Astronomy Research Seminars Workshop at AAS 232
Astronomy Research Seminars are offered by a rapidly growing number of community colleges and universities. Over the past decade some 120 research papers have been published by student teams involving about 500 coauthors. Each team manages their own research, obtains and analyzes original data, writes a team paper, obtains external review, submits their paper for publication, and gives a public PowerPoint presentation — all in a single semester.
Although the projects are managed by the students themselves, they are supported by an extensive community of practice that consists of professional and amateur astronomers, educators, and seminar graduates; the Institute for Student Astronomical Research (InStAR); the Small Telescope Astronomy Research Handbook; and an in-person/online, open-source Canvas learning management system with videos, quizzes, etc.
The seminars have expanded from double-star astronomy to asteroid astrometry, eclipsing-binary times of minima, and exoplanet transits. Conducting authentic research inspires students; provides them with important skills in teamwork, project management, and scientific literacy; and gives them confidence in their abilities to participate in scientific research. Being coauthors of published papers boosts student educational careers with respect to college admissions and scholarships.
Those interested in initiating their own seminar can attend our workshop at the 232nd AAS meeting in Denver on Monday, 4 June, from 10 am to 12 noon, co-chaired by Russ Genet and Rachel Freed.