AAS 205th Meeting, 9-13 January 2005
Session 96 Astronomy Education: K-12
Poster, Wednesday, January 12, 2005, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall

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[96.01] Creating a Teacher-Student Research Program Using the Spitzer Space Telescope

D. Daou (Spitzer Science Center), S. Pompea (National Optical Astronomy Observatory), M. Thaller (Spitzer Science Center)

The Spitzer Science Center (SSC) and the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO) have created a program for teacher and student research using observing time on the Spitzer Space Telescope. The participating teachers attended a fall, 2004 workshop to become familiar with the Spitzer Space Telescope (SST) archives, and to receive training in infrared astronomy and observational techniques. The teachers will also attend a workshop offered by the SSC to learn about the observation planning process, and telescope and instrument capabilities.

This program has as its goals the fundamental NASA goals of inspiring and motivating students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics as well as to engage the public in shaping and sharing the experience of exploration and discovery. Our educational plan addresses the NASA objectives of improving student proficiency in science and improving science instruction by providing a unique opportunity to a group of teachers and students to observe with the SST and work with the SST archival data. This program allows a team of 12 teachers and their students to utilize up to 3 hours of Director's discretionary observing time on the Spitzer Space Telescope for educational observations.

Leveraging on a well-established teacher professional development, the SSC is offering this program to teachers in the Teacher Leaders in Research Based Science Education (TLRRBSE), an ongoing program at the NOAO. This NSF-sponsored program touches the formal education community through a national audience of well-trained and supported middle and high school teachers.

The Spitzer educational research program also reaches an additional national audience of students through an informal education program based at the University of Arizona’s Astronomy Camp, directed by Dr. Don McCarthy. During this camp, the teachers and their students will learn about the SST through the vast amount of data available in the Spitzer archives.

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

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© 2004. The American Astronomical Society.