Scherrer, Deborah, Ray Mitchell, William Clark, Richard Styner,
Philip Scherrer, Umran Inan, Morris Cohen, Justin Tan, Shannon Lee,
Sharad Khanal, Scott Winegarden, Paul Mortfield;
"Designing Sudden Ionospheric Disturbance Monitors -- a
Unique Collaboration Between Scientists and Educators"; Presentation at
AGU 2005 Joint Assembly 23-27 May 2005, New Orleans, LA
Funding agencies such as NASA and NSF encourage E/PO
programs to provide local educators with research experience.
However, many researchers have neither the time nor the
expertize nor the training resources to effectively
incorporate an educator into their computer- and
numerical-analysis-based research environments.
Stanford's Solar Center has been experimenting with a unique program
that teams community college and high school educators with research
groups to develop a hands-on instrument that the educators's students can, in turn, use to conduct their own research.
With support from the researchers, the educators design, develop,
and classroom-test a VLF radio receiver that monitors changes to
the Earth's ionosphere caused by solar activity.
The educators bring to the table their knowledge of classroom needs plus
their amateur background in electronics.
Stanford's Electrical Engineering Department’s Very Low Frequency Group
provides EE resources and knowledge of ionospheric research.
Stanford's Solar Observatories Group completes the team with their
knowledge of the Sun and solar activity.
Together, the project team has designed and developed two forms of monitors: 1) an inexpensive
SID monitor that can be produced in quantity and made available
to high schools and community colleges around the nation;
and 2) a research quality monitor that can be placed in selected schools and will return data of sufficient quality and sensitivity that it can be used both
by the students and the original Stanford researchers.