AAS 205th Meeting, 9-13 January 2005
Session 132 Astronomy in the K-12 Classroom
Oral, Wednesday, January 12, 2005, 2:00-3:30pm, Pacific Salon 1

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[132.01] Building an Astronomy Community to Sustain Research in the Classroom

S. K. Croft, S. M. Pompea, C. E. Walker (NOAO), NOAO Education Outreach Team

Teacher Leaders in Research Based Science Education (TLRBSE) is a teacher professional development program that has been created at the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO) in Tucson, AZ, for middle and high school science teachers. It integrates several prominent trends in American science education, including the use of technology in the classroom, the development of inquiry-based science curricula closely modeling professional science practice, teacher retention and renewal, and the creation of communities of science learners consisting of both teachers and students. TLRBSE is designed to give middle and high school science teachers experience in working on real astronomy research projects with each other and with professional scientists. The teachers are also trained in research-based pedagogy so that they can effectively take these research projects into their classrooms to share with their students and colleagues. Program elements include: a 14-week graduate-level distance-learning course, a two-week on-site training workshop in Tucson that includes a week’s observing at Kitt Peak using world-class telescopes, use of research-based science education in the classroom, and two years mentoring of three inexperienced science teachers. Our current research projects are Nova Search, Active Galactic Nuclei, Variable Stars, and Zeeman Splitting in Sunspots. Students and teachers in the program are also able to publish their research projects in the RBSE Journal. New program elements designed to provide ongoing activity in the learning community and increase teacher and student astronomical research skills include the Remote Telescope Observing Program in which students run telescopes in real time from their classroom, and the Teacher Observing Program in which individual teachers return to Kitt Peak with a small team of students to carry out their own research projects. This project is supported by NSF.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://www.noao.edu/outreach/tlrbse/. 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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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 36 5
© 2004. The American Astronomical Society.