Coloring the Universe

Have you seen the first ever black hole image?

Have you heard about Katie Bouman, MIT’s student, whose algorithm helped to process Event Horizon Telescope data?

She is one of the numerous researchers and scientists involved in the EHT project from various institutions. Her engagement and success were actually the base for the event organized April 17th during this year’s STEM Discovery Week campaign – Coloring the Universe.

In the class with girls who showed great interest in astronomy (astronomy is not part of the curriculum), Katie Bouman’s story, her engagement and contribution within the EHT project was a good starting point for the realization of teaching activities. Katie was not only a role model but also an inspiration.

Within the activity, resources HOW TO CREATE STUNNING COLOUR IMAGES OF THE COSMOS (USING GIMP) and HOW TO CREATE STUNNING COLOUR IMAGES OF THE COSMOS (USING PHOTOSHOP) from Scientix portal were used.

The main objective of the activity was to link instructional content of image processing and image formats, composite display and processing of images with current events in science.

The activity therefore consisted of a short review of who and how was involved in the EHT, getting to know Katie Bouman and introducing her story as a hook.

The main part of the class starts with the explanation of the image formats and with the task – find the astronomical object on the Massier catalog http://astropixels.com/messier/messiergallery.html . This step is necessary because students have to know what they are looking for.

After that with the instruction from the Scientix resource http://www.scientix.eu/resources/details?resourceId=22895  students had to create a colorized image of the chosen object.

They had to find the images in the https://observe.lco.global/ than how to download and use FITS, how to use GIMP for bitmap images.

Through the analysis of the problem, synthesis and generating a colorized photos of astronomical objects, the students had the opportunity to apply learned with a new and creative approach.

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Implementation of a classroom activity – Coloring the Universe

Nada Stojičević

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Nada Stojičević

Nada Stojičević is a teacher of vocational subjects at Elektrotehnička škola "Nikola Tesla", Pančevo, Serbia. She is a Scientix Ambassador, Next-Lab/Go-Lab Ambassador, Nearpod Pionear / Nearpod Certified Trainer and MIEE.

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