AAS 195th Meeting, January 2000
Session 106. Education
Display, Saturday, January 15, 2000, 9:20am-4:00pm, Grand Hall

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[106.09] Student Projects for the Introductory Astronomy Course Using the Hubble Data Archive and Related Resources.

T. English (Gardner-Webb University)

Many students in the introductory course lack understanding about how astronomy is done at big observatories and about how scientific investigations are carried out in general. This presentation outlines the latest steps in an ongoing effort at Gardner-Webb University to build research projects into the course that develop an appreciation and understanding of the latest astronomical research and the methods of doing science.

A significant percentage of students come into the course with the misconception that the Hubble Space Telescope somehow travels to remote destinations around the universe taking snapshots. To address this problem, they are asked to develop proposals to use Hubble to observe objects of their choice. Students make use of HST proposal abstracts, images, and other information available through the online data archive, along with press releases, tutorials, and other resources at the STScI web site to develop their proposals.

Despite some initial reluctance from the students to wade into the technical information in the Data Archive, the assignment has been generally successful thus far. Students leave the course with a good working knowledge of the operation of Hubble, and a few ideas developed by the students are now being implemented by real observers using HST.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://www.gardner-webb.edu/GWU/NaturalSci/physics/phy104/obsproposal.htm. 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: ngc@gardner-webb.edu

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