Students Use New Tools to Study Astronomers
People follow stars' Facebook pages, but Smith-Cotton High astronomy students created Facebook pages for people who studied actual stars and planets.
Science teacher Cheryl Ellison's students researched astronomers and created mock Facebook pages that included biographical information, photos, notable accomplishments and posts to fellow astronomers' pages about their discoveries and theories.
After all of the pages were completed, the students on Friday, Sept. 14, took on the persona of their astronomer to add comments to other astronomers' posts.
Junior Aaron Hughes created pages for Giovanni Cassini, an Italian scientist and astronomer credited with discovering the four moons of Saturn and making the first measurements in longitude, among other achievements.
Hughes, writing as Cassini, posted on the page of Giuseppe Piazzi: "I am fascinated by your discovery of the dwarf planet Ceres! Could you message me your research?"
Hughes enjoyed getting to use technology and social media, "something we use every day," to explore the lives and work of influential scientists. "I thought it was fun to research astronomers and see how many observations they had made, especially back before they had technology that could have helped them."
PIC1: Smith-Cotton junior Aaron Hughes looks over the mock Facebook page of astronomer Giuseppe Piazzi, created by classmate Logan Gray, and leaves a comment as Giovanni Cassini, the astronomer who Hughes researched, Friday, Sept. 14, in teacher Cheryl Ellison's astronomy class at Smith-Cotton High School.
PIC3: Astronomy student Alexis Carey leaves a comment on the mock Facebook page of Johann Gottfried Galle, created by classmate Abbigail Withers.