2009 Annual Science Report

University of Hawaii, Manoa Reporting  |  JUL 2008 – AUG 2009

EPO Activity: 2009 ALI'I Program

Project Progress

Since 2004, the ALI’I program has been evolving as new research is infused into the schedule. Teachers has always appreciated the interactions with scientists from all fields.
2009 ALI’I had a diverse group of teachers, those for whom teaching is a second career, a Department of Defense teacher from Texas living in South Korea, those with less than 5 years of experience and others with 20 years and more, and few returnees from Hawaii. The East Coast teachers from New Hampshire and Boston area plus Washington state teacher could attend since ALI’I was held in July. Their school year ended last week in June. This diversity added a richness to the interaction among participants as well as scientists. This group liked flexibility so the program was modified as the week went along based upon their needs. This year, we had several scientists actively involved with the teachers while they worked on classroom activities. Dr. Sanjay Limaye from University of Wisconsin and 2008 ALI’I teacher Clyde Kobashigawa from Honolulu led the Venus clouds activity from the Venus Express mission. Dr. Limaye worked with Clyde’s students the past school year and plans to continue follow up with other teachers. To encourage lesson implementation during the next school year, the teachers are being offered small stipends. This will serve to maintain contact with them and increase astrobiology content in their classrooms. Also, some really enjoyed remote observing with DeKalb Observatory in Indiana since they learned to select the target objects. Several teachers plan to have their students work on astronomy projects with DeKalb and also will get accounts for using Faulkes Telescope. This teacher enthusiasm and motivation has been very stimulating and 13 out of 14 participants want to return for 2010 HI STAR. This group could be the start of a cadre of astrobiology master teachers. Two had attended SETI’s 2009 ASSET program.