AAS 207th Meeting, 8-12 January 2006
Session 57 Astronomical Data from the NVO: Opportunities for Enhancement of Science Education
Oral, Monday, 2:30-4:00pm, January 9, 2006, Balcony B

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[57.04] Enabling Astronony Research in High Schools with the START Collaboratory

G. J. Greenberg (Northwestern University), C. R. Pennypacker (University of California at Berkeley)

The START Collaboratory is a three-year, NSF funded project to create a Web-based national astronomy research collaboratory for high school students that will bring authentic scientific research to classrooms across the country. The project brings together the resources and experience of Hands-On Universe at the University of California at Berkeley, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey / National Virtual Observatory at Johns Hopkins University and the Northwestern University Collaboratory Project.

The START Collaboratory seamlessly integrates access to gigabytes of searchable data and images from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and the NVO into Web-based research notebooks and research reports that can be shared and discussed online. Requests for observations can be made through the START Telescope Request Broker. These observations can be viewed with the START Web Visualization Tool for visualization and measurement of FITS files. The project has developed a set of research scenarios to introduce students to the resources and tools available through the START Collaboratory, and to provide a model for network-based collaboration that engages students, teachers and professional scientists. Great attention has been paid to ensuring that the research scenarios result in accurate and authentic research products that are of real interest to working astronomers.

In this panel presentation, we will describe the educational benefits and opportunities being seen in pilot testing with teachers and students, and in preparations for a teacher professional development project with the Adler Planetarium.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: Collaboratory@northwestern.edu

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