Education and Human Resources [ED]

ED43B MCW:Level 2 Thursday 1340h

Using Earth and Planetary Data in Educational Settings II Posters

Presiding:M Lindstrom, NASA; C Runyon, College of Charleston


Earth Animations for Education from NASA

* Gaskins, T ( , NASA, 9302 157th Place NE, Redmond, WA 98052, United States

NASA holds thousands of time-series Earth image sets taken from space by NASA astronauts and satellites. These image sets powerfully illustrate geophysical phenomena such as the formation and effects of hurricanes, the annual changes in atmospheric Ozone and other atmospheric components, the varying biodiversity of the planet over time, cumulative earthquake activity, annual gamma ray incidence and dozens of others. These image sets are now available on the internet from NASA at no cost. NASA has also developed a free virtual globe software application for personal computers, NASA World Wind, to view these images and play them as movies projected onto a three-dimensional Earth. Highly compelling and interesting, NASA's time-series image sets displayed interactively in NASA World Wind provide a presentation of geophysical phenomena that appeals to students and conveys lasting understanding. This presentation demonstrates the educational possibilities of these.


Student-Teacher Astronomy Resource (STAR) Program

* Gaboardi, M ( , Geol. Sci., Florida State University, 108 Carraway, Tallahassee, FL 32306, United States
* Gaboardi, M ( , NHMFL, 1800 E. Paul Dirac Dr, Tallahassee, FL 32310, United States
Humayun, M , Geol. Sci., Florida State University, 108 Carraway, Tallahassee, FL 32306, United States
Humayun, M , NHMFL, 1800 E. Paul Dirac Dr, Tallahassee, FL 32310, United States
Dixon, P , CIRL, 1800 E. Paul Dirac Dr, Tallahassee, FL 32310, United States
Dixon, P , NHMFL, 1800 E. Paul Dirac Dr, Tallahassee, FL 32310, United States

Our NASA-funded E/PO program, the Student-Teacher Astronomy Resource (STAR) Program, designed around the Stardust and Genesis Missions, focuses on the reciprocal relationship between technological progress and advances in scientific understanding. We work directly with the public, teachers, classrooms, and individual school students. Both formal and informal evaluations suggest that our four-step approach to outreach has been effective. This annual program may serve as a model for the partnership between a national research institution, local scientists, and local teachers. The program has four components: 1.�Space Stations� developed around the technology and science of the Genesis and Stardust Missions, are offered as child-friendly booths at the annual National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (NHMFL) Open House. The stations allow for direct interaction between the scientists and the public (over 3000 visitors). 2. STAR teachers (15) receive training and supplies to lead their classrooms through �Technology for Studying Comets�. After attending a one-day in-service at the NHMFL, teachers can bring to their students an inquiry-based space science unit about which they are knowledgeable and excited. 3. We offer �Comet Tales,� an informal education experience based on the NASA classroom activity �Comet Basics,� to 15 local classrooms. We visit local classrooms and engage students with inquiry about comets, sampling of Wild 2, and what scientists hope to learn from the Stardust Mission. Visits occur during the two-week �Technology for Studying Comets� unit taught by each STAR teacher. 4. The �Stellar Students� component involves 15 high-achieving students in research activities. From each classroom visited during �Comet Tales,� one student is selected to visit the NHMFL for a day. Parents and teachers of the students are invited for an awards ceremony and student presentations. Evaluation consisted of focus groups, informal observation, and questionnaires. Responses were overwhelmingly positive. This format allows us to continuously improve the design of our program and ensure that we meet the needs of our local school district.


