High School Students Publish Scientific Paper

Friday, January 17, 2020 - 12pm

High School students Alexa Brammer and  Jessica Padron-Loredo published a scientific paper using GBO data with their science teacher Charmain Brammer and mentor Dr. Cameron Pace (Southern Utah University).  The paper published in the Journal of Double Star Observations January 1, 2020 edition, explains their observations of a double star system in which they determined the stars to be physically associated. 

The GBO provides opportunities for students to be involved in astronomy research. During the Spring 2019 semester five students from Dixie State University SUCCESS Academy, an early college high school in St. George, Utah, worked with Ms. Brammer and Dr. Pace on two research papers. This is the first to be published.

"Going into the astronomy research I really didn’t know much at first,"  says Jessica, "but by the end, I knew my way around Astroimagej and the process of research and creating a scientific article. My professor supported my group every step of the way allowing us to think critically to understand the research and solve problems."

Over the course of the project, students learned to process astronomical images, measure stars, and interpret their measurements. They also learned how to prepare their observations for publication in a scientific journal. 

"I liked working with professionals, exploring different types of research, and learning how to write, edit, and submit a paper for publication," related Alexa.

Leapfrogging from learning about astronomy to diving into technical research is no small feat. The SUCCESS Academy students had to be very persistent and determined. This project was not a set class, it was an elective.

“From my perspective as a teacher - my students have had an amazing experience," said Ms. Brammer, "It has been wonderful to see them grow and participate in something on their own time that they are interested in. They have internalized their learning and are proud of what they have accomplished.”

"The technical side of this program is great but you also meet new people and maybe realize just like I did that you want  to be involved in STEM"- Jessica