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February 2001 TOPS Newsletter

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Party Time

You, your friends, and your families are invited to our next TOPS star party on February 17 from 5:00 - 9:00 pm at Dillingham Field. We' ll begin with a potluck at 5:00. Please RSVP to Mary at m.kadooka@worldnet.att.net if you plan to come. In case of bad weather, the party will be cancelled. We will try to post the status on the TOPS 2000 newsletter Web page (www.ifa.hawaii.edu/tops/tops2000/feb01.html). [STATUS - the star party is ON.]

Help for Forrest Luke

As a reminder, we are still requesting help for Forrest Luke's star parties. Forrest has been a strong supporter for TOPS, and it would be nice to return the favor. He has committed to help at these events but has no assistance.
  • Feb 27 Tue at Pearl Harbor Elementary (next to Moanalua Shopping Center)
  • Mar 14 Wed at Aliamanu Elementary
  • Mar 16 Fri at Red Hill Elementary
If you can bring a telescope, that would be great. Otherwise, we can get an IFA telescope. For those of you in school astronomy clubs, one of these activities might make a good club event. You can contact Forrest at Leilehua High School at 622-6550 or email him at fluke@www.leilehua.k12.hi.us.

TOPS 2001 Status

  • Teachers, we are still looking for a few good teacher applicants for TOPS 2001. Please help us recruit teachers. Prospective applicants can contact Bev for information
  • The first pre-workshop meeting will be held at the Bishop Museum on Saturday March 10. If any of you teachers would like to come and share advice and tips with our new teachers, please contact Bev.
  • The second meeting will be held on Saturday April 7, also at Bishop. This will be mostly a star party. We will have several teachers from neighbor islands and would like them to be able to stay past the times that the last flights leave. Would any of you be able to host a teacher at your home overnight? Please contact Bev. (Clicking on these links will bring up tentative schedules for each pre-workshop meeting).

TOPS Outreach Update

  • X-Treme Science Exhibit- Karen, Beverly and Mary developed hands on activities for the X-Treme Science exhibit now showing at the Bishop Museum. This program highlights science areas of strength in Hawaii: oceanography, volcanology and astronomy. Karen is one of several UH/IfA astronomers featured in the exhibit. In addition to creating hands-on activities, Bev and Karen participated in an all-day workshop at the museum on 2/03/01 to highlight these activities. (Bev's note: I've been to the exhibit twice, and it's just plain fun.)
    • Students, ask your teachers to arrange a field trip to the exhibit, or visit with your family, friends, or science/astronomy club.
    • Teachers - show your teacher ID to get into the exhibit free. With your visit you can get a notebook full of K-6 or 7-12 educational activities developed for the exhibit. The following activities developed by TOPS staff are available to download from the TOPS Web site. (If you have problems or would like Word files, please contact Bev.)

  • Pacific Science Symposium - Karen and IfA Director, Rolf Kudritzki were panelists with Nainoa Thompson at the Pacific Symposium for Science and Sustainability on Fri 2/9/01. At this symposium, high school students from Hawaii and the Pacific islands gave scientific papers at a conference patterned after professional conferences. Sponsored by the Hawaiian Academy of Science, paper deadlines are in early December each year. Plan to have your students submit papers for this exciting program next year; the first place winner gets a $4,000 college scholarship, and the finalists get a trip to the mainland to present their work at a national science conference. Maybe a TOPS observing project could become a science fair project and evolve into a paper for this program. Karen was also the banquet speaker for the conference Sat 2/10/01.

  • IfA Hilo Openhouse - The Institute for Astronomy's new Hilo facility will be dedicated on Friday 2/23/01. In honor of this occasion, there will be an open house on Saturday 2/24/01. All teachers are invited to attend for hands-on activities, tours and lectures.

  • Archaeoastronomy Field Trip - During spring break (Mar 26 and 27), TOPS teacher Elaine Mahoney ('99, '00) is taking Mililani HS students on a field trip to the big island to meet up with Karen and an archaeoastronomer from England, Clive Ruggles, to do some field work at Cape Kumukahi, to help prepare for the site visit at TOPS 2001.

  • Pacific Education Conference - PREL - Kurt Woolslayer ('99, '00, '01)and Caleb Parsons ('00, '01) are planning a TOPS-related workshop for the PREL PEC Conference in Guam this summer. If there are other teachers planning to go to this meeting, please let us know so we can coordinate our activities.

UH College Credits

KJM to update status for last year; Bev - update status on forms for this year?

Latest Astronomy News

The NASA NEAR mission has successfully touched down on the surface of asteroid Eros!! You can read all about this at the NEAR website or you can download a pdf version of the Press Release here.

From 1150 m From 700 m From 250 m From 120 m

New Internet Resource

There is an excellent internet resource called FirstScience which is a valuable free resource to teachers. This site carries short articles of topical interest to TOPS.

Reminder: All the TOPS newsletters are included on the TOPS resources page.

Contact Information

  • For mail to Karen or Bev: Institute for Astronomy, 2680 Woodlawn Drive, Honolulu, HI 96822.
  • For email to Karen: meech@ifa.hawaii.edu. Karen will be conducting research in Chile until December 7, so she may not get to check her mail as often as usual.
  • For email to Mary: m.kadooka@worldnet.att.net.
  • For email to Bev: bevlynn@ifa.hawaii.edu (no attachments) or bevlynn@worldnet.att.net (multiple attachments on one email). Bev will be on vacation November 19-29.
  • For phoning Bev: (808) 487-0635 (office), (808) 486-1599 (fax), (808) 226-8703 (cell).


Last Updated on February 14, 2001

This page has been visited times since October 1999.
Karen Meech, Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii
meech@ifa.hawaii.edu