Using Mars and the Mer Mission to Teach Science: A Curriculum Designed for Teachers and Their Students

* Aubele, J C ( , New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, 1801 Mountain Rd. NW, Albuquerque, NM 87104, United States
Stanley, J ( , LodeStar Astronomy Center, 1801 Mountain Rd. NW, Albuquerque, NM 87104, United States
Grochowski, A , Maxwell Museum, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131, United States
Jones, K , National Atomic Museum, 1905 Mountain Rd, Albuquerque, NM 87104, United States
Aragon, J , Laguna-Acoma Junior-Senior HS, NM 23, Casa Blanca, NM 87038, United States

Learning opportunities can be exceptionally successful when linked to national, newsworthy events. Planetary missions are particularly exciting in engaging teachers, and their students, because they combine the human �stories� of scientists and engineers with cutting-edge technology and new science. Planetary suface missions, such as the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission, return beautiful and human-scale images that can virtually transport the viewer to another world. The MER mission allows children and adults to participate in the exploration of one of our nearest neighbors in space. New discoveries in the natural history of Mars have been used as the basis of a new integrated curriculum created by Museum and class-room educators designed to serve informal (family learning) and formal (classroom) audiences. The curriculum uses Mars and the MER mission as a �hook� to teach a wide range of topics that relate to all of the sciences, mathematics, social studies (history and exploration), science and society, career readiness, language and literacy, and visual arts. The curriculum, entitled �Making Tracks on Mars: Teacher Resource and Activity Guide,� includes the following key features that have contributed to its success and usefulness: (1) basic information about Mars, Mars missions, and the MER mission providing teachers with the knowledge they may lack; (2) activities that follow a standardized format and include necessary information, pre-lesson preparation and post-lesson closure and extensions, and all information and/or images needed; (3) activities that cross the curriculum and can be used to address many different standards; (4) relevant state and national standards listed for each activity; (5) annotated MER image file and PowerPoint presentation for easy classroom use; (6) lists of additional Mars-related resources; (7) emphasis on local connections to the mission to enable teachers and students to feel personally connected; (8) elementary through high school classroom teachers as co-authors and co-developers of the curriculum; (9) evaluation and assessement by �pilot program� teachers; and (10) collaboration and partnership with other local and regional science education providers, such as SCORE, which provided partial funding and dissemination support, and NM MESA, a statewide organization of teachers.


Bring Mars Data Into Hawaii's Classrooms: An Exercise in Cultural Adaptation, Inclusivity and Partnership

* Bruno, B C ( , HIGP - University of Hawaii, 1680 East-West Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, United States
Fagents, S A ( , HIGP - University of Hawaii, 1680 East-West Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, United States

Through a NASA Education and Public Outreach grant linked to a Mars Fundamental Research Program proposal, we are developing standards-based, hands-on 5-12th grade Mars science curricula that are culturally relevant to Hawaii. Our approach is both to develop new curricula based on authentic Mars data as well as to tailor existing curricula to make the content and teaching methodologies culturally relevant. Although we believe our curricula will benefit all of Hawaii`s students, we are specifically targeting Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (NHPI), who have among the poorest educational performance when compared to other ethnic and racial groups in Hawaii. One of our curriculum projects is an eight-lesson unit entitled {\it Life in Hawaii, Life on Mars}, currently being developed in partnership with 5th and 6th grade teachers at Laie and Makaha Elementary Schools in rural O`ahu. Both schools have high NHPI enrollment, so establishing cultural relevance during the introductory sessions is a high priority. We plan on beginning the unit with {\it Life in Hawaii}, an examination of what people and plants need to live, followed by {\it Hawaiians as Space Explorers}, which draws parallels with Polynesian voyaging tradition. The next four sessions, in which students analyze Mars data and conduct laboratory experiments, are aimed at determining how people could survive on Mars. Topics include: {\it Is There Water on Mars?}, {\it Building biospheres (double-session)}, and {\it Choosing a Biosphere Location on Mars}. The final two sessions involve student-scientist interaction. In {\it Meet the Mars Scientists}, scientists give feedback as students share their biospheres and ideas of where to put them. In the final lesson, {\it You can be a research scientist!}, students help scientists with their research by taking simple planimetric measurements of volcanic features on Mars. Our ultimate goal is to interest all (but particularly NHPI) students in a science career. We believe the successful features of this program include: a customer-driven approach, culturally relevant materials and teaching methodologies, and close interaction among students, teachers and scientists.


