Enrique Gómez
Enrique Gómez

Wednesday 22nd June, 2022

Talks & Workshops

Enrique Gómez – Letting the Universe Erupt into your Classroom

  16:00 - 16:15

The introduction of the robotic telescopes into the classroom offers the opportunity for students to engage with introductory astronomy content in new ways. One such way is when an optical transient event such as a nova, supernova or cataclysmic variable eruption occurs in the middle of the term. In a class using robotic telescopes, students can be invited to apply their observing skills to collect data for such an event as part of their learning experience. I report on an approach for integrating the Our Place in the Universe! robotic telescope lab curriculum into a regular semester lecture rather than in the separate lab section while structuring the lecture content around this lab sequence. We also supplement this lab with an additional whole-class cataclysmic variable monitoring program where students do photometry on a dwarf across the semester. We also report on how we incorporate students into the monitoring of unexpected transient events in the middle of the semester such as Nova Cassiopeia 2021, SN2021aefx and an initially suspected nova, AT2021afpi, that later was recognized as likely unknown dwarf nova in outburst. We discuss the way we structure our course schedule centered on lab activities and teaching image processing and data extracting techniques and how to create the space in the class schedule to take advantage of transient events when they happen.

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