In this presentation, we describe the unique features of the network and curriculum, and how they are transforming the way that astronomy and physical science is taught in the pre-college classroom.

This project is supported by NSF grant ESI-97-30351 with additional funding from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://mo-www.harvard.edu/MicroObservatory/. 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: acontos@cfa.harvard.edu

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