Learning in Authentic Earth and Planetary Contexts

* Fergusson, J A ( , Macquarie ICT Innovations Centre, Macquarie University, North Ryde, NSW 2109 Australia
Oliver, C A ( , Australian Centre for Astrobiology, Macquarie University, North Ryde, NSW 2109 Australia

A Virtual Field Trip project has been developed in collaboration with NASA Learning Technologies to allow students, internationally, to accompany scientists on a field trip to the Pilbara region of Western Australia to debate the relevance of ancient structures called stromatolites, to the origins of life on Earth and the search for life on Mars. The project was planned with the aim of exposing high school students to �science in the making', including exposure to the ongoing debate and uncertainties involved in scientific research. The development of the project stemmed from both research-based and anecdotal evidence that current science education programs are not providing secondary students with a good understanding of the processes of science. This study seeks to examine the effectiveness of student use of the tools to increase awareness of the processes of science and to evaluate the effectiveness of the tools in terms of student learning. The literature reports that there is a need for learning activities to be conducted within meaningful contexts. The virtual field trip tools create an environment that simulates key elements in the scientific process. Such an approach allows students to learn by doing, to work like scientists and apply their learning in an authentic context.


Using Google Earth for Rapid Dissemination of Airborne Remote Sensing Lidar and Photography

* Wright, C W ( , NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Code 614.6, Wallops Island, VA 23337, United States
Nayegandhi, A ( , ETI Professionals Inc., U.S. Geological Survey, 600 4th Street South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701, United States
Brock, J C ( , U. S. Geological Survey, 600 4th Street South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701, United States

In order to visualize and disseminate vast amounts of lidar and digital photography data, we present a unique method that make these data layers available via the Google Earth interface. The NASA Experimental Advanced Airborne Research Lidar (EAARL) provides unprecedented capabilities to survey coral reefs, nearshore benthic habitats, coastal vegetation, and sandy beaches. The EAARL sensor suite includes a water-penetrating lidar that provides high-resolution topographic information, a down-looking color digital camera, a down-looking high- resolution color-infrared (CIR) digital camera, and precision kinematic GPS receivers which provide for sub-meter geo-referencing of each laser and multispectral sample. Google Earth "kml" files are created for each EAARL multispectral and processed lidar image. A hierarchical structure of network links allows the user to download high-resolution images within the region of interest. The first network link (kmz file) downloaded by the user contains a color coded flight path and "minute marker" icons along the flight path. Each "minute" icon provides access to the image overlays, and additional network links for each second along the flight path as well as flight navigation information. Layers of false-color-coded lidar Digital Elevation Model (DEM) data are made available in 2 km by 2km tiles. These layers include canopy-top, bare-Earth, submerged topography, and links to any other lidar products. The user has the option to download the x,y,z ascii point data or a DEM in the Geotif file format for each tile. The NASA EAARL project captured roughly 250,000 digital photographs in five flights conducted a few days after Hurricane Katrina made landfall along the Gulf Coast in 2005. All of the photos and DEM layers are georeferenced and viewable online using Google Earth.


Rock Around the World: Integrating Educational Outreach and Scientific Analysis Techniques

* Rogers, L D ( , Arizona State University, PO Box 876305, Tempe, AZ 85287-6305, United States
Klug, S L ( , Arizona State University, PO Box 876305, Tempe, AZ 85287-6305, United States
Christensen, P R ( , Arizona State University, PO Box 876305, Tempe, AZ 85287-6305, United States
Rogers, T A ( , Arizona State University, PO Box 876305, Tempe, AZ 85287-6305, United States
Daub, G A ( , Arizona State University, PO Box 876305, Tempe, AZ 85287-6305, United States

