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    Twelve teachers and four Clarion University students attended a Clarion University’s Science in Motion Program for “Integrating Astronomy into the Curriculum.” The activity attracted another visitor, newly elected State Representative Donna Oberlander (R-63).

oberlander - spuck - smith
From left:  Science in Motion's Karen Spuck and Bruce
Smith with Representative Donna Oberlander.
    “We are very happy Representative Oberlander could work us into her schedule,” said Karen Spuck from Clarion University Science in Motion. “This is her first exposure to our program. Recently retired Representative Fred McIlhattan was a strong supporter of Science in Motion and helped fund the program statewide. We hope Representative Oberlander will see the value of Science in Motion too.”
    Oberlander talked with the teachers attending the workshop and joined in some of the activities.
    “Integrating Astronomy into the Curriculum” was organized by Science in Motion as an activity marking 2009 as the International Year of Astronomy, as declared by the U.S. Congress. One of the primary objectives of the International Year of Astronomy is to ensure every person has at least one astronomy education related experience during 2009, prompting Science in Motion and the Oil Region Astronomical Society to present the workshop.
    Tim Spuck facilitated the workshop, which focused on:
    •RCOP – Internet Telescope:  Participants learned how to access the telescope in Perth Observatory in Australia and use the data to implement curriculum. Perth Observatory, Clarion University Science in Motion, and Oil Regional Astronomical Society, students and teachers can access a robotic telescope in real time from their own schools. The 12-hour time difference allows the telescope to be used during the regular school day.
    •Lunt Solar H-alpha Telescope and Celestron C8 NEXTSTAR Telescope:  Participants learned how to use these telescopes available though Science in Motion. The Lunt telescope can be used during the daytime for observing solar flares, priminances, and other activity on the Sun. The Celestron is used for evening observations.
    •Hands-On University Image Analysis Software:  Participants learned how to generate and interpret light curves for a variety of astronomical objects, including stars, asteroids, and supernovae. The ways objects in space change brightness tell about its physical characteristics.
    Attending the workshop were:
    Michelle Adams, Brookville School District.
    Emily Dusch and Deborah Snyder, Kittanning School District.
    David Everett, Keystone School District.
    Doug Kennedy and Lynn Williams, Cranberry School District.
    Wayne Kocher, Clarion School District.
    Christine Linnan and Justin Ochs, Clarion-Limestone School District.
    Scott Miller and Al Pryor, Union School District.
    Christie Orlosky, Elderton School District.
    Lynn Williams, Cranberry School District.
    Participating teachers received Act 48 credits. Science in Motion paid for the substitute teachers at their home school districts.
    Clarion University students attending including:
    Matt Oknefski, a senior secondary education/social studies and geology major, is currently doing his student teaching. He is a son of Sue Oakes of Wilcox and is a graduate of Kane High School.
    Poornima Krishnamurthy, wife of Clarion University physics instructor, Vasudeva Rao Aravind, is a prospective graduate student in science education. Poornima graduated with a degree in physics from
science in motion instruction
Tim Spuck does some hands on instruction with the teachers.
 Pondicherry University, Pondicherry, India.
    Nick Tutolo, a graduate student seeking a master’s degree in science education, is a son of Jeri Tutolo of Lower Burrell and is a graduate of Burrell High School.
    Lyndsey O’Polka, a senior environmental biology major, is a daughter of Holly Johnson of Franklin and is a graduate of Venango Catholic High School.
    Clarion University’s Science in Motion Program is based on the Science in Motion program developed by Juniata College in 1987. Each institution in the consortium uses Science in Motion vehicles to visit urban and rural high school science classes, allowing students to gain hands-on experience with analytical equipment most secondary schools do not have. It also provides school districts with access to science educators and advanced curricula without having to buy new equipment or hire new faculty. The Clarion University program visits more than 18 school districts in western Pennsylvania.
    Clarion University is the high-achieving, nationally recognized, comprehensive university that delivers a personal and challenging academic experience.

2/26/2009 3:45 PM

Science in Motion program attracts state representative