Bioscience High School science teacher Milton Johnson and five students travelled to Texas during the winter break for the American Astronomical Society conference to present the results of their work over the past year in the NASA/IPAC Teacher Research program. IPAC is Caltech’s Infrared Processing and Analysis Center. Caltech astronomers, high school teachers and students made up teams that conducted year-long research projects. The Bioscience team, which included students and teachers from two other schools from Oregon and Los Angeles, presented the results of their study to find newly forming stars (Young Stellar Objects-YSO’s) in a molecular gas cloud about 2100 light years from Earth. No one had spent much time determining which objects were young stars, but using data archiving with IPAC, they found 245 YSO candidates. They shared this information with the professional astronomical community via a poster session.
The Bioscience students were Anthony Aragon; Elizabeth Chiffelle; Cassandra Montufar, Lis San Emeterio, and Kevin Hernandez. (left to right in photo)
“Of course, the students were ‘stellar’ in presenting and got loads of compliments from professional astronomers from around the country. They came home on ‘cloud 9,’ full of confidence for what they had accomplished,” Johnson said.
They plan to independently continue our work this coming year and hope to present at the next American Astronomical Society conference in Washington DC (Jan 2018).