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January 2002 TOPS Newsletter

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Hau`oli Makahiki Hou, TOPS Participants!

News for Everyone

Research experience for Teachers Program

The Institute for Astronomy (IfA) will have two openings this summer for secondary school math and science teachers to participate in our Research Experiences for Teachers program. This program is funded by the National Science Foundation.

The individuals selected for the program will work with a faculty mentor at the IfA's Manoa facility on a current research project. In most cases the participants will accompany the faculty member on an observing run at the Mauna Kea Observatories. Funding is also provided for the teacher to present her/his results at a scientific meeting. Each participant will receive a $10,000 stipend.

Teachers interested in applying for this program should submit a letter of application to

RET 2002 Program
Institute for Astronomy
2680 Woodlawn Drive
Honolulu, HI 96822

by February 15, 2002. We anticipate making offers to the selected teachers by March 1, 2002.

The letter of application should include the following:

  • Description of your science or math teaching experience
  • Statement of interest in the program, indicating how you believe this research experience will help you in your teaching and how you would incorporate the research into your current curriculum
  • Summary of your background/experience in astronomy and/or computer skills
  • Names of 2 professional references
Questions about the program may be directed to Professor Jim Heasley by email (heasley@ifa.hawaii.edu) or phone (808-956-6826).

UH Manoa Physics Open House

The UH Manoa Dept. of Physics & Astronomy is having an open house Saturday morning, Feb. 9, and invites you and your students to attend. As an additional incentive, we will provide teachers who plan to attend and who respond by Jan. 28 with a parking voucher. You will still have to pay $3 when you drive onto campus, but you will get $3 back when you give the voucher to the parking attendant when you leave. Please let Michael Jones know as soon as possible by email, fax, or phone if you plan to attend and how many students from your school are likely to attend. Phone 808 956-2932, fax 808 956-2930, email mdj@phys.hawaii.edu.

Parking: $3.00 either on upper campus near Watanabe Hall or in the parking structures on lower campus. Maps are at http://www.hawaii.edu/campusmap or http://www.hawaii.edu/parking.

Tentative Schedule

8:30 - Welcome & Overview, Watanabe 112

9:00, 10:00, 11:00 - Rotating presentations on these topics:

  • Electron Microscopy
  • Physics Labs
  • Belle Experiment
  • Free Electron Laser
  • Theoretical Physics
  • Cosmic Ray Physics
  • Super-Kamiokande & Kamland
  • Physics & Toys (presented by Joe Laszlo, TOPS 1999)

Use of PREL Computers

If you are a TOPS teacher who has limited or no access to the Internet, here is some help for you. Those teachers who live on a Pacific island with a PREL office can use PREL's Internet access capability to do research for your classes and download classroom materials (often free). If you need more information or the contact information for your local PREL representative, please contact Bev.

Webwatchers Teacher Workshop

NSTA has created a program to train a cadre of teachers to become WebWatchers. This cadre will research and select Web sites that can be integrated into science curricula, and they will share their research with other teachers through the NSTA Web site. For specifics about the summer workshops, click here.

News for TOPS 2001 Participants

Student Grades

Grades have been mailed already, but the Credit/No Credit designation was a mistake. Karen has put in change-of-grade forms. Unfortunately, UH does not send out grades a second time, so if you want to find out your grade, you need to request a transcript. Each transcript request is $3.00. To request a transcript, do ONE of the following:

  • Go in person to the Student Services Center cashier office on the first floor to pay and fill out a form. OR

  • Mail a written request that includes your name, Social Security number, address (and where to send the transcript), the course number and when you took the class, your signature, and a check for $3.00 to Office of Admissions and Records, 2600 Campus Road, Room 001, Honolulu, HI 96822.

2001 Teacher Meeting

We had a TOPS 2001 post-workshop teacher meeting on Saturday 1/19/02. The meeting was in large part to network about the implementation of TOPS activities in the classroom and how to run the required secondary workshops. In addition we got caught up to date on news. The agenda, with links to the meeting handouts, is shown below. For those teachers who could not attend the meeting last Saturday evening, we have mailed videotapes and handouts. We hope you will find the information on the tape helpful as you present your secondary workshops and implement astronomy lessons in your classrooms. Please note the reporting requirements Mary discusses.

Thanks to Jim Bedient, Kathy Chock, Tom Chun, Scot Ewen, Jean Hamai, Sophia Hu, Alyce Ikeoka, Vic Kim, Clyde Kobashigawa, and Cheryl Shintani for braving some very stormy weather to come to the meeting at IfA. Mary brought in a Korean dinner for us, and Alyce and Cheryl contributed delicious desserts.

Science Highlights and Resources

Useful Websites


TOPS Alum Happenings

  • Congratuations Tim and Kelle Slater on the birth of Maxwell Alexander on Jan. 20 at 1:53 a.m.. Maxwell weighed 9 lbs. and was 20.5" long.

  • Congratulations to TOPS staff members Gerbs Bauer and Chija Skala, who were married on January 4 in Kansas. They are now living in Honolulu, and Chija is teaching at Leilihua High School. Gerbs and Chija met at the TOPS 1999 workshop.

  • Congratulations to Kehau Kalili (TOPS 2000) for graduating from UH Hilo and receiving her teaching credential in December.

  • Mike Polashenski (TOPS 2000) reports that he was able to purchase a 10" Dobsonian with funds provided by the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory as a result of his attendance at their two-week Plasma Science and Fusion Energy Institute during the summer of 2000. He thinks the program will run again this summer. It includes room and board, a stipend, and a travel allowance for qualified physics teachers. The Web site from last summer is http://science-education.pppl.gov/SummerInst/INDEX.HTML.

    Mike personally enjoyed the Leonids meteor shower from his backyard lawn chair where he counted 313 meteors between 4:30 A.M. and 6 A.M. and survived the quite nippy weather in the Pennsylvania Poconos. This month Mike is attending the American Association of Physics Teachers National Convention in Philadelphia and looking forward to seeing Ed Prather.

Contact Information

Last Updated on January 26, 2002

This page has been visited times since January 2002.
Karen Meech, Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii