The Space Science
& Engineering Center has recognized the need for a formal organized
program in space science K-12 Education
and Public Outreach. To achieve this goal a new staff position,
Research Outreach Specialist, has been created and filled by Rosalyn
Pertzborn. Lead outreach scientist Sanjay Limaye and Ms. Pertzborn
are now working with the SSEC staff toward the creation of a basic
program that will focus on the different areas of space science (earth,
solar system, astronomy and astrophysics). Support has been received
from the Evjue Foundation and School of Education as well as JPL, NASA and NOAA.
and opportunities for students and teachers:
Mars Exploration Curriculum at Lincoln Elementary School (4th/5th
Since the beginning
of the 1997-98 school year, we have spent one to two hours each
week developing the theme of Mars Exploration
in Mr. David Wirth's 4th/5th grade classroom. The primary emphasis
of this program has been the Red Rover, Red
Rover Kit from the Planetary Society, which stimulates
the Mars Pathfinder
Rover Mars Mission. Because this kit was originally developed
for middle school students, we have modified the curriculum to address
the needs of a lower grade level. The elementary school version
of Red Rover now emphasizes the broader topic of human exploration
and colonization of Mars. This has allowed students to approach
the subject of the exploration of new worlds in space while considering
the basic environmental conditions required for human survival.
Four students from Lincoln School presented their Red Rover learning
experiences to the MMSD Board in December 1997.
During the last
four weeks of the semester, other 4th and 5th grade classes rotated
through a one hour introduction to the Mars Exploration curriculum
with the objective of choosing a specific activity to pursue during
the second semester. The ultimate goal will be to develop a research
investigation to be submitted to the Great
Blue, an inquiry based journal of science, Math and creative
writing published by the Heron Network. An extravaganza is planned
in spring 1998 along with a student conference in May1998. With the
support of the NASA IDEAS Program, we plan to introduce a new component
to the Great Blue, called Space
Projects And Research by Kids (SPARK). See instructions
for submitting a students report or investigation related
many delays, the STS-99 flight is up and mapping the earth with
the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission, and with EarthKAM.
The Office of Space Science Education (OSSE) at SSEC the University
of Wisconsin-Madison is providing high
resolution global cloud cover images for the EarthKAM Project
every three hours. With a Java capable browser, schools can select
small areas to check the cloud cover for help in targeting their
Mr. James Kotoski's Seventh Grade class at Spring
Harbor Middle School, Madison, Wisconsin, is the only school
team participating from Wisconsin in the STS-99 EarthKAM Project.
have successfully inducted two MMSD schools (Spring
Harbor Environmental Magnet School and Velma
Hamilton Middle School) into the EarthKAM program
(previously known as KidSat). This program, the brainchild of astronaut
Sally Ride, enables school children to learn about the earth's environment
through remote sensing observations they can make by themselves
using a CCD camera on the space shuttle. The project emphasizes
geography, technology, math, environmental science, communication,
leadership and team work. The two Madison schools participated in
the STS-89 flight launched on 22 January 1998 (which carried the
fastest growing wheat plants to Mir). We have been developing a
middle school global weather lesson unit based on weather
satellite imagery for KidSat/EarthKAM.
Articles were written for the Department of Public Instruction and
in the Classroom
We have introduced
Lincoln and Spring Harbor students to astronomical observing
through a portable telescope as well as the Washburn telescope.
Field trips to the
Yerkes Observatory and CCD observations are planned for
for Spring, Summer and Fall 1998:
Workshops for Teacher Professional Development
from the School of Education, we submitted a proposal to the Eisenhower
Program that includes CESA #1, CESA #2, and MMSD as collaborators.
The proposals is going to be funded for one year to support the
development and presentation of two, one week workshops
in summer 1998 with follow up in Fall 1998 and Spring 1999.
The first workshop will be conducted under the auspices of the John
Muir Academy (Williams Bay High School, Williams Bay, June
22-26, 1999). The second workshop dates have not been finalized.
The effort is being called the Wisconsin Initiative for Space Education
(WISE). It is hoped that this year's experience we can submit a
multi-year proposal in fall of 1998.
A joint NOAA
/ NASA / WSGC three day workshop for high school will be held in
early August 1998. This will be the seventh year that this workshop
has been conducted. Topics include atmospheric science (weather
satellites, digital image processing, and geographic information
systems), space exploration, planetary meteorology and geology.
No longitudinal study of the participants has yet been undertaken,
but may be useful in shaping the direction of this program.
E. Suomi Scholarship Award for High School Seniors
E. Suomi Scholarship Award is being established with support
from NOAA by CIMSS/SSEC. $1000 scholarships
will be presented to three outstanding high school seniors from
Wisconsin who plan to attend a University of Wisconsin System undergraduate
program in the physical sciences; especially meteorology, earth
science, oceanography, physics, astronomy, science or math education,
environmental science and engineering. Announcements will be sent
out in February 1998.
Education and Public Outreach during 30th Annual Meeting of the Division
for Planetary Sciences 11-16 October, 1998, Madison, Wisconsin
The plans for
the workshops are at the moment
uncertain due to lack of NASA support. An exhibition for the general
public and schools is still being planned with support from aerospace
industry and the Evjue Foundation. Additional support is being sought
from agencies such as WEA and other space vendors.
survey of Middle School Space Science Curriculum and Needs in Wisconsin
To better meet
the K-12 education community's needs in space science, a small survey
of the current curriculum and future needs is being planned for
Spring 1998 with the help of the Dept. of Curriculum and Instruction
(Prof. Jim Stewart) and the LEAD Center.
- Middle and Elementary School Space Science Journal
With seed support
from the NASA IDEAS Program, a new print and web journal entitled
Space Projects And Research
by Kids has been running since 1998. Students from area
schools will contribute their space related research investigations
for publication in the SPARK journal. For the elementary schools,
SPARK will represent one component of the Great Blue, an inquiry based
journal of elementary student work published by the Heron Network.