12.15.04

Teacher-Student Research Program Using the Spitzer Space Telescope

Default Spitzer Space Telescope graphic.
Written by Doris Daou
Spitzer Science Center

The Spitzer Science Center (SSC) with the collaboration of the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO) has designed a program for teacher and student research using observing time on the Spitzer Space Telescope. The participating teachers will attend a fall 2004 workshop to become familiar with the Spitzer Space Telescope archives and to receive training in infrared astronomy and observational techniques. The teachers will also attend a workshop offered by the SSC to learn about the observation planning process and telescope and instrument capabilities.

This program has as its goals the fundamental NASA goals of inspiring and motivating students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics as well as to engage the public in shaping and sharing the experience of exploration and discovery. The educational plan addresses the NASA objectives of improving student proficiency in science and improving science instruction by providing a unique opportunity to a group of teachers and students to observe with Spitzer and work with Spitzer archival data. This program allows a team of 12 teachers and their students to utilize up to 3 hours of Director's discretionary observing time on the Spitzer Space Telescope for educational observations.

Leveraging on a well-established teacher professional development, the SSC is offering this program to teachers in the Teacher Leaders in Research Based Science Education (TLRRBSE), an ongoing program at the NOAO. This NSF-sponsored program touches the formal education community through a national audience of well-trained and supported middle and high school teachers.

The Spitzer educational research program also reaches an additional national audience of students through an informal education program Astronomy Camp based at the University of Arizona. During this camp, the teachers and their students will learn about Spitzer through the vast amount of data available in the Spitzer archives.

JPL manages the Spitzer Space Telescope mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Science operations are conducted at the Spitzer Science Center at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. JPL is a division of Caltech.

The TLRBSE Project is funded by the National Science Foundation under ESI 0101982, funded through the AURA/NSF Cooperative Agreement AST-9613615. NOAO is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA), Inc. under cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation.

Selected Teachers for the Spitzer Research Program for Teachers
Jeff Adkins Deer Valley High School
Antioch, CA
11th-12th Grade
Howard T. Chun Cranston High School East
Cranston, RI
11th-12th Grade
Loren K. Chapple Traverse City East Junior High School
Traverse City, MI
8th Grade
Harlan V. Devore Cape Fear High School
Fayetteville, NC
11th-12th Grade
Anthony R. Maranto Phillips Exeter Academy
Exeter, NH
9th-12th Grade
Steve Rapp Linwood Holton Governor's School
Abingdon, VA
10th-12th Grade
Theresa Roelofsen Bassick High School
Bridgeport, CT
9th-12th Grade
Babs Sepulveda Lincoln High School
Stockton, CA
9th-12th Grade
Linda Stefaniak Allentown High School
Allentown, NJ
10th-12th Grade
Timothy S. Spuck Oil City Area Sr. High School
Oil City, PA
10th-12th Grade
Beth Thomas East Middle School
Great Falls, MT
7th Grade
Cynthia Weehler Luther Burbank High School
San Antonio, TX
9th-12th Grade