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Paper: The 2009 Akamai Observatory Short Course Inquiry Activity: “Design and Build a Telescope”
Volume: 436, Learning from Inquiry In Practice
Page: 131
Authors: Sonnett, S.; Mills, B.; Hamilton, J. C.; Kaluna, H.
Abstract: The Akamai Observatory Short Course (AOSC) is a prelude to an eight-week long summer internship program on the island of Hawaii, during which students take part in research projects relating to the Mauna Kea Observatories. The short course consists of several inquiry-based laboratory activities. In 2009, sixteen undergraduate students who were raised in Hawaii and had developed an interest in science-, technology-, engineering-, and math-related careers were selected to participate. Guided by feedback from previous mentors in the internship program, this year’s instructing team chose to design a completely new laboratory experience for the students called “Design and Build a Telescope.” Unlike most other inquiry activities in this conference volume, this activity was designed to foster a huge set of engineering-based skills, of immediate practical use to students in their subsequent internship projects. In all, the activity was remarkably successful with minor shortcomings. This paper discusses the implementation of our activity and reflects upon its strengths.
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