HOU classes are involved with research projects including searching
for supernovae and asteroids, creating HR diagrams from images of open
star clusters, and performing photometric measurements of Cepheid Variable
stars. The following are examples of reports written by students using
Hands-On Universe materials. Their accuracy and content are solely
the responsibility of the student authors.
- 2010 Apr 13. OCHS senior advances in engineering event. The Derrick. Excerpt: Inga Saathoff, a student at Oil City High School, has been selected to advance to the International Science and Engineering Fair in San Jose, Calif., next month.
Saathoff was one of only two students picked to go to the May 9-14 event in California following the Pittsburgh Regional Science and Engineering Fair last month.
More than 1,000 students from about 100 school in western Pennsylvania and Maryland competed for $1 million in cash prizes and scholarships at the Pittsburgh fair. About 1,500 students from 50 nations will compete for scholarships tuition grants, internships and scientific field trips at the international fair.
The grand prize will be an all-expense paid trip to the Nobel Prize ceremonies in Stockholm, Sweden.
Saathoff's research focuses on the development of a new method to identify young, sun-like T-Tauri stars in their earliest stages of development using small-scale optical telescopes.
Tim Spuck [HOU teacher leader], Saathoff's teacher at Oil City, said her work has brought the idea from a "maybe it will work" to "yes this method has strong scientific merit" and potentially will lead to an all-sky survey and long-term monitoring project for years to come….
- 2008 Jul 2. HOU/Spitzer Student Project: Alekzandir
Morton and Thomas Travagli presented their research
on determining the redshift of S5 0716+714 at the
California State Science Fair and were awarded first
place in the Senior Division of Physics and Astronomy.
They were mentored by SSC scientist Mark Lacy. The
students were awarded a $1000 scholarship each. In
addition, they successfully concluded in their project
that it was possible to determine a redshift for
the target and are considering sumitting their research
to a refereed science journal. They have now graduated
high school and are both pursuing careers in astronomy.They
presented their research at the Mt. Diablo Astronomical
Society, the Stockton Astronomical Society, the Antioch
Unified School District School Board and other venues.
Articles about them were published by the Contra
Costa Times and in the Antioch
Press. John Michael Santiago, who assisted with
the data reduction on the WZ Sge project, recieved
a 4th place award at the Contra Costa Science and
Engineering Fair. He also presented his research
to the Mt. Diablo Astronomical Society, the Stockton
Astronomical Society, and the Antioch Unified School
District School Board. "JM" is graduating
this year along with Alekzandir and Thomas, and his
assistance in the WZ Sge project and the school's
planetarium will be missed.
- Mars Global Surveyor
Image Analysis, Spacing to Height Ratio of Sand Dunes Near Ophir Chasma,
by Ashley Hall from Deer Valley High
School in Antioch, California. Ashley, a student
of Jeff Adkins, studied transverse dunes formed on
Mars, which has an abundant supply of sand and a
constant wind direction.
- Locating Supernovae using
Image Comparison by Adam A. Bier from Albany High School in Albany,
California. Adam describes the process of searching for a supernova.
- Calculating Distance for
Cepheid Variable Stars by Adam A. Bier from Albany High School
in Albany, California. Adam describes how to find the distance to
Cepheids and reports on his findings.
- Using Astronomical
Databases in the Search for Minor Planets
[download MS Word file]
by Breanne N. Morelli, April 5, 2006. Mr. Tim Spuck, Instructor
Oil City High School, Oil City, PA
ABSTRACT: With an ever increasing number of databases of digital sky
survey images, data mining has become an intense field of study yielding
significant results. Data-mining projects have led to the discovery
of unknown minor planets as well as the detection of their relative
positions to our planet. However, the lack of inexpensive technology
and software in the past has hindered large scale implementation of
research by high school students. That appears to have changed. In
this study a student at Oil City High School conducting astronomical
data mining research has provided the Minor Planet Center with data
for one known and two unknown minor planets.
- Finding the Mass
of Jupiter by William W. Lee from Albany High School in Albany,
California. William gives a report of how to calculate the mass of
Jupiter using its moons.