Author Topic: "But in my SCHOOL..."  (Read 6363 times)

Space94boy

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"But in my SCHOOL..."
« on: October 26, 2009, 09:22:23 pm »
To anyone who can help.
My name is Chris Speciale. I'm a 15 year old in 10th grade.
Long story short: I have been into astronomy my whole entire life...believe it or not the space shuttle-as much as an inconvenient vehicle some may call it-inspired me so much as a 4 year-old, and made me promise myself I would one day join Nasa. I still plan to of course!
Lately I've been getting interested in learning about astronomy and everything there is to know about it.
And I could go oonnn and oonnn and oonnn about what I want to learn!! But I want to keep this brief.

In my high school, they have NO classes whatsoEVER in the subjects of science that I am interested! Yes, I'm sure Earth Science, Chemistry, Physical Science, and Biology will come in handy as qualifications to get into NASA...but I want to learn more! My school has none of the following classes: Astronomy, Astrology, Astrophysics, Cosmology...pretty much nothing that has to do with leaving this planet Earth. And its very hard to work my way into becoming the next Galileo or Isaac Newton here until I get into college.
Which is the next issue...because I'm not learning all this material while I'm in high school, I'm gonna have to pay for all these classes in college! XP

So...can anyone recommend to me any good websites or textbooks that I can look into getting and reading for myself and studying? I have a medium-sized vocabulary level so nothing really scientific and fancy...though I'm sure I could figure everything out sooner or later...but if you could...I'm looking for like a "guide to astronomy for a high schooler."

Thanks for your time in advance.

-Chris Speciale.

Peace does not mean to be away from noise, hard work, and sufferings. Peace means to be in the midst of all that and still be calm in the heart.

Rick Nowell

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Re: "But in my SCHOOL..."
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2009, 10:19:51 am »
To aspire to be the new Newton or Galileo is a laudable if somewhat unobtainable goal in life.
I'm no science teacher, but getting fantastic grades in Maths, Physics, Chemistry and Engineering
would stand you in good stead. For the astronomy knowledge, try a local astronomical society,
hang around the zoo, anything to immerse yourself in the Universe!

If one looks at our esteemed Zookeepers for inspiration, then Maths and Physics seem to be
a fundamental requirement. You have to be able to do those equations! Chemistry is very
useful- if one looks at Zookeeper Chris's wikipedia entry (fame!), then we can read that he
chose a degree called Natural Sciences. For Zookeeper Kevin, degrees in Maths & Physics
seems to have worked for him.

Academic learning can be a barrier though. From personal experience, being involved with
a local astronomy society has been of great benefit. There one can get to know professionals-
people who make their daily living from Astronomy, as societies often have pro's involved.
We are lucky in my home city to have a very active society (Moderator Alice gave a lecture
there!), which has many professionals, including people who build satellites and space
telescopes to earn a crust- engineers essentially.     http://www.bristolastrosoc.org.uk/wb/index.php

So, patience I guess is the first thing to learn! Then all that Science stuff. But, I grew up in the
East of England (I'm in the west now), and when I was slightly younger than yourself, I had
the chance to look through a good 'scope at my then local society. It was a very cold winter
evening in a very flat part of the UK with huge skies. There, using a 12" reflector I think, I saw
Saturn hanging in Space with its rings well displayed. From then, I've tried to be near those
telescopes that let us peer into the Universe.

A slightly simplistic answer, but practical experience is always worthwhile. It's surprising how
many professional astronomers or cosmologists can't name the planets or constellations when
looking at the night sky. Amateurs at our local society can point a telescope at seemingly
empty parts of the sky, to reveal that galaxy you heard about but never knew where it is.

There is nothing like seeing these objects for yourself!

Space94boy

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Re: "But in my SCHOOL..."
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2009, 11:53:46 pm »
Thank you, Rick.  :)
Peace does not mean to be away from noise, hard work, and sufferings. Peace means to be in the midst of all that and still be calm in the heart.

NGC3314

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Re: "But in my SCHOOL..."
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2009, 02:24:36 pm »
Just to chime in - as one gets into more advanced study, a solid foundation in the intellectual tools is the most important academic preparation. Physics, math, fluency with computing for solving numerical and analytic problems, may all count for more than having formal astronomy courses. We have many more students run into trouble (right into graduate school) for having weak backgrounds in basic physics than for not doing well in astronomy and astrophysics classes.

(If you're in NC, there are several universities there with strong programs who might be able to plug you in with interested local groups and programs - UNC Chapel Hill and Appalachian State come to mind in different ways. And there looks to be an active club in Raleigh.) As your interests develop, you might want to get your hands on a secondhand college astronomy text - there are several good ones. I've used Essential Cosmic Perspective by Bennett et al., 21st-Century Astronomy by Hester et al., and several editions by Seeds and Backman. These are good to come back to over and over and let the concepts and arguments sink in.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2009, 02:23:40 am by NGC3314 »

EigenState

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Re: "But in my SCHOOL..."
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2009, 03:44:32 pm »
Just to chime in - as one gets into more advanced study, a solid foundation in the intellectual tools is the most important academic preparation. Physics, math, fluency with computing for solving numerical and analytic problems, may all count for more than having formal astronomy courses. We have many more students run into trouble (right into graduate school) for having weak backgrounds in basic physics than for not doing well in astronomy and astrophysics classes.

