StarsAtYerkes AAS 2012

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Marcella at her education poster
Marcella and Chelen's group explaining their poster

StarsAtYerkes was well represented once again at the AAS convention, January 9-12, 2012, in Austin, TX. In attendance were teacher members Marcella Linahan (Carmel Catholic High School, Mundelein, IL), Chelen Johnson (Breck School, Minneapolis, MN. and Peggy Piper (Lincoln-Way North High School, Frankfort, IL) as members of NITARP (NASA/IPAC Teacher Archieval Research Program). Chelen and Peggy will work serve as mentor teachers for NITARP in 2012. Our main S@Y mentor, Vivian Hoette (Yerkes Observatory) was also in attendance keeping us connected to our bevy of astronomers who have supported us over the years.

Marcella and Chelen, with students from their schools, had the opportunity to present their work on Star Formation in Bright Rimmed Clouds to astronomers and educators from all over the world. Working alongside astronomer Luisa Rebull (Spitzer Science Center) and with teacher/student teams from Oregon and Florida, Marcella and Chelen have spent the past year working on this project. They presented the culmination their work in terms of both astronomy and the impact on education. Their Science poster Spitzer-Selected Young Stellar Objects in Two Bright Rimmed Clouds
Peggy's students discussing astronomy and music with Max Mutchler (Science Telescope Science Institute)
describes their discovery of a total of 19 previously unknown Young Stellar Objects (YSOs) in BRC 27 and 8 YSOs in BRC 34. The groups Education poster described The Effects of Authentic Research Experience on Teachers and Students Through NITARP in which they collected anecdotal data on the effects of this research experience inspiring other students and teachers.

Determining the light curves of asteroids was the subject matter of Peggy's students who presented an education poster entitled Creating a Light Curve of Asteroid 2000 SO1 using Original Data. With the help of Bob Holmes at the Astronomical Research Institute and Tyler Linden a student at Eastern Illinios University, this group requested thousands of ground based images of an asteroid using the online SKYNET remote telescope network. They then weeded through images, performed photometry and determined the light curve of the asteroid. Their poster documents their journey which started several years ago as asteroid hunters in the IASC-WISE program.
Andi and Peggy with SOFIA

At the SOFIA(Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy) exhibit, Peggy got the chance to talk with Educators and Astronomers about her experience as one of the SOFIA 6, the first six teachers that had the opportunity to fly on SOFIA during the spring of 2011. Both Marcella and Chelen have applied for Cycle 1 of the SOFIA AAA (Airborne Astronomy Ambassadors) in which teachers will have the opportunity to incorporate their classes and communities in their experience of flying on several sequential flights. Cycle 1 AAAs are expected to be announced any day now - good luck!

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