2013 Annual Science Report

University of Hawaii, Manoa Reporting  |  SEP 2012 – AUG 2013

EPO Activity: 2013 HI STAR Program

Project Progress

HI STAR (Hawaii Student Teacher Astronomy Research) summer program has the goal of preparing middle and high school students to conduct astronomy research projects to encourage them to select STEM majors upon entering college. They must demonstrate evidence of interest in astronomy. Besides having physics and astronomy lectures and activities, they learn to use astrometry (position) and photometry (brightness) software, essential research skills. (Fig 1 – Comet/asteroid group using Astrometrica software) They work on group projects on extrasolar planets, comets and asteroids, stars and nebula, and galaxies with astronomer mentors during the week. (Fig 2 – Exoplanet group having fun while working.) These students follow up on their projects to complete and enter them in school/district science fairs the following school year. This entitles them to return to HI STAR for more summers. Their goal is to advance to the state and international science fairs. A longitudinal study has been ongoing with a database of their college majors to measure the outcome of this program.