2015 STEM First Light Project

Below is an announcement from the Falcon Telescope Network.  Be sure to also see the attached file.  Note the registration deadline is March 3, 2015.


The Falcon Telescope Network (FTN) is a global network of 20 inch telescopes being developed by the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) Department of Physics. It will be shared with both U.S and international university partners for the purpose of undergraduate space research education and community STEM outreach .

Our goal is to increase student interest, engagement, and retention in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields in creative ways by providing students with opportunities to participate in meaningful, hands-on, and authentic science experiences. We hope to spark and retain student interest in science through a variety of projects and initiatives utilizing the unique resources available within the Falcon Telescope Network.

The kickoff STEM outreach project for FTN will be the STEM First Light Project. First light for a telescope marks the first official images taken by a newly-commissioned telescope. It is generally a very exciting event, akin to a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new business or a maiden voyage of a ship. Each node of FTN will have a first light event, but the next STEM first light of the network will involve the node in Sterling, CO, at Northeastern Junior College (NJC).


We would like your students to participate in an exciting STEM First Light Project where students become scientists and a crucial part of selecting the NJC FTN telescope's’ first STEM images! Classes or school associated groups will submit proposals expressing which astronomical objects to image on these milestone evenings. Proposing will require initial research by the students on what objects are visible in the night sky at the particular node location and current time of year. It will also require students to try their hand at scientific writing as they communicate their proposal idea to others.

To participate, a K-12 teacher or leader of a K-12 science organization must first register their information, complete the project, then upload the observation proposal; for more information on the proposal process see "Details" section below.

Who Can Register: K-12 Teachers or leaders of K-12 science organizations around the world..
Registration Open: February 4, 2015.
Registration Deadline: March 3, 2015.
Observation Proposal Due: March 12, 2015, see below for more information.
First Light : The week of March 23, 2015, weather permitting.
For more information contact FTN@usafa.edu Visit the FTN website at http://www.usafa.edu/df/dfe/dfer/centers/acssar/FTN/FTN_homepage.cfm

FTN is developed in partnership with Electronic Systems Center-MITRE, Universities Space Research Association (USRA), Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), Air Force Space Command (AFSPC), Pennsylvania State University (PSU), and the FTN observatory sites.

PDF icon First LIght Project flyer1.13 MB