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July 28, 2010
SHSU Media Contact: Tara Lestarjette

Renee JamesRenee James, an associate professor of physics at Sam Houston State University, has been named a “Gold Star” in the NASA-sponsored Top Stars contest.

The event invited U.S. formal and informal educators to submit their best examples of using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope in science, technology, engineering or mathematics education.

The Top Stars contest was conducted by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies in cooperation with the Space Telescope Science Institute. Submissions were accepted from individuals and from teams of up to four members and included any combination of text, graphics, video and photos.

James was recognized for “The Life and Death of Bob (a.k.a NGC 6397) in an Introductory College-Level Astronomy Course” (undergraduate). The course uses a slide show and supplemental images to chronicle the use of Hubble images through a semester-long course.

Gold Star status was awarded to the best of the best — as judged by IGES and NASA scientists and educators – from the entries selected as “Top Stars” during the contest’s four rounds of competition. The Showcase section of the Top Stars Web site – http://topstars.strategies.org — includes downloadable materials from all Hubble activities selected as Top Stars.

Gold Star winners receive the following prizes (in addition to previously awarded Top Stars prizes):

  • An official letter of commendation from NASA;
  • An invitation to present their entry to other educators nationwide using the NASA Digital Learning Network;
  • A pair of IMAX movie tickets that can be used to see “Hubble 3D;” and
  • A “Hubble 3D” movie poster for classroom display.

Educators selected as Gold Stars will also be featured in articles on NASA’s Web site.

“All of our Gold Stars and Top Star winners should be extremely proud of their work,” said Bonnie McClain, NASA Hubble education plan co-lead. Educators and students around the world will benefit from their effective use of Hubble in high-quality education products and activities.”

For more information, please visit: http://topstars.strategies.org.


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