Updated: 19 April 2020
Cluster 7 has been known by several names over the years: "Stars, Sight, and Science" (2001−2005); "Stars and Science" (2006); and "Stars and Cells" (2007). From 2001−2008, Cluster 7 was the Center for Adaptive Optics-sponsored cluster of the academic summer camp COSMOS at UC Santa Cruz. COSMOS is organized by the University of California; it takes place at the Davis, Irvine, San Diego, and Santa Cruz. "Stars, Sight, and Science" was a merger of two subtly related fields: astronomy and vision science. "Stars and Cells" was a merger of astronomy and biology. The CfAO recruited staff for the astronomy projects from the UCSC Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics, Rochester University, University of Wisconsin at Madison. In the four weeks that COSMOS runs, the 17 cluster students learn about astronomy and vision science or biology (paleontology and ecology) in the classroom setting and in small-group research projects. The students ultimately presented their research to another cluster from the UCSC COSMOS program. Typically, the partner cluster has been the astrophysics cluster sponsored by the Santa Cruz Institute for Particle Physics. In 2006, the partner cluster was the robotics and nanotechnology cluster. In 2007, the partner clusters were two marine science clusters (3 and 8).
The Cluster 7 astronomy course is described in "The CfAO's Astronomy Course in COSMOS: Curriculum Design, Rationale, and Application" (PDF; Cooksey et al., Learning from Inquiry in Practice, 2010, ASP Conf. Ser.) The astrobiology research project is described in "Astrobiology: Identifying Bacteria from Extreme Environments" (Quan, Dorighi, & Cooksey) and the optics inquiry in "The COSMOS Optics Inquiry: An Inquiry Activity for High School Students on Geometric Optics" (Raschke et al.) of the same volume.