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December 3-5

Embracing the Future: Astronomy Teaching and Public Engagement

ASP2020: A Virtual Conference

ASP2020: A Virtual Conference
Preliminary Schedule


Click here for the Schedule-at-a-Glance
Astronomy Laboratory Exercises in a Remote World
We present a set of online resources for astronomical lab work geared primarily toward college non-science majors. Eight two-week exercises cover a range of solar system, stellar, and extragalactic topics through hands-on physical experiments and analysis of images and spectra. Additional spectral analysis tools provide a framework for longer-term studies and those by science majors, with continuum- and line-fitting options for stellar, galactic, and quasar spectra with built-in archives and own uploaded data samples.

Each lab exercise is supported by a self-contained chapter, a video tutorial showcasing materials construction and usage for experiments and major scientific themes, platform-independent HTML5 apps providing direct access to astronomical data without software packages or installation requirements, interactive report templates, an instructor supplement with learning objectives and teaching tips, and supporting information on scientific keywords and relevant mathematical materials.

We will present representative materials from several labs and discuss materials usage by instructors, including pilot programs at the high school level and via home schooling, from across the globe. We will suggest pragmatic adaptations for pandemic usage, including constraints due to limitations on students resources and mobility. We will describe our collaboration process, including asynchronous instructor workshops and a pilot program to develop exercise variants to match specific needs from instructors (e.g., minimal-math projects).

Our materials may be explored further at http://astronomy.nmsu.edu/geas (the GEAS project at NMSU). Interested parties are invited to request login access there for themselves and students to fully access all materials.
Conference Strand: Online K-16 Teaching & Learning



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