Rock Around the World (RATW) is an educational outreach program designed to inspire and teach children about science by allowing them to participate in the scientific process. Since the creation of the Rock Around the World program in January 2004, we have received 7,929 (to date) rocks from children and adults alike from around the world. The accumulation of almost 8,000 rock samples has exponentially expanded the Arizona State University earth-based rock library into a large collection of samples useful for scientific investigation of Earth and Mars. This library currently supports research that is being conducted by the Mars Global Surveyor Thermal Emission Spectrometer, the Mars Odyssey Thermal Emission Imaging System and the two Mini-Thermal Emission Spectrometer instruments that are onboard the Mars Exploration Rovers. The collection of spectral data and the organization of information associated with each rock sample into a database has continued for the past two and a half years. In order to further the benefit of the program to both educators and scientists alike, this data is being integrated into a spectral library and analysis tool developed by the Mars Space Flight Facility at Arizona State University. Once the spectrum of the sample is acquired, it is possible to deconvolve, or unmix, the spectrum to determine the abundances of each mineral present in the rock. This is a tool that is currently in use by the visitors to our Rock Around the World website. The deconvolution results are stored in the database, along with the corresponding rock sample information. The deconvolution of the RATW spectra will allow scientists to know the mineral percentages, such as hematite, for every spectrum within the RATW spectral library. This will allow for samples of interest to scientists to be quickly identified for use in their investigations. From this database, it will also be possible to make a mineral map correlating minerals with location on the planet. This can be used to demonstrate how different rock compositions are associated with different geographic locations.


Seamonster Education: A Sensor Network Project in Southeast Alaska

* Fatland, D R ( , Microsoft-Vexcel, 1690 38th St, Boulder, CO 80301, United States
Nagorski, S ( , University of Alaska Southeast, 11120 Glacier Highway, Juneau, AK 99801, United States
Connor, C ( , University of Alaska Southeast, 11120 Glacier Highway, Juneau, AK 99801, United States
Heavner, M J , University of Alaska Southeast, 11120 Glacier Highway, Juneau, AK 99801, United States
Hood, E ( , University of Alaska Southeast, 11120 Glacier Highway, Juneau, AK 99801, United States

The NASA Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Science (ROSES) program is supporting a wireless sensor network project as part of its Advanced Information Systems Technology �Smart Sensor Web� initiative. The project, entitled Seamonster (for SouthEast Alaska MONitoring Network for Science, Telecomm, and Education Research) is led by the University of Alaska Southeast (Juneau) in collaboration with Microsoft-Vexcel in Boulder Colorado. This paper describes the Education Research component of Seamonster with emphasis on live scientist connection to educators, field experience, and inquiry-based student learning opportunity. Part of the Seamonster science will focus on a succession of valleys near Juneau in various stages of deglaciation, in effect providing a synopsis of a millennium-timescale process in a single moment. The Seamonster sensor configuration is designed to initially focus on a single watershed--Lemon Creek--and to subsequently expand to this larger region of interest. The aim is to provide data that narrates the story of watershed processes in real time, for example connecting precipitation to outflow volume and turbidity throughout the course of the year. As the project grows in scope the educational component will expand to keep pace. Having educators and by extension their students connected to data-driven stories as they unfold is a major objective of the project and will represent a milestone in efforts to include more people in front-end science as it happens.


Assessment of Secondary Student Attitudes and Achievement in Marine Science Using ArcView� GIS Technology

* Healy, G ( , CORE: Consortium for Oceanographic Research and Education, 1201 New York Avenue, NW Suite 420, Washington, DC 20005, United States
* Healy, G ( , University of South Carolina, 701 Sumter Street, Columbia, SC 29208, United States
Voulgaris, G ( , University of South Carolina, 701 Sumter Street, Columbia, SC 29208, United States

This presentation will summarize the results of research investigating the cognitive and pedagogical implications of integrating ArcView� GIS technology into secondary science classrooms. Four hundred seven secondary students were introduced to a marine science curriculum using ArcView� GIS technology and traditional methods of teaching at different times during implementation and then tested to identify significant effects on students' acquisition of content skills, cognitive skills, and spatial skills. The results suggested that neither ArcView� GIS nor traditional instructional methods have a greater effect on secondary students' acquisition of content, cognition, or spatial skills. The implications of this study include contributions to teacher professional development, improving grade level appropriate GIS-based curriculum, and to the knowledge-base of theoretical geoscience research.


