Home > AAS (American Astronomical Society), Agencies & Organisations, Awards & Prizes > Bok Awards for Astronomy Presented to High-School Students at Intel Science Fair

Bok Awards for Astronomy Presented to High-School Students at Intel Science Fair


Two high school students from Texas and Louisiana are the winners of the 2012 Priscilla and Bart Bok Awards for their astronomy projects presented at the Intel Science and Engineering Fair in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in May. The awards were presented on May 18 by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP) in partnership with the American Astronomical Society (AAS), supported by funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

The first prize of $1,000 went to Piper Michelle Reid of Dripping Springs High School, Dripping Springs, Texas, for her project, “Photometric and Spectroscopic Analysis for the Determination of Physical Parameters of an Eclipsing Binary Star System.” The project explores how, with careful use of consumer grade astronomical equipment, it is possible for an amateur astronomer to determine an array of physical characteristics of a distant binary star system from a suburban setting. She used a CCD camera, home-built spectroscope, tracking mount, and telescope to carefully collect photometric and spectroscopic data, then analyzed the data and calculated physical properties for the binary star systems BB Pegasi and 57 Cygni.

The second prize of $500 went to Henry Wanjune Lin of Caddo Parish Magnet High School, Shreveport, Louisiana, for his project, “A Generalized Holographic Model of Cosmic Accelerated Expansion,” which explores how holographic models naturally account for the observed cosmic accelerated expansion. Astronomers are attempting to understand the acceleration of the universe, which is attributed to dark energy: the discovery of the phenomenon of dark energy was awarded the Nobel Prize in physics in 2011. Henry’s project is an attempt to model the possible ways that dark energy can be represented to explain the observed expansion.

Full Story: http://aas.org/press/pr2012Jun22

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