Astronomy Research Seminar

Johnson, Jolyon M. and Genet, Russell M. and Armstrong, James D. and Boyce, Grady and Boyce, Pat and Brewer, Mark and Buchheim, Robert and Carro, Joseph and Estrada, Reed and Estrada, Chris and Freed, Rachel and Gillette, Sean and Harshaw, Richard and Hollis, Thomas and Kenney, John and McGaughey, Steve and McNab, Christine and Mohanan, Kakkala and Sepulveda, Babs and Wallace, Dan and Wallen, Vera (2015) Astronomy Research Seminar. In: Proceedings for the 34th Annual Conference for the Society for Astronomical Sciences. Society for the Astronomical Sciences, pp. 141-148.


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Traditional science lectures and labs are often enhanced through project- and team-based learning. Some students go beyond these classroom studies by conducting research, often under the guidance of university professors. A one-semester astronomy research seminar was initiated in 2006 in collaboration with the community of professional and amateur double star astronomers. The result was dozens of jointly-authored papers published in the Journal of Double Star Observations and the Annual Proceedings of the Society of Astronomical Sciences. This seminar, and its affiliated community, launched a series of conferences and books, providing students with additional forums to share their double star research. The original seminar, and its derivatives, enhanced educational careers through college admissions and scholarships. To expand the seminar's reach, it was restructured from a few teams at one school, to many teams, each from a different school. A volunteer from each school became an assistant instructor. Most of them were seminar veterans, experienced astronomers, or science teachers. The assistant instructors, in turn, recruited enthusiastic students for their teams. To avoid student and instructor overload, the seminar focused on its three deliverables: a formal proposal, published paper, and public PowerPoint presentation. Future seminars may offer other astronomical research options such as exoplanet transit or eclipsing binary photometry.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: RTSRE Related Research
Depositing User: Dr Michael Fitzgerald
Date Deposited: 22 Nov 2017 21:30
Last Modified: 19 Aug 2018 09:26

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