DPS 35th Meeting, 1-6 September 2003
Session 42. Planetary Science for the Classroom II
Poster (Teacher Workshop), Highlighted on, Friday, September 5, 2003, 3:30-6:00pm, Sierra Ballroom I-II

[Previous] | [Session 42] | [Next]

[42.01] TOPS and Beyond: Training Master Teachers to Mentor Student Astronomy Projects Using the Faulkes Telescope-North

J. Bedient (Univ. HI), K. J. Meech, M. A. Kadooka (IfA), J. A. Mattei (AAVSO), J. Hamai (Kamehameha Schools), R. Hemphill (Oregon Episcopal School), S. Hu (McKinley High School)

2003 was the fifth and final year of the NSF-funded ``Towards Other Planetary Systems'' (TOPS) secondary school teacher training program conducted by the Institute for Astronomy in Hawai'i. While previous years concentrated on basic astronomy skills, cultural astronomy and astrobiology, TOPS 2003 focused on training master teachers and prior TOPS participants in the requisite skills to mentor student projects using the Faulkes Telescope-North (FTN), a 2-meter telescope under construction at the Haleakala High Altitude Observatory. The FTN and a twin in Australia will be the world's largest telescopes dedicated solely to education. This poster presentation describes the teacher's experiences with several prototype astrobiology projects suitable for a 2-meter-class telescope, including monitoring variable stars in star-forming regions, detecting extrasolar planet transits, and observing objects in the Kuiper Belt. Plans for partnering teachers with amateur astronomers proficient in observational techniques are also discussed; the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO) is a likely reservoir of such individuals. The recent selection of a University of Hawai'i group led by the TOPS Director as a NASA Astrobiology Institute Lead Team will provide a framework for development of teacher-student-amateur astronomer teams advised by professional astronomers and conducting astrobiology research.

This work was supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation, ESI-9731083, and through University of Maryland and University of Hawaii subcontract Z667702, which was awarded under prime contract NASW-00004 from NASA.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://www.ifa.hawaii.edu/tops. 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.

[Previous] | [Session 42] | [Next]

Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35 #4
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.