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November 2000 TOPS Newsletter

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TOPS 2000 Teachers Need to Complete Stipend Requirements

Next month we will send stipend checks to teachers who have completed workshop requirements to conduct their own workshops and incorporate new content into classroom lessons. Please note that we cannot send your stipend check unless we know you have completed requirements. We also need to document fulfillment of these requirements for our report to NSF in order to continue our funding.

If you have not already done so, please send Mary or Bev the following immediately:

  • A summary of workshops or presentations you have completed, including audience description, topics covered, date, and place. Then also send the evaluation and demographic forms your workshop participants should have filled out. The forms are available in the "Workshop Planning Guide."
  • A summary of proposed workshops or presentations. We know that some of you cannot conduct workshops until after December. If you can schedule the workshop now and provide other specific details, we will still send your stipend check. Otherwise, we will send your stipend check after you conduct your workshop.
  • A description of your new course content.
Email summaries and descriptions are fine. Otherwise, you can mail or fax reports to Bev.

Other paperwork requirements apply to those of you who are not US citizens. Please make sure you have filled out and sent all visa, work permit, and identification number forms and information requests. If you are unsure of the status of your paperwork, please contact the TOPS secretary, Diane Tokumura, as soon as possible at tokumura@ifa.hawaii.edu or (808) 956-7399. We cannot legally issue your check until government paperwork requirements are satisfied.

TOPS 2000 Students Need to Send Activity Reports

Please send a report (email is fine) about what you have done to share what you learned at TOPS, including activities or events (star parties, presentations, school club activities, etc.), dates, and places. If you have written anything, such as a newspaper article, please send a copy to Bev. If you have put up information on a Web site, please let us know the Web site address.

TOPS 2000 Outreach College/Summer Scholar Credits

Karen will be turning in grades (pass or fail for teachers, letter grades for students) early next month. To register a passing grade for you, we must know that you have completed requirements. For teachers, those requirements are the same as those to receive your stipend. (See above.) For students, we need to receive your activity report. If you have planned but not completed activities, please let us know about your plans.

For detailed information about receiving your UH course credit, please check the Web site at http://www.ifa.hawaii.edu/tops/.

Once the Outreach College processes the grades, you should receive a report card. The course and grade information will also reside on your permanent transcript at UH. If you need a copy of the transcript, please follow normal university procedures, which you can find at http://www.hawaii.edu/admrec/records.html.

We Want to Maintain Contact with TOPS 1999 Teachers

We would like to find out what you are continuing to do to implement what you learned at the 1999 workshop. Please send a brief report to Bev or Mary. If you have any workshop or activity reports, teaching tips, or new course content that you have not sent from last year, we would appreciate receiving it. We need to make a report to NSF about what you have done. Also, this material can be very helpful to other TOPS teachers.

We now have a Workshop Planning Guide available. It contains checklists, resources, and pre-made registration and evaluation forms. If you would like to receive a copy, please request one from Bev. Please specify whether you would like soft copy (PC Word 2000) or hard copy or both.

IfA Holds Successful Open House

A huge mahalo to all teachers and students who helped with activities at the Institute for Astronomy open house on October 28. Teachers Elaine Mahoney, Doris Dean, Leilani Wright, Blue Eisen, Mike Jaros, Mary Heaton, Kehau Kalili, Mark Littorin, Alyce Ikeoka, and Tom Chun helped with comet making and the optics demonstrations. Doris, Mike, and Elaine also helped with airport transportation for our Big Islanders, and Doris helped with general setup early Saturday morning. Students Serena Dameron and Melissa Ferreira helped with comet making. Tom Chun brought an entire busload of his students to help with the optics demonstrations. Again, thank you from all of us at IFA for your help and enthusiasm. Both our new IFA director, Dr. Rolf-Peter Kudritski, and the open house chairman, Dr. Jim Heasley, were pleased with the day and grateful for all the TOPS help.

If your name does not appear in the above thank you list, please let Bev know. We need to credit you with the help and hours you put in.

TOPS Teachers Meet at Open House

About half of the TOPS 2000 teachers and one of the TOPS 1999 teachers met with Mary and Karen on the afternoon of the open house to report progress on requirements and share ideas. We videotaped the meeting to share with those of you who could not attend. Bev will mail the tapes as soon as Instructional Services finishes making copies. TOPS 2000 teachers, please watch for your copy if you did not attend the meeting.

Applications for TOPS 2001 are Now Available on the Web Site

TOPS 2001 application and recommendation forms are now available at http://www.ifa.hawaii.edu/tops for both teachers and students. We encourage you to apply again. You can still receive UH credits, even if you are repeating the workshop. Also, please encourage your students and colleagues to submit their applications by November 15.

The easiest way to apply is to fill out the form on the Web site and click the Submit button. If you have any problem with that, please send an email with the text to Bev. Otherwise, one of the staff has to type your answers into our database.

Resource Additions Planned dfor Web Site

We plan to develop the TOPS Web site into a premier resource for teachers and students.
  • We would like to post any materials you develop for presentations, workshops, or courses. You will retain the copyright on anything you submit. Some of these postings may be links to your own Web site.
  • Do you have astronomy questions? We want to expand the Ask an Astronomer section.
  • We would like to have a page for you to ask questions about teaching or conducting astronomy activities and to post helpful tips about what works for you. For now, if you have questions or tips, please email them to Bev, and we'll cover them in future newsletters.
  • What else would be helpful to you? Please submit ideas to Bev.

Thank You

Mahalo for dealing with all the paperwork requirements for TOPS. We need to track and report everything to NSF to maintain our funding. Information about workshops and activities you have conducted and new course content you have developed can be enormously helpful to other TOPS participants. We plan to begin making this information available on the TOPS Web site as a resource for all of you.

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 11, 2001

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