Variable Star Research Experiences for High School Students, Undergraduates, and Amateur Astronomers
This paper describes two education programs wherein students at the high school and university level can develop and integrate their science and math skills and interests by doing real research, with real data, on variable stars. It describes the objectives and nature of the programs, freely-available data (especially from the AAVSO) and software, and some examples of results.
The same principles and resources enable amateur astronomers to do useful and stimulating research by analyzing and interpreting variable star data, as well as making measurements, as they have so productively done for over a century.
Percy, J. R. 2008, in ASP Conference Series 400, Preparing for the 2009 International Year of Astronomy: A Hands-On Symposium, ed. M. G. Gibbs, J. Barnes, J. G. Manning, and B. Partridge (San Francisco: ASP), 363