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Saarlouis, Germany

Sallier R.,Saarland University | Beckhauser K.,Saarland University | Bruck B.,Max Planck Gymnasium | Schutze A.,Saarland University
2011 IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference, EDUCON 2011 | Year: 2011

Science labs have repeatedly shown their impact on high school students for increasing the interest in natural sciences and engineering [1]. Due to the fact that pupils are experimenting independently, their natural interest in research can be reactivated due to improved intrinsic motivation. However, with the increasing density in school curricula - in Germany especially caused by the reduction of the high school duration by one year - many teachers do not find the time to visit science labs due to their often extracurricular topics. For our lab SinnTec, which is focused on sensors as the "technical senses", and the experimentation platform VenDASys we are currently adapting existing experiments and examples for improved compatibility with the regular school curricula primarily in Physics. The goal is to integrate the science lab as much as possible into the standard curriculum to reach most pupils. © 2011 IEEE.

Sallier R.,Saarland University | Beckhauser K.,Saarland University | Bruck B.,Max Planck Gymnasium | Schutze A.,Saarland University
IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference, EDUCON | Year: 2012

Studies have shown that interest in natural sciences and technology as well as their applications can be enhanced through independent work of pupils, thus improving their intrinsic motivation. Such an independent work may be implemented e.g. in the context of lessons and visits in science labs for pupils [1]. Due to the steadily increasing content in school curricula-in Germany especially caused by the reduction of the high school duration by one year-many teachers do not find time to perform experiments with their pupils in the lessons. To extend and enhance the general education with independent experiments our science lab SinnTec has developed experiments that are closely aligned to the curriculum [2]. However, a single visit to a science lab alone does not provide the required holistic approach to education in natural sciences and engineering. We have therefor developed an integrated approach offering many different points of interaction between pupils and natural sciences/engineering topics covering exhibits and demonstrators, visits to our science lab as well as events and project work for pupils. A central aspect of the integrated approach is our versatile experimentation platform VenDASys, which allows teachers and especially the pupils to design, develop and perform their own experiments [3]. In this contribution we will outline the different aspects of the holistic approach especially using the VenDASys in combination e.g. with lessons, projects and our science lab for continuously enhancing the interest of young pupils in natural sciences and engineering. © 2012 IEEE.

Beuermann K.,University of Gottingen | Breitenstein P.,Westfalen Kolleg | Bski B.De.,Jagiellonian University | Diese J.,Max Planck Gymnasium | And 19 more authors.
Astronomy and Astrophysics | Year: 2012

We report new mid-eclipse times of the two close binaries NSVS14256825 and HS0705+6700, harboring an sdB primary and a low-mass main-sequence secondary. Both objects display clear variations in their measured orbital period, which can be explained by the action of a third object orbiting the binary. If this interpretation is correct, the third object in NSVS14256825 is a giant planet with a mass of roughly 12 M Jup. For HS0705+6700, we provide evidence that strengthens the case for the suggested periodic nature of the eclipse time variation and reduces the uncertainties in the parameters of the brown dwarf implied by that model. The derived period is 8.4 yr and the mass is 31 M Jup, if the orbit is coplanar with the binary. This research is part of the PlanetFinders project, an ongoing collaboration between professional astronomers and student groups at high schools. © 2012 ESO.

Beuermann K.,University of Gottingen | Buhlmann J.,Max Planck Gymnasium | Diese J.,Max Planck Gymnasium | Dreizler S.,University of Gottingen | And 12 more authors.
Astronomy and Astrophysics | Year: 2011

Planets orbiting post-common envelope binaries provide fundamental information on planet formation and evolution, especially for the yet nearly unexplored class of circumbinary planets. We searched for such planets in DPLeo, an eclipsing short-period binary, which shows long-term eclipse-time variations. Using published, reanalysed, and new mid-eclipse times of the white dwarf in DPLeo, obtained between 1979 and 2010, we find agreement with the light-travel-time effect produced by a third body in an elliptical orbit. In particular, the measured binary period in 2009/2010 and the implied radial velocity coincide with the values predicted for the motion of the binary and the third body around the common center of mass. The orbital period, semi-major axis, and eccentricity of the third body are Pc = 28.0 ± 2.0yrs, ac = 8.2 ± 0.4AU, and ec = 0.39 ± 0.13. Its mass of mc = 6.1 ± 0.5MJup qualifies it as a giant planet. It formed either as a first generation object in a protoplanetary disk around the original binary or as a second generation object in a disk formed in the common envelope shed by the progenitor of the white dwarf. Even a third generation origin in matter lost from the present accreting binary can not be entirely excluded. We searched for, but found no evidence for a fourth body. © 2010 ESO.

Backhaus U.,University of Duisburg - Essen | Bauer S.,Leibniz Gymnasium | Beuermann K.,University of Gottingen | Diese J.,Max Planck Gymnasium | And 38 more authors.
Astronomy and Astrophysics | Year: 2012

As part of an ongoing collaboration between student groups at high schools and professional astronomers, we have searched for the presence of circum-binary planets in a bona-fide unbiased sample of twelve post-common envelope binaries (PCEBs) from the Catalina Sky Survey (CSS) and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). Although the present ephemerides are significantly more accurate than previous ones, we find no clear evidence for orbital period variations between 2005 and 2011 or during the 2011 observing season. The sparse long-term coverage still permits O-C variations with a period of years and an amplitude of tens of seconds, as found in other systems. Our observations provide the basis for future inferences about the frequency with which planet-sized or brown-dwarf companions have either formed in these evolved systems or survived the common envelope (CE) phase. © ESO, 2012.

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