Author: Dr. C. Renee james
Organization: Sam Houston State University
Grade Level: Undergraduate

Round 4: June 2010






The Life and Death of Bob (a.k.a. NGC 6397) in an Introductory College-Level Astronomy Course

Grades: Undergraduate

The main slide show chronicles the use of Bob (a.k.a NGC 6397) throughout a semester of "Stars and Galaxies," an introductory college-level astronomy course for non-science majors. NGC 6397 was one of the targets of HST and became a Hubble Heritage image. With its variety of stellar temperatures evident in the colors, it makes a great starter image for a stars and galaxies class. As the semester progresses and student knowledge grows, the same cluster can be used to teach the topics of sizes, temperatures, luminosities, masses, distances, magnitudes, spectral types, HR Diagrams, stellar evolution, determination of cluster age, white dwarfs, blue stragglers... Virtually the entire "stars" part of the "Stars and Galaxies" class can derive from this single example, which anchors students to a familiar object throughout the semester. Example discussion questions and personal response (voting) questions are provided in the slide show, along with relevant educational references supporting the pedagogical methods used. The supporting slide show - "The Life and Death of Bob - Supplemental Images" - provides examples of HST images OTHER than Bob that are used in a typical semester, and how they relate to Bob. Some comments about the structure of class, assessments, and the educational soundness of this approach are provided in "The Life and Death of Bob - Comments."

Life and Death of NGC 6397 (PPT, 3610 K)
PowerPoint Presentation

The Life and Death of Bob - lesson comments (PDF, 83 K)
.pdf document

Life and Death of NGC 6397 - supplemental images (PPT, 5219 K)
PowerPoint Presentation

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