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Outreach

Background on the RESOLVE Survey

Galaxies are the luminous markers of a vast cosmic web, whose filaments and clusters condense under gravity while spacetime expands in voids between them. Gas and dark matter are the presumed lifeblood of this multi-scale organism, flowing along its filaments and feeding the growth of its galaxy cells. Yet much of the gas is undetected, and its relationship to invisible dark matter is unknown. To meet this challenge, the RESOLVE Survey combines state-of-the-art optical and radio/millimeter spectroscopy with multi-wavelength photometry to construct an unprecedented integrated view of gas, dark matter, and stars, spanning nearly five orders of magnitude in spatial scale. RESOLVE will disentangle dark matter and undetected gas to relate invisible mass to cosmic structure, illuminating mysteries such as the dramatic large-scale variation of the dwarf-galaxy inventory and the surprising abundance of galaxies like our own, with profound implications for galaxy evolution and cosmology.

A KIPP Pride High School student from Gaston, NC looks at SOAR telescope data A KIPP Pride High School student from Gaston, North Carolina looks at SOAR telescope data with UNC undergraduate David Hendel and Prof. Sheila Kannappan in UNCs Remote Observing Center.

Education and Outreach Efforts

RESOLVE is training a new generation of scientists in future growth areas of astronomy: instrumentation, spectroscopy, radio astronomy, and survey data handling. This website will provide the data in a user-friendly format and also archive a suite of data-driven discovery activities and small research projects for high school and undergraduate students.

Our team, working with KIPP Pride High School physics teacher Keith Starr and other Teach For America teachers, has developed two approaches to incorporating astronomy into the high school learning experience.

AIMs Astronomy Instructional Modules for Physics: This series of modules is aligned to the North Carolina state high school physics standards. The FAQ provides a brief summary of key information about AIMs for teachers, and the Sequence Options page shows how the modules can be integrated into a physics course in a variety of combinations to suit the time available, comprising: (i) stand-alone lessons, (ii) two day units, or (iii) extendable several-day units. Modules 3 and 5 cover basic physics topics that need not be repeated if the teacher has already included them elsewhere in the course, with the caveat that the standard NC curriculum does not examine these topics to the necessary depth. Feedback on the AIMs curriculum is welcome to sheila_at_physics_dot_unc dot_edu.

AIMs FAQ and Sequence Options pagesModule 5 - Red Recedes, Blue Approaches
Module 1 - You Are HereModule 6 - Rotation Curves and Dark Matter
Module 2 - Far Away Is Long AgoModule 7 - Black Holes
Module 3 - Angular Measurements and MotionModule 8 - The Cosmos In Motion
Module 4 - Motions Find MassMoon Project

In collaboration with UNC-BEST coordinator Alice Churukian and Teach For America, we periodically host teacher workshops to review relevant science content and specific teaching strategies for this curriculum. Contact sheila_at_physics_dot_unc dot_edu for more information.

SMART Workshops: The Summer Mentorship and Research Training (SMART) workshop is a week-long experience offered in late July on the campus of UNC Chapel Hill for teacher-student pairs selected through a (brief and easy!) application process. In the first half of the week, Prof. Kannappan and graduate students mentor participating teachers and students closely on research methods and background science. In the second half, teachers take on a guided mentorship role while aiding their students in the design and completion of a small astrophysics research project. Prior to the SMART workshop, participants are expected to have worked through Modules 1-8 in the AIMs curriculum above as well as a tutorial on Scilab, a free programming environment used for data analysis. Each participant is provided with free lodging and a stipend to subsidize meals, travel, and other expenses. Students who must miss work time in paying jobs to attend SMART may also apply for a scholarship to offset any financial loss.

Click here to learn more about SMART!