In 2017, this workshop has received funding from the National Science Foundation to support teachers. Scholarships will be available for full support of attendance, including travel, lodging, and meals for teachers whose districts do not support those costs. The only exception is the $100 registration fee, which we are unable to waive.
Teachers who teach in districts that serve students from traditionally underrepresented and underserved populations will be given first priority for all scholarship funds. Pennsylvania teachers who come from districts that are part of CIU#10 are particularly encouraged to apply.
Required Pre-course work:
- Pre-course Reading, copies of the textbooks will be mailed to you in order to complete this reading
- Pre-course Questions, to be turned in on the first day of the workshop
- Final agenda (updated July 17 2017)
Here are links to the resources used all week:
- Box folder with resources from the workshop (password required, shared at the workshop)
- Lecture Tutorials for Introductory Astronomy
- Chandra Observatory Education Resources page
- Stellar Cycles image organization activity
- NASA Goddard Imagine the Universe
- Anatomy of a Black Hole guide (tinfoil balloon experiment)
- phet.colorado.edu simulations
- Perimeter Institute’s GR and Black Hole demonstrations
- GPS and Relativity Lecture notes from Rick Pogge at Ohio State
- PBS NOVA Elegant Universe site for Brian Greene’s show that includes relativity
- NASA Black Hole Math problems book (PDF) — copy also in the box folder
- Universe Sandbox2
- Discount price version for educators at Teacher Gaming (need to create an account to get the discounted price)
- GEMS Guide “The Invisible Universe” (from NASA Swift Mission E/PO)
- Glenn’s Google spreadsheet for the “How Much Energy Is That?” activity
- Hubblesite Black Holes interactive and encyclopedia
- Andrew Hamilton’s movies of journeys into black holes
- Robert Nemiroff’s visualizations of black holes and neutron stars
In a category of its own:
Guest Speakers with contact email addresses (add @psu.edu to the email addresses below)
- Drew Miles (Rocket Lab Tour) — email address: dmiles
- Chien-Ting Chen (Active Galaxies) — email address: ctchen
- Derek Fox (Gravitational Waves) — email address: dfox
- John Nousek (Swift) — email address: jan2
Other resources that were mentioned but not demonstrated directly:
- Astronomy Picture of the Day
- NASA Goddard Science Visualization Studio
- Zooniverse.org citizen science activities
- PhD Comics – supermassive black holes explained
- ESO activity on measuring the mass of Sgr A*
- Link to the set of resources we collected the last time we ran the workshop: past workshop offering.
This workshop is intended to introduce teachers to the predicted properties of black holes and the astronomical evidence for their existence. Along the way we will discuss modern ideas about the nature of space, time, and gravity. Some key topics to be covered include the following:
- What is a black hole?
- Predicted properties of black holes
- Stars and their fates
- How to detect a black hole
- Black holes in our backyard
- Gamma-ray bursts and their relation to black-hole formation
- The supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way Galaxy
- Supermassive black holes in galactic nuclei
- Black-hole pyrotechnics: Active galaxies and jets
- Feedback from supermassive black holes into galaxies
- Spinning black holes
- Hawking radiation: Are black holes really black?
- Singularities. What’s inside a black hole?
- Black holes and cosmology
The program for this workshop will include lectures on the subject material; discussions about pedagogical approaches; hands-on activities; examinations of curricular materials; nighttime observing; and guest presentations by Department members.
Gravity’s Fatal Attraction: Black Holes in the Universe by Begelman and Rees, Cambridge University Press, 2009
Black Holes and Time Warps by Kip Thorne, W.W. Norton, 1995