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ERIC Number: EJ1206624
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019-Mar
Pages: 3
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
The Pulsar Search Collaboratory: Expanding Nationwide
Williamson, Kathryn; McLaughlin, Maura; Stewart, John; Lorimer, Duncan; Blumer, Harsha; Zabriskie, Cabot; Heatherly, Sue Ann; Lynch, Ryan
Physics Teacher, v57 n3 p156-158 Mar 2019
The Pulsar Search Collaboratory (PSC) engages high school students and teachers in analyzing real data from the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope for the purpose of discovering exotic stars called pulsars. These cosmic clocks can be used as a galactic-scale detector of gravitational waves, ripples in spacetime that have recently been directly detected from the mergers of stellar-mass black holes. Through immersing students in an authentic, positive learning environment to build a sense of belonging and competency, the goal of the PSC is to promote students' long-term interests in science and science careers. Pulsar Search Collaboratory students have discovered seven pulsars since the start of the PSC in 2008. Originally targeted at teachers and students in West Virginia, over time the program has grown to 18 states. In a new effort to scale the PSC nationally, the PSC has developed an integrated online training program with both self-guided lectures and homework and real-time interactions with pulsar astronomers. Now, any high school student can join in the exciting search for pulsars and the discovery of a new type of gravitational waves.
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: 1516512|1516269