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2012 Annual Science Report

NASA Ames Research Center Reporting  |  SEP 2011 – AUG 2012

EPO Activity: Educator - Scientist Professional Development

Project Progress

Ames team members are involved in a variety of professional development opportunities for educators across the country.

Research scientist Niki Parenteau was an invited guest lecturer and co-fieldtrip leader for Montana State University’s (MSU) Masters of Science in Science Education Summer Teacher Workshop. Parenteau participated in “Examining Life in Extreme Environments,” a course designed to provide astrobiology science content information. The instruction provided astrobiology content information for practicing science instructors teaching middle, secondary and college-level courses. (Figure 1) Teachers visited several locations at Yellowstone, including Parenteau’s research site where they learned about the geomicrobiology of the area by observing and making measurements in the hot springs. The workshop was organized by EPO Lead Monica Brelsford and represents a collaboration between the Ames and MSU teams.

At the University of Rhode Island, Ames team member Dawn Cardace led a discussion and exploration of materials (rocks, minerals, stream tables, imagery, GoogleMars, etc.) pertinent to astrobiology as a professional development session for practicing teachers. The short course of which this discussion was a part, was entitled, “Thinking Like a Scientist.” (Figure 2)

Ames team members Scott Sandford and Amanda Cook participated in the NASA Ames Science Teacher Program and provided tours of the Astrochemistry Laboratory at Ames to the teachers.

Teachers from around the country participated in a summer workshop at Montana State University. The course provided astrobiology science content information to practicing science instructors who teach middle, secondary and college-level courses. A highlight of the course was a visit to Niki Parenteau’s research site where teachers make measurements in the hot spring.

In a professional development session for practicing teachers, Ames team member Dawn Cardace explains how a bladder pump assembly sends water up from the base of the well.