December 2000 TOPS Newsletter
Mele Kalikimaka TOPS Participants!
Ursid Meteors 2000P. Jenniskens, Ames Research Center, supplies a prediction of enhanced activity this year of the meteor stream associated with comet 8P/Tuttle. Maximum activity is anticipated around Friday, Dec. 22. The radiant lies close to Kochab, the second brightest star in the constellation of Ursa Minor, or Little Dipper. If you are able to observe this, please send reports about what you see. A really excellent resource on comets and Meteor Showers is Gary Kronk's web page.
Teacher StipendsThe fiscal department is dribbling out checks. Bev mails them as soon as she receives them. Bev will keep checking with fiscal to make sure we get the checks to you as soon as possible.
Follow-Up Activities and ReportsThanks to all of you who sent materials, portfolios, and reports on your workshop follow-up activities. If you sent paper and happen to have any of your materials or portfolios (lesson plans, etc.) in electronic format, we would appreciate receiving copies. Eventually we will make your work available via the TOPS Web site. Please send your files as attachments to email or on a diskette or zip disk to Bev. If you have questions about how to send your files, please contact Bev.
UH College CreditsTo receive course credit you must send your follow-up activity reports to Karen. Karen turned in grades this week, including several incompletes. Incompletes must be made up by February 1, 2001. You can find information about course credit requirements on the TOPS Web site. If you have questions, please contact Mary or Bev.
Activity HighlightsKaren has been very pleased with the quality of your follow-up activities. The student activities have been particularly impressive, as the following summaries show.
TOPS 2001 Applications and RecommendationsStudent response has been overwhelming. We would still like to receive more teacher applications. Please encourage teachers to submit applications via the TOPS Web site. We will try to notify all those accepted by January 16.
Computer TipsBev wants to add computer usage tips to the newsletter and the TOPS Web site. If you have questions about such things as email, using the Internet, routine maintenance, or weird and unexplainable things that your computer does, please send them to Bev. Please feel free to send "stupid questions." Bev won't use names, and you are undoubtedly not the only one who needs the answer.
This month's tip is about COMPUTER VIRUSES, because several of you have sent viruses attached to your emails. YOU MUST DEAL WITH VIRUSES OR RISK LOSING EVERYTHING ON YOUR COMPUTER.
Party Time!February 17 is the date of the next star party at Dillingham Field. We'll start with a potluck and invite HAS members to join us. Watch for further information.
X-Treme Science Exhibit at Bishop MuseumPlan to attend this exciting new exhibit featuring cutting-edge science done here in Hawaii on oceans, volcanoes, and outer space. The exhibit is designed mainly to inspire upper elementary and middle school children, but it contains displays and hands-on activities for pre-schoolers through adults. The exhibit runs from January 27 through May 28 on both floors of the Castle Building. The exhibit also features information about scientists and science careers. Karen is one of the featured scientists, as well as some of the TOPS guest speakers. Teachers, you have additional opportunities related to this exhibit:
UFO SitedKurt Woolslayer sends a good story from Rota. Following is the text of a newspaper article entitled, "Residents claim UFO sighting:" If it was not a plane, then what was it? Many people are talking about the mysterious very bright, round-shaped object which they saw Monday at around 7:30 p.m. Greg Camacho, a radio personality at Power 99 said he saw it while driving down Chinatown. "It was about 250 degrees southwest of Saipan. The bright object stayed there for about 30 minutes and when I turned around, it was gone," he said. It could not be a plane because the object was not moving, Mr. Camacho said. An employee of the Customs Division who was at the Saipan International Airport at that time said he saw a very bright object as he was going out to have dinner. He said he thought that a plane was about to land because the object was in the runway area. What he found weird was that all the lights outside the building including the streetlights went off while there were lights inside the airport building. "It was the only one that was shining brightly at that time while the whole airport area was in complete darkness," he said.
Kurt wrote a letter to the editor explaining that the UFO was Venus. Thanks, Kurt, for clearing up this mystery.
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|Karen Meech, Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii email@example.com|