Monday, April 18, 2016

Using Small Telescopes for Education.

I'm sitting in the "Robotic Telescopes in Education" workshop here in Leiden. It's just before the ALMA deadline, I'm beat from Mister M's 4th birthday party and there were some shenanigans I am apparently supposed to put up with in Academia that had my headspace a bit off.  But here we go!

The use of educational telescopes in outreach, classrooms and college education is something I got to thinking about since a recent visit to Moore's Observatory in Louisville. 

Las Cumbras is an amazing resource. Easy to schedule, essentially a single telescopes, spread around the globe. Edward Gomez gave us a rundown of the project and immediately, some ideas start spreading in my brain (occasionally bumping up against me stewing because of that unrelated issue).

Matt Kenworthy's projects are those that can benefit scientifically. Given the fact I'm an extra-Galactic astronomer, I cannot realistically think of much that dovetails with what I've been doing so far.

But that is not the use we should be thinking here. How can one use this online resource in classrooms? Pick something bright, pick something that can be observed to change.

And if it also does something for science, then we'd be really talking!

We'll hear from Pedro Russo next about integrating local facilities into classroom activities. Some sort of project where (highschool) students can use local and LCOGT telescopes to do something that in aggregate benefits astronomy. That is my end goal here.

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