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Beyond Pretty Pictures: A Remote Telescope Manager's Advice by Richard Gelderman


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Presented at the GHOU 2018 conference in Vienna, Austria from 13-15 August.

Published in: Education
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Beyond Pretty Pictures: A Remote Telescope Manager's Advice by Richard Gelderman

  1. 1. Beyond Pretty Pictures: A Remote Telescope Manager's Advice Richard Gelderman Western Kentucky University
  2. 2. 1.3-m Robotically Controlled Telescope $4,000,000 observatory $50,000/year budget
  3. 3. A broad base of participation... • All over the world we find examples of youth sports leagues being established for a new sport. • They provide a scaffolded series of increasing challenges to inspire and motivate the players to build their skills, as well as a framework of competitions and opportunities for players to test their mastery of the game.
  4. 4. Correspondingly, the number and satisfaction of the participants in astronomy-based science education will continue to increase if we provide: (1) open and easy entry level recreational opportunities; (2) a series of challenging activities with steadily increasing challenge and reward; and (3) high level competitive experiences to allow the best, most motivated students to test their limits and progress toward rewarding careers in our high-tech culture.
  5. 5. Steadily increasing the level of challenge is accomplished through carefully designed experiences and play. Skilled coaches must guide the practice and games so that everyone gets the plenty of opportunity to learn. Drills must be both engaging and challenging, with plenty of flexibility to explore various talents while allowing the less precocious players to catch up.
  6. 6. • National, Developmental Teams (USA U16 soccer team) Ø Autonomous observatories à student research projects • Traveling, Competitive Leagues (summer training camps) Ø Computer controlled telescopes à peer presentations • Local, Competitive Leagues (try-out based “club” leagues) Ø GalileoScopes, smartphones & Web Accessed Observatories à ownership of pretty pictures • Recreational Leagues (everyone welcome, city leagues) Ø Internet and hardcopy resources à classroom activities
  7. 7. • The students who play at low levels with astronomy will be the base of scientifically literate citizens that support tomorrow’s world. Youths who played in Recreation League sports are the base for Professional leagues
  8. 8. Good sketching requires accurate rendering of: Ø shape and proportion (relative height versus width), Ø separation and orientation, Ø lightness and darkness, and Ø color (possibly). “We need to use all our faculties to the full – to assimilate with the scientist’s brain, the poet’s heart, and the painter’s eyes.” -- Jacob Bronowski, The Ascent of Man
  9. 9. William Parsons, 3rd Earl of Rosse (1800 – 1867) oversaw construction in 1845 of Leviathan, a 72-inch telescope, world's largest until the early 20th century.
  10. 10. Hand over the learning experience! "Holmes, you see everything." "I see no more than you, but I have trained myself to notice what I see." -- Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventure of the Blanched Soldier