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2009 Annual Science Report

Montana State University Reporting  |  JUL 2008 – AUG 2009

EPO Activity: Teacher Resource Fair

Project Progress

Teachers from throughout southwest Montana gathered at Montana State University on Oct. 28, 2009 to learn about the many free resources MSU offers to teachers. The event was hosted by the Astrobiology Biogeocatalysis Research Center (ABRC) and Extended University. About 75 teachers attended, representing nearly 20 area elementary, middle and high schools. Others in attendance included school administrators, homeschool teachers, pre-K educators, informal youth educators and pre-service teachers (MSU education students). Teachers received free lesson plans, classroom resources and software. ABRC outreach specialist Monica Brelsford and graduate student Dana Skorupa demonstrated the Kepler Mission tabletop module and Transit Tracker lesson, tying the search for Earth-sized planets around other suns to MSU’s microbial research in Yellowstone’s extreme environments. They also handed out copies of ABRC’s “Invisible Yellowstone” DVD; thermal biology lesson plans; Kepler mission fact sheets; and astrobiology posters. Fifteen other MSU departments participated in the resource fair, including the Museum of the Rockies, Big Sky Institute, and the Montana Space Grant Consortium and Space Public Outreach Team (SPOT). Teachers could also tune in to an interactive Webinar with NASA Aerospace Education Specialist Tony Leavitt and NASA Scientist Jacob Bleacher, who discussed the role of robotics in lunar exploration.