(If you're in NC, there are several universities there with strong programs who might be able to plug you in with interested local groups and programs - UNC Chapel Hill and Appalachian State come to mind in different ways. And there looks to be an active club in Raleigh.) As your interests develop, you might want to get your hands on a secondhand college astronomy test - there are several good ones. I've used Essential Cosmic Perspective by Bennett et al., 21st-Century Astronomy by Hester et al., and several editions by Seeds and Backman. These are good to come back to over and over and let the concepts and arguments sink in.

I concur totally!  There you have it from two professionals--take care of the foundations!  And always remember that there is no substitute for hard work and dedication.

I suspect NGC3314 meant secondhand college astronomy textbook rather than test.

Best regards,
EigenState

NGC3314

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Re: "But in my SCHOOL..."
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2009, 02:23:12 am »
I suspect NGC3314 meant secondhand college astronomy textbook rather than test.

Thanks (and surreptitiously fixed to avoid further confusion from my typing skills).

EigenState

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Re: "But in my SCHOOL..."
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2009, 06:25:22 pm »
Greetings,

If you are really interested in pushing your studies ahead, you might take a look at the MIT Open Courseware website.

The Highlights for High School section provides material on advanced placement courses including both Physics and Calculus.

The main section provides links to both undergraduate and graduate level Physics courses, including "Introduction to Astronomy" and "Modern Astrophysics" both of which are upper level undergraduate courses.

The material includes free lecture notes, exams, and videos from MIT.  No registration required.

Best regards,
EigenState

EdV

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Re: "But in my SCHOOL..."
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2009, 09:42:58 pm »
You can find tons of videos and podcasts on iTunes... go to the "iTunes U" section, where they have all kinds of educational videos/audios.

Good luck in your studies! ;)
If you thought that 111 plus 1 was 112, then you don't understand binary.

Space94boy

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Re: "But in my SCHOOL..."
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2009, 09:46:21 pm »
Greetings,

If you are really interested in pushing your studies ahead, you might take a look at the MIT Open Courseware website.


Thank You EigenState!! I think I will be spending loads of time on THIS site! :D
Peace does not mean to be away from noise, hard work, and sufferings. Peace means to be in the midst of all that and still be calm in the heart.

Blackprojects

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Re: "But in my SCHOOL..."
« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2009, 04:16:33 pm »
On youtube many Large Schools and Collages from all over the world have there own Chanells with all Kinds of Science programs available for any one to watch for free.

Also a lot of Older Science Programs from the BBC Horizon Programes are uploaded in sections so any one can watch these.

Some of the  Programes

Super Massive Black holes
The Death Star(Hyper Nover)
Most of our Universe is Missing.

CIT has a Chanell

Also UCLA

Mit has a chanel

Also there are a lot of older Science and Astronomy Programs uploaded from the US and other nations.

I have links to some in my bits and peices thread in Star Space.



 
« Last Edit: January 06, 2010, 04:43:51 pm by Blackprojects »

moose129

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Re: "But in my SCHOOL..."
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2010, 03:39:46 am »
Was going to post the same thread. Thanks for the links!
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Eric F. Diaz

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Re: "But in my SCHOOL..."
« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2010, 07:38:35 pm »
Good advice from everyone. But, I would have to agree most with EigenState and NGC3314.

While I was in undergraduate school, I concentrated heavily in physics and mathematics. I also took physics in high school prior to going to college. It wasn't after I graduated from college that I took my first course in astronomy at the Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum in Chicago, IL. There, they had professors in astronomy from all of the major universities in Chicago, teaching courses in astronomy, astrophysics, cosmology, etc. But it was my background in math and physics that enabled me to learn what they had to teach. And, as NGC3314 mentioned, fluency with computing for solving numerical and analytic problems is equally as important. Of course, when I was an undergraduate they still had IBM mainframes and punch cards, and it wasn't terribly exciting; I guess I'm revealing my age!  :D So, I had to learn what limited computer-science skills I possess after I graduated from undergraduate school. But it is extremely important.  ;)

Wishing you all of the best,
Eric
« Last Edit: October 20, 2010, 08:34:06 pm by Eric F. Diaz »
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Dale002

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Re: "But in my SCHOOL..."
« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2010, 02:17:56 pm »
Good advice from everyone. But, I would have to agree most with EigenState and NGC3314.

While I was in undergraduate school, I concentrated heavily in physics and mathematics. I also took physics in high school prior to going to college. It wasn't after I graduated from college that I took my first course in astronomy at the Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum in Chicago, IL. There, they had professors in astronomy from all of the major universities in Chicago, teaching courses in astronomy, astrophysics, cosmology, etc. But it was my background in math and physics that enabled me to learn what they had to teach. And, as NGC3314 mentioned, fluency with computing for solving numerical and analytic problems is equally as important. Of course, when I was an undergraduate they still had IBM mainframes and punch cards, and it wasn't terribly exciting; I guess I'm revealing my age!  :D So, I had to learn what limited computer-science skills I possess after I graduated from undergraduate school. But it is extremely important.  ;) 


Wishing you all of the best,
Eric

Good advise Eric,I couldn't agreed more.