Toochi Brown



Last Friday night, the members of the RECON group, Ihsan, Ian, and I participated in the occultation event of object 15TG387. Because the predicted path of object 15TG387 did not pass through our field of view, we were unable to identify an occultation during our observation. However, in the event that more conclusive data is gathered by the other groups in the network, we get to claim that our group too, participated in such an event. This experience provided me with more knowledge about how to work the telescope, use the camera, and configure the IOTA system setup.


This Friday, the 19th, there will be a RECON occultation event that WISRD will be participating in. Although the path of the supposed TNO doesn’t pass through our field of view, we still plan to observe and get data nonetheless. Below are the sky and weather conditions for Friday evening.


I think that investing in a Hydrogen-alpha solar filter would be beneficial and a good addition to the telescope group. It would allow for daytime viewings of the sun which would provide greater publicity. If we are able to have these daytime viewings, we can attract larger amounts of people to attend these events. These filters normally sell for upwards of approximately $260.


The institute model is a great system for grasping and understanding content which is learned through individual education. The institute model is centered around independent learning and setting goals for oneself as well as completing research on one’s own. The purpose is to invest yourself into something that they are intrigued in. This inspires creativity in students because they are encouraged to become their own teachers. Instead of constantly being told what to do or what to learn like the content model, the institutional model inspires students to venture out and take control of their own learning. Additionally, this independence is valuable to content focused curriculums, context focused curriculums as well as a valuable skill outside of the school environment. 

In the WISRD institute, the institute model is greatly focused upon and embedded into the institute. All students are held to a standard in which they are expected to constantly be contributing to the program and to not procrastinate on work when there are tasks to complete. This is unlike the content or “school” model because there is a sense of urgency and efficiency which is not always that is not always prioritized or enforced in the school model. This is a very critical skill in the business and science-related occupations as there is constantly a sense of urgency and a need to get things done instead of procrastinating the work. Personalized learning is very valuable outside of school.


Upon reviewing a few suggestions made to me on my narrative, I am interested in creating an art show with images of the night sky over Wildwood. I could also venture even deeper with that kind of project by taking photos of deep sky objects and use them for the art show collection. In order for me to do this, I would have to get the necessary materials such as an astrophotography camera. The problem with this quest is that the camera costs about $500-600. Anyway, I would have to talk to Ihsan and Aidan about astrophotography strategies and learn how to operate the telescope better. This so far is a proposed idea that I am interested in pursuing.


On Saturday, I participated in my first Innovate E.D. L.A. This was a great learning experience for me as I was able to experience what it is like to present and put on a demonstration during events such as these. I learned that during long events such as these, being able to draw people in and actively engage them on your topic is very important for gaining recognition on your presentation. I managed to attract people to my booth and talk to them about RECON, the telescope itself and past studies that have been completed with the telescope, however for future endeavours I want to work on gathering more info and studies to present, really knowing what I’m talking about and attracting as well as holding my audience.


This week, I began working on a presentation for Outdoor Ed. The presentation consists of different celestial objects that will be visible in the night sky above the horizon during the three days that we will be up in Sequoia National Park. Additionally, I also set up the telescope during class to better familiarize myself with the setup process. I still need to work with connecting and configuring the telescope with the RECON computer. I will work on this next week in class before Outdoor Ed the following week. I also learned that earlier this week, I was accepted to attend the RECON Conference in October. I am looking forward to participating in the experience however, I am also a little bit nervous for the experience.


Within the just about the past week, I have come to establish myself into the RECON team in WISRD. Last week, I learned about an opportunity to get more involved in this branch by signing up to head the RECON conference this year in October. I signed up for the conference and I am eager to learn whether or not I was accepted to participate in the event. Today, I have decided to participate in the Star Party hosted by WISRD. I am looking forward to taking part in this experience tonight because it will allow me the opportunity to further my learning and engagement in the RECON team and astronomy as a whole. On the side to get ready for the conference in October if I get the chance to attend the conference, I have been researching and looking into the phases of Venus, the moons of Jupiter but mainly the 4 most important one, the rings of Saturn as well as how to measure the speed of light through the use of Jupiter’s moons.


Now that I successfully been able to join the WISRD team, I am very curious to learn more about the how the WISRD program operates and what kinds of projects that I will be able to further explore within the Institute. I am also curious to discover new things about some of my own interests within the S.T.E.M filed and to also challenge myself to welcome new interests so that I can best help the institute advance in any way possible. Here are some things that I would like to learn about within the WISRD Institute this year:

  • I want to learn how to operate the 3D printers and perhaps afterward conduct cool projects with the use of the 3D printers.
  • I would also like to learn more about the RECON project within WISRD since I have a passion and curiosity to learn more about astronomy. (Generally, I would hope to find some way to contribute to RECON or some kind of project that has to relate to astronomy)
  • Although I have no experience with the programming and VR/AR field, I would like to learn more about the field and step out of my comfort zone to further explore different things.
  • I’m also curious to learn more about the E-Nable project and would like to learn more about how to use 3D printers to build and construct prosthetics.

–  Toochi Brown