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2012 Annual Science Report

University of Wisconsin Reporting  |  SEP 2011 – AUG 2012

EPO Activity: Project 12: NAI and SSEP Pilot Nationwide Educator Workshops

Project Progress

On April 21, 2012, Kay Ferrari collaborated with Daniella Scalice of NAI, Dr. John Peters, Suzi Taylor, Jamie Cornish and Monica Brelsford of the Montana State University NAI team, Dr. Loren Williams and Jamila Cola of the Georgia Tech NAI team, Dr. Mike Russell and Rachel Zimmerman-Brachman of the JPL Icy Worlds NAI team, Mary Kado’oka of the Ali’I NAI team from Hawaii and newly selected Astrobiology Master Teachers to host the “Origin of Life” educator workshop for 34 Georgia teachers following AbSciCon.

The team also coordinated “Origin of Life” workshops held at six remote sites and led by NASA/JPL Solar System Educators. Those locations were in North Carolina, West Virginia (2), Minnesota, Montana and Washington State. The speaker portion of the Georgia workshop was broadcast to four remote sites. Thirty-four teachers participated in Georgia and 120 teachers participated at the remote sites.

The “Origin of Life” pilot served as the basis for the “Start School With Curiosity” educator workshops that took place on August 4. Six Solar System Educators conducted workshops that featured an hour of speakers broadcast from JPL via NASA’s Digital Learning Network. Speakers Rob Manning, Mars Project Engineer, and astrobiologist Dr. Pan Conrad, SAM instrument Deputy Scientist, discussed Curiosity’s landing scheduled for August 5 and the goals of the SAM instrument in its search for signs of habitable regions on Mars. There were 223 teachers participating. Lyle Tavernier of JPL coordinated the DLN production. NASA/Goddard DLN Coordinator Erin McKinley gave a short presentation on how teachers could utilize the DLN in their classrooms. SSEPs from New Jersey, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Texas, North Carolina, Kansas led workshops. Said SSEP Carol Lutsinger of Texas, “The teachers loved the materials and especially enjoyed hearing from Rob and Pan. It was a wonderful event!”