Research Experiences for Teachers and Undergraduates
The summer of 2001 marks the beginning of two new outreach programs
at the Institute for Astronomy, Research Experiences for Undergraduates
(REU) and Research Experiences for Teachers (RET). The REU program
is supported by a five-year grant from the National Science Foundation
(NSF). The NSF is also providing supplementary funds for the RET
program. Jim Heasley is the program chair for the NSF grant, and
Karen Meech is the assistant program chair.
Back row: REU Program Chair Jim Heasley, and REU students
Brett Unks, Ann Marie Cody, and Mark Pitts. Middle row: REU
students Andrea Urban, Joy Lambert, Meghan McGarry, and RET
participant Mary Kadooka. Front row: RET participant Tom Chun
and REU Assistant Program Chair Karen Meech.
The REU program provides undergraduates considering a career in
science with the opportunity to engage in research with professional
astronomers working on cutting-edge problems in astrophysics. The
REU students are full-time research assistants to a faculty mentor
for 1012 weeks during the summer and work on specific aspects
of an ongoing research program.
The REU program was advertised over the Internet and by direct
mailings to over 800 colleges and universities across the country.
The response to our recruiting was a whopping 147 complete applications.
From this pool, six students were selected for summer internships
at the IfA. The students receive travel money and a stipend to cover
The six students come from Harvard, Alfred University, UC Berkeley,
Ohio State, North Carolina State, and the University of Arizona.
Their IfA faculty mentors are Ann Boesgaard, Dave Tholen, Mike Liu,
Bob Joseph, Jeff Kuhn, and George Herbig.
The REU students are joined by teachers Tom Chun (Kamehameha Schools)
and Mary Kadooka (McKinley High School). Both are former participants
in the TOPS teacher enhancement workshops (see article on page 4).
The teachers are working with Drs. Meech and Heasley on the analysis
of observations of Kuiper Belt objects obtained at the UH 2.2-meter
telescope and are participating in this ongoing observing program.
The purpose of the project the RET participants are undertaking
is to begin developing a science curriculum that will make use of
observations taken on the Faulkes Telescope, an educational/outreach
telescope that has been proposed for Haleakala. Since the UH 2.2-meter
telescope is about the same size as the proposed Faulkes Telescope,
the observations approximate those of the Faulkes.
The REU and RET programs have received additional support from
Sun Microsystems, which has generously loaned the IfA a Sunray server
and eight workstation displays for participants' use.