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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[87.01] Research Experience for Teachers at NRAO-Green Bank: Measuring HI Luminosity-linewidth Profiles of Faint Galaxies\\

T. S. Spuck (Oil City Area Sr. High School), J. R. Fisher (NRAO)

The neutral hydrogen (HI) luminosity-linewidth profile relationship is a valuable tool in radio astronomy. Among other things, it helps astronomers determine distances, rotation velocities, and hydrogen densities in distant galaxies. Data for over 500 galaxies had been taken in October, 1999 by J. R. Fisher using the Arecibo Radio Telescope. The data helps to support research completed with the Infrared Astronomical Satellite and provide a comparison of luminosity-linewidth and supernovae Ia distance scales.

During the summer, 2000 Research Experience for Teachers (RET), T. S. S. worked at the NRAO in Green Bank to reduce this HI data. In order to complete the task, a working knowledge of AIPS++ and Glish was acquired. Glish allows users easy access to all AIPS++ analysis routines and provides a means of writing customized applications by bundling together collections of commands into new functions. During the appointment, AIPS++ scripts were written that implement data correction factors, display data scans, and assist in making precise measurements.

As a volunteer researcher, T.S.S. is continuing work on this project during the school year. In addition, selected high school students will assist in completing the data reduction for these galaxies. In any science education program whether it be elementary school or college, it is crucial that students be provided the opportunity to experience science rather than to simply be told about it. Science is a vehicle by which humans contribute to the understanding of the universe. Thanks to the RET experience, Oil City students will be going on a little "drive" this year. This poster will explore the astronomical journey taken by these students as well as the pedagogical destination.

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