Introductory Tools for Radiative Transfer Models

* Feldman, D ( , California Institute of Technology, 1200 E California Blvd. MC 150-21, Pasadena, CA 91125, United States
Kuai, L ( , California Institute of Technology, 1200 E California Blvd. MC 150-21, Pasadena, CA 91125, United States
Natraj, V ( , California Institute of Technology, 1200 E California Blvd. MC 150-21, Pasadena, CA 91125, United States
Yung, Y ( , California Institute of Technology, 1200 E California Blvd. MC 150-21, Pasadena, CA 91125, United States

Satellite data are currently so voluminous that, despite their unprecedented quality and potential for scientific application, only a small fraction is analyzed due to two factors: researchers' computational constraints and a relatively small number of researchers actively utilizing the data. Ultimately it is hoped that the terabytes of unanalyzed data being archived can receive scientific scrutiny but this will require a popularization of the methods associated with the analysis. Since a large portion of complexity is associated with the proper implementation of the radiative transfer model, it is reasonable and appropriate to make the model as accessible as possible to general audiences. Unfortunately, the algorithmic and conceptual details that are necessary for state-of-the-art analysis also tend to frustrate the accessibility for those new to remote sensing. Several efforts have been made to have web-based radiative transfer calculations, and these are useful for limited calculations, but analysis of more than a few spectra requires the utilization of home- or server-based computing resources. We present a system that is designed to allow for easier access to radiative transfer models with implementation on a home computing platform in the hopes that this system can be utilized in and expanded upon in advanced high school and introductory college settings. This learning-by-doing process is aided through the use of several powerful tools. The first is a wikipedia-style introduction to the salient features of radiative transfer that references the seminal works in the field and refers to more complicated calculations and algorithms sparingly5. The second feature is a technical forum, commonly referred to as a tiki-wiki, that addresses technical and conceptual questions through public postings, private messages, and a ranked searching routine. Together, these tools may be able to facilitate greater interest in the field of remote sensing.


The Use of Lunar Data in the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Education Program

* Stockman, S A ( , Science Systems and Applications, Inc., Code 698 NASA GSFC, Greenbelt, MD 20771, United States

In the fall of 2008, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) will set forth on a journey to study the moon, paving the way for future human exploration. LRO comprises six research instruments and a technology demonstration that will search for water ice, map the surface of the moon, and assess the chemical composition for identification of potential resources. A key component of a majority of the instrument EPO plans is to engage the public and education audiences through the use of data collected during the mission. In preparation for the wealth of new lunar data the Education and Public Outreach (EPO) program for LRO is supporting the use of current lunar data in education settings in both formal and informal education communities. The LRO EPO program has partnered on funded proposals that reach librarians, small science museums, Girl Scouts, NASA Explorer Schools and in-service teachers. Through our involvement with these projects, we are introducing a broad audience to lunar exploration and are preparing them to utilize LRO data in education settings when it becomes available. LRO instrument EPO teams are developing an array of tools, modules and visualizations to be used with image, topography, and spectrometry data that will be available during and after the LRO mission. They have initiated partnerships with museums, planetariums, public television stations, the Mars Museum Alliance, NASA Explorer Schools, HBCUs and other minority serving institutions, and the Society of Physics students. During this presentation we will discuss the use of planetary data in current partnerships that have been funded by NASA's Office of Education and NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate as well as the LRO instrument team plans. We will also explore opportunities for future collaborative efforts in the development and dissemination of materials that utilize LRO data products.