LORRAINE WALSH
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SENSING THE RADIO SKY

Radio astronomy research - illustration, interactive media, animation

Co-Principal Investigator for National Science Foundation grant. Title of grant: MPS Internships in Public Science Education (IPSE): Sensing the Radio Sky. This interdisciplinary grant was awarded to faculty and students from Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI), Furman University Physics Department, and UNC Asheville New Media and Physics Departments. Dr. Michael Castelaz, Science Director at PARI, Principal Investigator.

The goals of this unique partnership extended to designing and developing a planetarium program titled Sensing The Radio Sky to teach students grades 9 -12 about radio astronomy. The grant included residencies at PARI over the course of two summers where faculty worked extensively with UNC Asheville and Furman University student interns to realize and visualize digital data of the radio sky. The images were developed onto a cylinder for projection on a portable planetarium dome. The team also created lesson plans, animations about optical and radio astronomy, and a web site for a virtual learning environment.