Summer Research Program for Science Teachers


Britt Reichborn-Kjennerud

NYC Lab School, Manhattan, NY


Image Processing in the classroom

SUBJECT: Astronomy (12th grade)

AIM: To process an astronomical image

MOTIVATION: This unit offers students an active approach to learning about how scientists study the universe and about a particular astronomical object without sitting in lectures and discussions or completing cookbook labs for which the outcome is known.

OBJECTIVES:  Students will be able to:

--use search engines to obtain text and graphical data from the internet

--download and view images from the internet

--use NIH image software [Teaching Standard D- Make accessible technological resources]

--work collaboratively in groups

--gain a greater appreciation for the process and pace of research

--gain a deep understanding of an astronomical object


--Computers (one per group)

--Software from the Center for Image Processing in Education (CIPE) [Teaching Standard D- Make accessible technological resources]

--research notebook (one per student)


I. Introduction to image processing

    A. a comparison of unprocessed and processed images [9-12 Content Standard E- Understandings about science and technology]

    B. a review of the capabilities of NIH image software

    C. a series of lessons from the CIPE CD-ROM

II. Practicing Downloading images and processing them

    A. Lesson on downloading an image from the internet

    B. Practice run processing image which was downloaded from internet.

    C. Check #1: student and teacher evaluation of group work

III. Object determination and research

    A. Students choose or are assigned an astronomical object for which they must locate and download an image

    B. Students complete background research on their object

    C. Check #2: review of list of sources and notes on sources

IV. Image processing

    A. Downloaded image is processed

    B. Check #3: quality of processed image

V. Final Report

    A. Paper containing a summary of background information on astronomical object

    B. Image printout of before and after

    C. Write-up of analysis of the processed image


    A. Quality of the final report

    B. Each student’s contribution to the group [Teaching Standard E- Nurture collaboration among students]

    C. Quality of Lab notebook.


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