Hands-On Astrophysics: Variable Stars in the Science/Math Lab

Wednesday, July 15, 1992 to Wednesday, December 31, 1997
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Project Descriptions
Environment Type: 
Media and Technology, Websites, Mobile Apps, and Online Media, Public Programs, Community Outreach Programs, Informal/Formal Connections, K-12 Programs, Higher Education Programs
Youth/Teen (up to 17) | Educators/Teachers | Museum/ISE Professionals
Mathematics | Space science
American Association of Variable Star Observers

The excitement of astrophysical research and discovery is brought into the high school science and mathematics classes through a flexible set of student activities and projects on variable stars. The project includes a computerized database, of 400,000 measurements of brightness of 150 variable stars in five constellations over 25 years, from which students can deduce properties, processes, and evolution of these stars. Students can make additional measurements and discoveries from carefully selected time sequences of 125 35mm slides or from actual measurements from the night sky. A comprehensive student manual and instructional videos make the materials self-contained and easy to use. The teacher manual enables the instructor to adapt the materials to skills, objectives and local curricula. The material can be used in a variety of contexts: traditional mathematics and science classes at both the high school and college level, independent projects, summer institutes, and community science clubs. The material will be field tested in classes and refined through workshops with teachers. A newsletter and a video about amateur astronomers is planned.

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Team Members

Janet MatteiJanet MatteiPrincipal Investigator
John PercyJohn PercyCo-Principal Investigator

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