The Hubble team answers your questions
Browsing answers to questions already asked
A listing of categories containing questions asked and answered previously
is being maintained. This listing of questions and answers is readily available.
Asking the Hubble team your questions
The opportunity to send Email questions to the men and women of the Hubble
team was available from March through early June 1996; it is no longer available.
We are grateful to the HST folks for generously volunteering their time
to support this service. This section will describe some guidelines and
procedures that were used for the process.
K-12 students and teachers could Email questions to researchers, engineers
and support staff. This interaction was supported by a "Smart Filter"
who protects the professional from Internet overload by acting as a buffer.
The actual Email addresses of these experts remained unlisted. Also, repetitive
questions were answered from an accumulating database of replies; thus
the valued interaction with the experts was saved for original questions.
(More information about how you can directly search this database will
Tips for asking good questions
Each and every expert is excited about connecting with classrooms. But it
is important to remember that the time and energy of these researchers is
extremely valuable. If possible, please review the materials available online
to gain an overall understanding of the basics.It is best to
ask questions that are not easily answered elsewhere. For example,
"What does the Hubble Space Telescope do?" would not be an appropriate question.
We recognize that this creates a gray area about whether or not a question
is appropriate. Simply use your best judgment. Since the main idea is
to excite students about the wonders of science and research, please err
on the side of having the students participate.
Some teachers have used a group dynamic to refine the questions that
they email to experts. For example, after first studying HST material,
students divide into groups and create a few questions per group. All
of the questions are then shared, and students are given an opportunity
to find answers to their classmates' questions. Those that remain unanswered
are sent to the HST team.
Ideally, the act of sending questions will further engage the student
in their learning. It may help to think back to an early stage of development
when the 3 year old learns that repeating the word "why" can get parents
to do most of the work in a conversation. The wise parent will try to
get child involvement by asking "why do you want to know?". The same is
true in the classroom. Teachers might want to help students to learn to
ask good questions. Here are three questions the students might ask themselves
as they submit their questions:
What do I want to know?
The last question is the most interesting. Student reflection on why they
want to know something is a very valuable learning experience.
Is this information to be found in a resource I could easily check (such
as a school encyclopedia)?
Why do I want to know it? ("What will I do with the information?" or "How
will I use what I learn?")
Logistics of sending in questions (address and format)
Questions were accepted from March through early June 1996. Questions are
no longer being fielded.
We tried to acknowledge and answer all questions as quickly as possible.
Our goal was to provide a basic acknowledgment immediately. In most cases
we were able to provide an answer within one week to ten days.
One question per message
If you or your class had several questions which are unrelated, we asked
that you please send each unrelated question in a separate Email message
rather than as one message with many different questions. While this may
be inconvenient, it was important because it helped us to keep track of
the questions and ensure that no question remain unanswered. Messages that
did not follow this request were unnecessarily delayed as we went through
the extra step of splitting up the messages ourselves.
Twenty question limit
Any individual teacher was limited to submitting a total of twenty (20)
questions during the life of the project. Hopefully this encouraged more
classroom discussion about what students wanted to know and led to research
done before asking questions.
Searching question/answer pairs
A capability to search for interesting
question/answer pairs is also available. The system relies on the user choosing
one or more keywords related to their interest. Every existing question/answer
pair will be searched to see if it contains the keywords.