DoubleSTARS™ – the Foundation Seminar
Boyce-Astro conducts and supports the DoubleSTARSTM astronomy research seminars online and in participating classrooms at several locations in the fall and spring semesters each year. Since its introduction in 2016, BRIEF continually upgrades this seminar each year so that the content and tools provided continue to evolve as science moves forward. The objective remains the same: you will propose and conduct original research in astrometry as a team member and complete a scientific research paper accepted for publication.
Science is performed through research that is published in peer-reviewed journals. You will experience that entire scientific process from proposal to publication. After completing this full scientific experience, you will be recognized in several ways and be eligible for many other Boyce-Astro programs. One might say it is our “Boot Camp” for student scientific research – read on.
There are two STEPS to the full program:
- STEP 1 to build your background astronomy knowledge about stars and
- STEP 2 to dig into the science of astrometry, propose your research project, do your research, and then write and present your findings.
STEP 1: To begin your astronomy research, Boyce-Astro provides our FREE IntroSTARSTM self-paced online course. You will learn the basic stellar astronomy needed to do your research and publish your paper in DoubleSTARS. Though IntroSTARSis based on a minimum two-week schedule, we encourage you to allow 3 or 4 weeks to complete it so you can explore all the optional materials. Sign up and start early. You will receive an online Quiz at least 10 days before the DoubleSTARS seminar begins to qualify to continue on to that seminar.
STEP 2: If you pass the IntroSTARS online Quiz, you will receive an invitation to the 1st weekly DoubleSTARS class as well as its online study materials. If you wish to proceed after attending the 1st DoubleSTARSTM class, you will be provided enrollment materials to continue.
If you are taking this seminar in conjunction with an approved classroom instruction program (e.g. Community College honors program or independent study class), this online seminar is FREE. For all others, the DoubleSTARS seminar fee is $99, which includes all course materials as well as computer and telescope time. This fee is due prior to the 2nd weekly class. There is no financial obligation for taking the IntroSTARS and the 1st week of DoubleSTARS and then withdrawing. College credit is available. See this link for the fees, credit, and scholarship information as applicable.
The seminar spans 13 or 14 weeks with a typical end one week before the community college semester ends. The Weekly Calendar is an overview of the syllabus and specific dates for a semester are provided to those who register for IntroSTARS. Online sessions use Zoom video conferencing; a video capable computer or laptop is necessary for the seminar as well as a good internet connection. There are four in-person meetings (green) held each semester in San Diego school facilities (to be announced = TBA).
Papers are written in Microsoft Word to the publisher’s specifications. BRIEF is an Education Partner with the Las Cumbres Observatory (LCO), which has six remotely controlled observatories worldwide available to you for your observations. BRIEF provides all necessary software on its remotely accessible server.
You are assigned to a research team and guided through these steps to publication of your research in the Journal of Double Star Observers (JDSO).
- Choose a target double star system and research it in astronomical databases
- Propose your research in a presentation to the other teams and instructors
- Perform your observations on a remote robotic telescope
- Analyze your images, make measurements, and calculate basic statistics for your data
- Discuss the implications of your research results and recommendations for future research
- Document your research in a scientific paper under your instructors’ guidance and review; once acceptable to your instructors, your paper will be submitted for peer scientific review and ultimately publication.
You will receive a Certificate of Achievement when you when complete the program. BRIEF will pay your first-year membership dues to the San Diego Astronomy Association (SDAA) for San Diego residents upon your graduation. You will be eligible to be a mentor for future Boyce-Astro student teams. Mentors and interns receive special privileges such as telescope time, special recognitions, record of volunteer time to include in applications, and access to the full library of astronomical training materials produced by BRIEF.
As soon as your research paper is accepted for publication by the journal, you can include that recognition in applications for university admissions, scholarships, and BRIEF will provide the letters of recommendation that you may need. You will also be eligible to enroll in the other BRIEF programs described on this website and for BRIEF internship projects. When your paper is published, BRIEF will send a copy of it and a letter of recognition to your school or academic department who may want to recognize you further.
BOYCE-ASTRO DoubleSTARSTM ONLINE SEMINAR – WEEKLY CALENDAR
A field trip to an astronomy facility or to an SDAA star party event may be arranged each semester for the experience. You may be invited to guest lectures from experts in our field of study and you may also be invited to participate in a highly successful interview training experience provided by Princeton alumnae. These optional events are not required or essential to your completing the seminar. They are intended to be enrichment and networking opportunities.
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DoubleSTARSTM and IntroSTARSTM are BRIEF Trademarks