AAVSO: American Association of Variable Star Observers

HI STAR: Building Bridges Between AAVSO Observers and High School Students (Abstract)

Volume 36 number 2 (2008)

Catherine A. Garland
Mary Ann Kadooka
Donn R. Starkey
Michael A. Nassir

Abstract

(Abstract only) How did a Hawaiian high school student get to use a telescope in Indiana, via the internet, to observe celestial objects of her choosing? It was thanks to an AAVSO member who generously shared his telescope time. Donn Starkey not only shared his telescope and expertise with this student, but with seventeen others this past summer at HI STAR, the Hawaii Student Teacher Astronomy Research program hosted at the University of Hawaii. This week-long “astronomy camp” for middle and high school students included lectures, activities, and—the highlight—observing. After just one week, all students, who had little to no background in astronomy, were able to begin astronomy research projects which they can continue at their schools. The content areas ranged from tracking asteroids, to doing photometry of variable stars, and calculating the rotational velocities of galaxies. We’ll discuss highlights of the program, including how astronomers of all types can become involved with such promising students.