***Discounted tickets are sold out. Regular registration still open as of 1/1/2023
**Last minute discounted registration for NEW registrants - an anonymous donor has offered matching funds to give half scholarships to 5 teachers. Discounted price as of 12/29/22: $425
The Astronomy Modeling with Exoplanets course will give teacher participants a 45-hour distance learning experience that will ground them in the use of the Modeling Method of Instruction. This course follows AMTA’s initial face-to-face Astronomy Modeling Workshop in 2019 and utilizes newly updated curriculum resources that focus on the modern-day scientific pursuit of discovering and exploring planets around other star systems: exoplanets.
First participants will develop models of space and time that enable them to locate objects and map space from the perspective of Earth. Next, they will examine motion and forces in order to develop a generalizable model of orbital motion. Then, they will construct both particle and wave models of light as a mode of energy transfer (and information transfer) via radiation. Finally, participants will develop a model of cosmic evolution, to better understand the history and fate of our universe. In this final unit of study, we will consider the probability of life elsewhere in the universe, on exoplanets, by deriving the famous SETI Drake Equation.
Participants will develop skills and knowledge in observational astronomy, image acquisition, stellar photometry, data and image analysis, and how telescopes work. In the process they will uncover a number of basic physics concepts: forces, measurement, motion, gravity, light, electricity & magnetism. They will access remote telescopes and collaborate with professional exoplanet astronomers in their own exoplanet observations. Some teachers may even be able to get access to physical telescopes for classroom use in exoplanet observing.
Dates: January 18 - May 3, 2023 (end day may change)
Meeting days: Wednesday
Meeting times: 7-10 pm EST, 6-9 pm CST, 5-8 pm MST, 4-7 pm PST
Leaders: Colleen Megowan-Romanowicz (CA) and Daniel Peluso (CA)
Costs: $850, includes a one-year AMTA membership or extension.
Optional graduate-level credits: Up to 3 credits available at $79/credit hour through the University of Pacific
Meet the leaders:
Dr. Colleen Megowan-Romanowicz. Colleen is a veteran physics teacher who built a highly successful physics first program in her high school prior to learning Modeling Instruction at a 1998 Modeling Workshop at UC Davis. She worked with a team that developed Modeling Physics second semester materials in 1999 and later moved to Arizona to pursue her masters and PhD at Arizona State University under the direction of David Hestenes. As a faculty member at ASU she secured NSF funding to build a Masters of Natural Science degree program grounded in Modeling Instruction for middle school science and mathematics teachers, where she mentored over 60 teachers. In 2011 she became AMTA's first Executive Officer, guiding the organization through five years of impressive growth and development. She is currently AMTA's first Senior Fellow, and continues to lead our research efforts.
Daniel Peluso is an astrophysics PhD candidate with the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) studying/researching remotely from the Bay Area, California. Peluso’s PhD project is multi-disciplinary focusing on NASA TESS exoplanet follow-ups and astronomy education research. For astronomy education, Peluso is developing an exoplanet citizen science network for education using remote and easy-to-use digital telescopes so teachers and students can observe exoplanets and learn science by doing science. Peluso has several years of experience as a high school science teacher and hopes to connect with educators and students from diverse and underserved backgrounds to build this network. He currently works for SETI, and part of his work there is to help manage their University College Astronomy Network (UCAN) program, which places research-grade imaging telescopes in colleges across the nation. Peluso also enjoys photography, music, film, and is an active singer-songwriter and musician.