August 2001 TOPS Newsletter
IMPORTANT DEADLINESTOPS 2001 students taking TOPS for Astronomy 399 credits need to be reminded that they have to turn in their write ups on how they intend to share their TOPS experiences in the fall by AUGUST 10, 2001. The pdf file of the Course requirements is available here. It would greatly help if you could send these before August 3. Please send your reports to Beverly.
TOPS 2001Discussion of the highlights of TOPS 2001 - with pictures. The TOPS 2001 program was a huge success, probably the best TOPS to date! Below are some excerpts from the project evaluation being compiled by Chija Skala:
Teacher comment -- This experience of TOPS has done many things for me. #1 Reminded me of my choice of careers. The learning process is so well modeled. #2 Renewed my passion for professional growth. Before this workshop, politics, no administration support, broke my sprit for teaching and having expectations. This time at TOPS has re-established and renewed my passion to continue my professional growth. I am very excited about the opportunity to participate in TOPS. I am ready to attack the school year with vigor. Again, before TOPS, I was ready to be the easy teacher, (8-3 nothing else). We all know that real teachers dont feel this way.
Volcano hike -- The volcano hike was fun, exciting, and enjoyable. The sites were so amazing and incredible. And the lava tube tour was an experience that I will always treasure. Excellent tour! The participants really enjoyed the volcanos hike. Many participants, new and returning, said that the format of a lot of short hikes was perfect! They were appreciative of the chance to see many different geological phenomenon.
Polynesian Voyaging -- The participants agreed unanimously that this was an excellent session. Some said that this was the highlight of the workshop, others said that Nainoas talk was inspiring, mind/ sprit enhancing, and inspirational.
Comet Lecture -- The following four quotes provide an excellent summary of how the participants felt about this session. The presentation was perfectly delivered. And the lecture gave us an idea of what a comet is made of prior to the hands-on activity. I learned so much about the composition of a comet. Very impressive! Karen has a wonderful way of presenting complicated ideas in a concrete simple fashion Karen made you want to be a comet specialist. This time you [the teachers] made connections to different subject matters so we can enrich our curriculum with comet flavor.
Odd historical note: After we left Cape Kumukahi, Dave Wilson discovered that he had lost his black cell phone somewhere on the lava during the GPS surveys. The next day he called his cell phone number and a woman answered and asked, "Is this your phone?" The woman was on business in the Kona area. She gave the phone to an Aloha Airlines agent in Kona, who sent the phone back to Honolulu with one of Dave's fellow flight crew members. Dave picked up the phone at the Honolulu airport within hours after making his call.
PEC 2001 MeetingKaren Meech and Tim Slater attended the Pacific Education Conference in Guam to give a presentation about TOPS. In the 2.5 hour session Tim and Karen gave an overview of the TOPS program to 35 teachers (elementary, middle and high school) and counselors from Guam and Saipan, and got a strong response in interest in the program. In addition, we showed them the Mars Water hands-on activity developed for the "X-Treme Science" exhibit at Bishop Museum. TOPS alumane Rick Seidel (Guam, 2000) and Kurt Woolslayer (Rota, 1999, 2000, 2001) helped with the workshop. Below are some images from the workshop.
Research Experiences for Teachers ProgramTom Chun and Mary Kadooka are part of the new IfA Research Experiences for Teachers program (as a supplement to our NSF-funded Research Experiences for Undergraduates program). Mary and Tom have been working on a research project to recover Kuiper Belt Objects with poor orbits. They have just returned from a 3 night observing run on Mauna Kea with IfA postdoc Yan Fernandez where they obtained positional data for about 11 Kuiper Belt objects, and observed half a dozen comets, and obtained data on one Kuiper Belt object to determine its rotation period. They will reduce their data, and then prepare a scientific paper for possible presentation at the American Astronomical Society's Division for Planetary Sciences meeting in New Orleans this December. If you are interested in becoming a RET teacher, contact Karen Meech.
Two images of Comet LINEAR C/2001 A2 taken at the UH 2.2-m telescope on July 24, 2001, when the comet was only 0.43 AU from Earth and 1.36 AU from the Sun. The width of each image at the distance of the comet is 27,500 km. The left image was taken in the light of fluorescing cyanogen (CN) molecules, while the right was taken with sunlight reflected off of dust grains. Ice on the surface of the comet's nucleus (which is buried within the photocenter of each image) is sublimating into space to form the coma, carrying grains of dust with it. One of these ices, hydrogen cyanide (HCN), dissociates in the coma to form cyanogen, which fluoresces when exposed to sunlight.
TOPS Alumni Happenings
Teacher OpportunitiesFellowships of up to $5000 are available through the American Association of University Women's Eleanor Roosevelt Teacher Fellowship program. The application POSTMARK deadline is Jan. 10, 2002. "Eleanor Roosevelt Teacher Fellowships are designed to provide professional development opportunities for women public school teachers; improve girls' learning opportunities, especially in math, science, and technology; and promote equity and long-term change in classrooms, schools, and school systems." Details at Roosevelt Fellowships.
Last Updated on September 1, 2001 |
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|Karen Meech, Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii email@example.com|