Education & Outreach
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EDUCATION FEATURE:
Bringing the frontiers of research into the undergraduate classroom

The New Cosmology: From Quantum Fuzz to the Accelerating Universe
Chautauqua Short Course for College Teachers
October 26-28, 2001 (rescheduled from week of 9/11/01)
 

INSTRUCTORS:
Michael S. Turner
Randall H. Landsberg
Stephan S. Meyer
John E. Carlstrom
Bruce Winstein
Scott Dodelson
    Evalyn Gates
Wayne Hu
Sean Carroll
Mark U. SubbaRao
Roger Dixon
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Chautauqua logo
A Chautauqua course is intended to communicate the latest advances in research to undergraduate college teachers of science so that they, in turn, can translate it to the classroom.
The CfCP offered a three-day intensive short course on cosmology for college faculty. The course was designed to revitalize undergraduate curricula by communicating the latest advances in cosmological research to classroom teachers. The course drew upon the experimental and theoretical strengths of the center and the CfCP's appreciation of their interplay in modern cosmology. This course was a resounding success (see evaluations).

CMB experiment
[click image to enlarge]
Center members offered participants a solid background and insights into the latest advances in research. Laboratory sessions provided hands-on experiences with leading edge technology (e.g., detecting the cosmic microwave background, CMB) and practical exercises (e.g., use of the web-based Sloan Digital Sky Server, SDSS). Field trips to Fermi National Laboratory and the Adler Planetarium provided additional dimensions to the course (e.g., science on a grand scale and public communication).

 

   Adler Planetarium logo

Fermi logo

CARA logo

Our collaborators — the Chautauqua Organization, Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, and CARA — enriched the short-course through their involvement and with the leveraged resources they provided. The 35 participants were primarily faculty from non-research undergraduate institutions but included three local high school teachers and three staff members from the American Museum of Natural History who are working on a cosmology exhibit. Course evaluations indicated that The New Cosmology reinvigorated the faculty and gave them practical tools to bring the discoveries at the frontiers of physics back into their classrooms.

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