Variable Stars for Scientific Initiation: An Educational Experience

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Jaime García

Instituto Copernico, Gutierrez s/n, 5600 Rama Ca'da, Mendoza, Argentina

Presented at a memorial symposium in honor of Dr. Janet A. Mattei, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA, October 29, 2004; received January 18, 2005; accepted January 19, 2005

Within the conventional educational structure in Latin America, we find a gap between the basic undergraduate formation and the early steps in research activities. To bridge this gap, we essay a solution based on the close interaction between students and researchers in variable star research. We have called our experience the Scientific Initiation Program, and this program reflects a changing methodology, continuously modeled by the whole group. In this paper we describe our experience over 15 years.