AAS 199th meeting, Washington, DC, January 2002
Session 22. Astronomy Education Resources
Display, Monday, January 7, 2002, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall

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[22.04] Telescopes in Education: the Little Thompson Observatory

A.E. Schweitzer (Vastera, Inc., Little Thompson Observatory (LTO)), T.T. Melsheimer (Meridian Controls, LTO), C. Sackett (Johnstown/Millikan school district, LTO)

The Little Thompson Observatory is believed to be the first observatory built as part of a high school and accessible to other schools remotely, via the Internet. This observatory is the second member of the Telescopes in Education (TIE) project. Construction of the building was done completely by volunteer labor, and first light occurred in May 1999. The observatory is located on the grounds of Berthoud High School in northern Colorado.

We are grateful to have received an IDEAS grant to provide teacher training workshops for K-12 schools in Colorado to make use of the observatory, including remote observing from classrooms. Students connect to the observatory over the Internet, and then receive the images back on their local computers.

We are honored that a committee of teachers and administrators from the Thompson School district have selected these workshops to count towards Incentive Credits (movement on the salary schedule) because the course meets the criteria: "Learning must be directly transferable to the classroom with students and relate to standards, assessment and/or technology."

Also in the past year, our training materials have been shared with NASA Goddard and Howard University, which are working together to develop a similar teacher education program.

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