Poster Presentation Astronomical Society of Australia Annual Scientific Meeting including HWWS 2013

A Review of High School Astronomy Student Research Projects over the last two decades. (#220)

Michael T Fitzgerald 1
  1. Macquarie University, Chatswood, NSW, Australia

The technological capacity for relevant and authentic high school-based student astronomical research using research grade telescopes and data has exploded over the last twenty years. From the early 1990s when the earliest remote controllable small (12-24") optical telescopes staggered onto pre-internet bulletin boards up until the present day where sophisticated large aperture (1m-2m+) optical, as well as a variety of radio, telescopes are able to be accessed remotely and robotically via broadband, many projects have attempted to leverage these technologies to undertake student-led research within the classroom. While the technologies themselves have been largely engineering successes, effective educational use of these technologies in a high school classroom context currently lags behind, although not without their notable successes.

In this talk I will briefly summarise the results of a recently completed review, based on a deep literature review as well as interviews with most of the key project personnel, of high-school focussed astronomy research projects over the last 20 years. I will outline the major projects and their successes, but will largely focus on outlining those factors uncovered that prevent such projects from being as successful in motivating and educating high school students as their potential suggests.