Science Teachers Will Learn from the Experts

By Carmelle Druchniak
UNH News Bureau

Those interested in covering the teacher workshop should contact Carmelle Druchniak, UNH News Bureau, 603-862-1462. A list of participating schools follows this release.

DURHAM, N.H. -- Elementary and high school science teachers from around the state will be meeting later this month with world class researchers who could write the very textbooks their students use in class.

The University of New Hampshire is sponsoring a free, one-day workshop on astronomy education for teachers in grades five through 12 Tuesday, Sept. 14, in conjunction with the 5th Compton Symposium on Gamma-Ray Astronomy, scheduled for Sept. 15-17. All available slots are filled for the workshop, to be held at the Sheraton Harborside Hotel in Portsmouth, also site of the symposium.

Hosted by UNH and NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, the Compton Symposium brings together researchers from around the world, and some of those researchers will be taking part in the planned teacher workshop.

"The purpose of the teacher workshop is to provide New Hampshire educators with valuable ideas and resources for the teaching of astronomical concepts," says Mark McConnell, research associate professor in the UNH Space Science Center, located within the UNH Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans and Space.

In addition, astronomical researchers from both UNH and Dartmouth College will provide participants with an overview of astronomical research taking place within New Hampshire. "This will provide an opportunity to foster connections between local educators and researchers with the goal of forming long-term partnerships," says McConnell.

The workshop is offered through the N.H. Space Grant Consortium.

Part of the workshop will include hands-on activities to acquaint educators with basic concepts in astronomy education and provide them with suitable curriculum materials. Many of these activities will be led by Douglas Duncan of the University of Chicago, national education coordinator of the American Astronomical Society.

In addition to the classroom activities, there will be several short lectures by local researchers designed to provide an overview of the variety of astronomical research taking place in the state of New Hampshire. These will include lecturers from both UNH and Dartmouth College.

The program will include a survey of the electromagnetic spectrum and how it is used in astronomy, including both visible and invisible parts of the spectrum. Gamma ray astronomy, the subject of the associated technical symposium, covers a large segment of the invisible region of the spectrum. Studies of this invisible radiation have provided astronomers with insights into various high-energy phenomena, including gamma ray bursts, black holes, neutrons stars, supernovae, quasars and solar flares.

Event organizers include McConnell; Eleanor Abrams, UNH Department of Education; Martina Arndt, UNH graduate student in physics; Jan Derby, Christa McAuliffe Planetarium; Douglas Duncan, Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Chicago; Chris Harper, Pinkerton Academy; Sally Jensen, Holderness Central School; James Ryan, UNH Department of Physics; and Gary Wegner, Dartmouth College Department of Physics and Astronomy.

Astronomy Education Workshop
Sponsored by UNH Space Science Center
in conjunction with the 5th Compton Symposium

September 14, 1999

Participating schools

Alvirne High School Hudson

Bow Memorial School Bow

Coe-Brown Northwood Academy Northwood

Comprehensive Grammar School Methuen, MA

Conant High School Jaffrey

Concord High School Concord

Crisp Elementary School Nashua

Deerfield Community School Deerfield

Dover Children's Home Dover

Dover Middle School Dover

Ellis School Fremont

Gilford Middle & High School Gilford

Goffstown High School Goffstown

Goshen-Lempster Coop School East Lempster

Green Acres School Manchester

Hampton Academy Junior High Hampton

Harvard Elementary School Harvard, MA

Holderness Central School Holderness

Josiah Bartlett Elementary School Bartlett

Keene Middle School Keene

Kimball School Concord

Lancaster Middle School Lancaster

Lebanon Junior High Lebanon

Maple Street School Contoocook

Mastricola Middle School Merrimack

Miles River Middle School South Hamilton, MA

Outreach Center Plymouth

Oyster River High School Durham

Pennichuck Junior High Nashua

Pinkerton Academy Derry

Rochester Middle School Rochester

Rundlett Middle School Concord

Sacred Heart School Hampton

Salem High School Salem

Sant Bani School Sanbornton

Sunapee Middle High School Sunapee

Whitefield School Whitefield

Wilkins Elementary School Amherst

Woodsville High School Woodsville

September 2, 1999

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