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Paper: The Hartnell Astronomy Short Course: Bolstering the Scientific Research Preparation of Community College Students
Volume: 436, Learning from Inquiry In Practice
Page: 364
Authors: Metevier, A. J.; Joggerst, C. C.; Moth, P.; Lotz, J.; Pollack, L.; Noeske, K.; Lopez, L.; Laver, C.; Rubin, K.; Ammons, M.; Laird, E.; Newton, A.
Abstract: Community college students who express an interest in science and engineering have excellent learning opportunities in the classroom, but rarely have access to forefront research experiences. To address this need, we developed the Hartnell Astronomy Short Course to provide Hartnell community college students with an authentic research experience on their home campus. Hartnell is a federally designated Hispanic Serving Institution, and thus draws a population of students that are underrepresented in the sciences. The one-week, intensive short course centered on an innovative inquiry activity in which student investigators used telescope images and spectra to study their own questions about fundamental galaxy properties, the differences between “normal” and “active” galaxies, and evidence for dark matter, with guidance from instructor-advisors. We supported the inquiry activity with lectures and laboratory activities on light and spectra, cosmology, and extragalactic topics, as well as community-building and career-oriented activities. Over the four years in which the short course was taught (2004 – 2007), over 60 students were served.
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