Back to Volume
Paper: “Teachers Touch the Sky:” A Workshop in Astronomy for Teachers in Grades 3–9
Volume: 457, Connecting People to Science
Page: 215
Authors: Buratti, B. J.
Abstract: Eight times during the past two decades, JPL technical staff, assisted by master teachers, conducted a one-week workshop for teachers in grades 3–9. In these workshops, the teachers are walked through hands-on activities that are all based on current projects in astronomy and space science at JPL. The activities are inquiry-based and emphasize the scientific method and fundamental math and science skills. Each year the workshop focuses on a NASA theme: in 2011 it was the Dawn Mission to the asteroid 4 Vesta, as orbit insertion occurred right before the workshop. Several activities are based on the Lawrence Livermore Lab's Great Exploration in Math and Science (GEMS) guides. Teachers tour JPL's facilities such as the Space Flight Operations Center, the Spacecraft Assembly Facility, and the Mars Yard. The integration of the lessons into the teachers' own curricula is discussed, and a field trip to JPL's Table Mountain Observatory is included. Teachers learn of the resources NASA makes available to them, and they have the opportunity to talk to “real” scientists about their work. Teachers receive an honorarium for participation plus classroom materials.
Back to Volume