Astronomy and Cosmology: Stars and Stories

Summer
Summer 2020 (Full Session)
Olympia
Olympia
Daytime EveningWeekend
Day, Evening, and Weekend
Freshman-Senior
Freshman–Senior
Class Size: 17
4812
Credits per quarter

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Taught by

Rebecca Chamberlain
literature, writing, storytelling

Astronomy and Cosmology: Stars and Stories (8 credits)

Dates:  July 27-Aug. 24  (SECOND Session)

Mondays. 6-10--Online classes & virtual stargazing

Wednesdays. 8-10:30   Stargazing on campus (conditions permitting)

Join us for adventures in astronomy combined with a study of science, story, and sustainability.  We will modify our program as we explore inquiry-based science education (STEAM), mythology, archeo-astronomy, literature, philosophy, history, and cosmological traditions. This summer, students will focus on developing individual projects as they participate in activities from creating podcasts of star-stories to working with virtual planetarium programs and star-finding. We will employ qualitative and quantitative methods of observation, investigation, virtual and hands-on activities, and strategies that foster inquiry-based learning and engage the imagination. Through readings, lectures, films, workshops, discussions, and presentations, participants will deepen their understanding of the role that cosmology plays in our lives through the stories we tell, the observations we make, and the questions we ask.

 

Modified Field Studies

Students will participate in virtual and modified “in-person” field-studies as they develop observation skills, make naked-eye observations, and learn to use binoculars, star-maps, navigation guides, and operate Dobsonian telescopes or virtual programs to identify objects in the night sky. On Monday nights, we will conduct star-finding sessions remotely. On Wednesday nights, we will meet on campus weather permitting, and will follow social distancing protocols. Students who are not able to attend “in-person” sessions will be given remote options. Students who want to maximize their learning are encouraged to work with their own binoculars and check-out or purchase telescopes to use outside of class (optional).

 

Safety modifications will include: wearing masks; spreading out observation sites; reserving or checking-out telescopes or binoculars for use by individual students; wiping down exposed areas after each session; and we will explore the use of UV light to sterilize sensitive equipment. Each person will use their own 1.25" 25mm eyepiece over the quarter, and these eyepieces will not be shared. Students will use their own vehicles if we are permitted to make a trip to an observatory an hour from Olympia (optional).  

 

Optional Astronomy Research Group Contract  (4 credits)

DATES: June 25-Aug. 13(FULL session, weeks 1-8)

Thursdays, 6-8 PM Remote Online learning, Canvas and Zoom.


The Institute for Student Astronomical Research (InStAR) is hosting a 4-credit online contract for Evergreen students who want to participate in astronomy research. Projects can include binary star research, exoplanets, or variable stars. To be successful, students must complete the InStAR online coursework and demonstrate their understanding of scientific and astronomical research methods. All sessions and learning will be virtual. Students must work as a team to select a binary star or other target, write a proposal, conduct observations with a remotely-located robotic telescope, analyze data, write a peer-reviewed scientific paper for publication in the  Journal of Double Star Observations (JDSO), Astronomy, Theory, Observations, and Methods Journal (ATOM),  or Robotic Telescope Student Research and Education Journal (RTSRE). They will also give a public online presentation of their findings. Students will work online and remotely with Rachel Freed, Ph.D. Candidate, Astronomy Education, Russell Genet, Ph.D., Research Advisor, Evergreen faculty, and Greener Grads who have successfully completed the program.  Students who demonstrate advanced work can earn upper-division credit. Course Fee: $350 (InStAR Registration and text.) 

 

12 Credits:

Students are encouraged to take both sections: 1) “Stars and Stories: Astronomy and Cosmology” (8 credits), and 2) “Research Group Contract: (4 credits).  This gives students background, experience, and skills in astronomy education, fieldwork, research, writing, and publication, as well as a complex understanding of the relationship between the arts, sciences, humanities, and culture. 

Join us for summer adventures in astronomy combined with a study of science, story, and sustainability.  We will explore inquiry-based science education (STEAM), mythology, archeo-astronomy, literature, philosophy, history, and cosmological traditions. Students will participate in a variety of activities from telling star-stories to working with virtual planetarium programs, and star-finding. We will employ qualitative and quantitative methods of observation, investigation, virtual and hands-on activities, and strategies that foster inquiry-based learning and engage the imagination. Through readings, lectures, films, workshops, discussions, and presentations, participants will deepen their understanding of the principles of astronomy, and refine their understanding of the role that cosmology plays in our lives through the stories we tell, the observations we make, and the questions we ask.

 

Students can register for 4 credits (research only), 8 credits (Stars and Stories), or 12 credits (both sections). 

This offering will prepare you for careers and advanced study in:

astronomy, education, public programs and interpretive work (museums, parks, observatories, outdoor education, and leadership), writing, literature, philosophy, cultural studies, mythology, storytelling, scientific research and writing, sustainability studies, cultural and community studies, environmental policy, and the arts.  

4812

Credits per quarter

Online learning:
  • Complete Online Learning - This offering delivers all of its instruction online.
Fees:

4 credits: $350 which includes InStAR Registration and texts.

8 credits: $150 for stargazing equipment

12 credits: $500 to cover both fees listed above)

Freshman-Senior
Class Standing: Freshman–Senior
Class Size: 17
Daytime EveningWeekend

Scheduled for: Day, Evening, and Weekend

Final schedule and room assignments:

First meeting:

Thursday, June 25, 2020 - 6:00 pm
Remote/Online

Located in: Olympia