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2005 ASP Annual Award Recipients

Thomas J. Brennan Award
C. Steve Rapp
Linwood Holton Governor's School, Abingdon, Virginia, USA

Steve Rapp, the 2005 recipient of the Thomas J. Brennan Award, has revealed the wonder and challenges of astronomy to his high school students and other members of his community in some very special ways. His students have discovered about 160 new asteroids as part of the Hands-On-Universe Program. Rapp obtains guest-observer spots for his students at the Harvard University MicroObservatory, where they have completed many exciting research projects. He and his students constructed a radio telescope for observing interactions between Jupiter and Io. For the last ten years Rapp has taken his students to observatories in both Tennessee and West Virginia to help them get a feel of what it is like to be an astronomer. Beyond his high school astronomy class innovations, he works in his community with parents of students and with Cub Scout families.

During the last two summers, Rapp was part of the Summer Faculty Program at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. He wrote the curriculum and taught the first state-approved high school astronomy course as well as the first interactive television high school course, both in Tennessee. He has made over thirty presentations nationally and regionally at various science conferences and is the recipient of a number of awards, including the Tennessee Teacher of the Year award in 1995.

A former student writes of his class in astrophysics at Linwood Holton Governor’s School with Rapp: "This is a revolutionary class. It is very enjoyable, exciting, challenging, unique, and fun. The list could go on and on. Thanks for our great instruction by Dr. Steve Rapp." The Brennan Award is given annually in recognition of exceptional achievement related to the teaching of astronomy at the high-school level, and Steve Rapp is a worthy recipient.