NETWORK FOR ASTRONOMY IN EDUCATION
Starting in 1996, Phelps Dodge Corporation, the National Academy of
Science, Slipher Fund (administered by Space Telescope Science Institute
provided seed funds to start astronomy programs for our schools in Grant County, NM.
Immediate programs included the Planetarium program (the STARLAB from the
Alamogordo Space Museum). This was funded by Phelps Dodge and NFO
These funding sources have dried up.
However, the new exciting news involves the second generation telescope at
NFO. The consortium between Silver School, The University of Askansas, and
the Arkansas School for math and Science has funded a new instrument that
allows students and teachers to use a research grade telescope from
It is operational, and several students have been able to pass a set of
basic astromical science learning exercises and quizes, then use the
Observatory to take their own images. We are hoping to get an IDEA Grant
in early 2006 to fund high speed computers to help Silver Schools use this new tool.
We are also the area coordinator for Project Astro which will bring astronomers
into the classroom.
Each of these projects can be done using simple equipment during or after
school. We want to compile some of the results in these projects to produce
publishable scientific papers. We will also be reporting results from
schools, classes, and students on these pages.
1. Finding one's latitude using the sun. - by Amy
2. Day-to-day variation from the mean solar day
- David Beem
3. Why do we always see one side of the moon? - by Amy
4. Measuring Light Pollution - by Amy Libby
5. Is the moon always the same height in the sky? - by Amy Libby
6. Ever noticed that the rising and setting moon
much bigger. Try and measure it
SIDEWALK SOLAR SYSTEM
Sidewalk Solar System, a solar system scale
model, is Swan Street in Silver City. It was installed in 2001 and has
provided many classrooms with the opportunity to 'experience' the enormity
of space. The Sun is 18 inches in diameter and and walking down the sidewalk
1.25 miles, one arrives at Pluto. All the planets (to the same scale) are
displayed on bronze plaques imbedded in the sidewalk. Many useful facts are
explained along the way to help in the experience.
The Middle and High School Electronic Scientific Journal
We want to start a peer reviewed scientific journal for Middle and High
School students. We are interested in receiving input and volunteers to get
this project off the ground. Since the papers will be peer reviewed, we
need a cadre of students at each grade level, with teacher support. All
submission and review will be done electronically, to speed publication
Other links with astronomical education projects: