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Authentic Astronomy Research Experiences for Teachers: The NASA/IPAC Teacher Archive Research Program (NITARP)

Rebull, L. M. and Gorjian, V. and Squires, G. (2012) Authentic Astronomy Research Experiences for Teachers: The NASA/IPAC Teacher Archive Research Program (NITARP). In: Connecting People to Science: A National Conference on Science Education and Public Outreach. ASP Conference Series. No.457. Astronomical Society of the Pacific , San Francisco, CA, pp. 329-333. ISBN 978-1-58381-796-4.

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How many times have you gotten a question from the general public, or read a news story, and concluded that “they just don’t understand how real science works?” One really good way to get the word out about how science works is to have more people experience the process of scientific research. Since 2004, the way we have chosen to do this is to provide authentic research experiences for teachers using real data (the program used to be called the Spitzer Teacher Program for Teachers and Students, which in 2009 was rechristened the NASA/IPAC Teacher Archive Research Program, or NITARP). We partner small groups of teachers with a mentor astronomer, they do research as a team, write up a poster, and present it at an American Astronomical Society (AAS) meeting. The teachers incorporate this experience into their classroom, and their experiences color their teaching for years to come, influencing hundreds of students per teacher. This program differs from other similar programs in several important ways. First, each team works on an original, unique project. There are no canned labs here! Second, each team presents their results in posters at the AAS, in science sessions (not outreach sessions). The posters are distributed throughout the meeting, in amongst other researchers’ work; the participants are not “given a free pass” because they are teachers. Finally, the “product” of this project is the scientific result, not any sort of curriculum packet. The teachers adapt their project to their classroom environment, and we change the way they think about science and scientists.

Item Type:Book Section
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Rebull, L. M.0000-0001-6381-515X
Additional Information:© 2012 Astronomical Society of the Pacific. We gratefully acknowledge funding from the NASA Astrophysics Data Program and the IPAC Archives.
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Series Name:ASP Conference Series
Issue or Number:457
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20121203-131203340
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:35770
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:03 Dec 2012 22:19
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 04:31

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