AAS 197, January 2001
Session 87. Innovations in Teaching Astronomy II
Joint Display, Wednesday, January 10, 2001, 9:30am-7:00pm, Exhibit Hall

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[87.05] Research Experience for Teachers at NRAO-Green Bank: Comparing the Galactic Plane at 8.35 GHz and 14.35 MHz

R. H. Welsh (Carver High School of Engineering and Science), G. I. Langston (NRAO)

During summer, 2000, the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) at Green Bank WV accepted five science teachers in an eight week program titled 'Research Experience for Teachers' (RET). As one of the five teachers, R.H.W. worked on continuum data taken of the Galactic Plane. The data was part of the Galactic Plane survey (GPA) of the Milky Way Galaxy observed at two frequencies in the microwave part of the electromagnetic spectrum; 8.35 GHz and 14.35 Ghz. G.I.L. is principal investigator of the GPA survey.

The primary task was to learn the survey and perform image analysis. The images are in Flexible Image Transport System (FITS) format and were analyzed using Astronomical Image Processing Software (AIPS), and two public domain FITS viewers: Sky Image Processor (SIP) and FITSview. Once a basic understanding of the software was gained, detailed analysis of two objects within the plane of the Milky Way was undertaken. These objects were NGC 7027, a planetary nebula and M58, a supernova remnant.

This experience led to the development of nine student projects which make use of the GPA survey data. These projects engage high school students in tasks that are similar to those undertaken by the RET participant, and focus on how radio astronomy research is done.

Currently, high school students in R.H.W.'s Advanced Placement physics course are engaged in these projects. Emphasis is placed on how observations of an astronomical object at different wavelengths allow the experimenter to determine an intrisic property of that object; its emission mechanism. Our paper will describe the projects and highlight those which have been successful with highschool students. Our ultimate educational goal is to produce and disseminate a CD for use by other teachers. Those interested in accessing these activities may do so at http://www.gb.nrao.edu/~glangsto/lessons/intro.html

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://www.gb.nrao.edu/~glangsto/lessons/intro.html. 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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