2010 Annual Science Report

NASA Ames Research Center Reporting  |  SEP 2009 – AUG 2010

EPO Activity: Teacher Professional Development Opportunities

Project Progress

Leveraging resources and building partnerships is key to supporting teacher development opportunities. This past year the Ames Team supported several astrobiology-focused opportunities, which brought teachers together from around the country. Specific examples include the following:

The Astrobiology Summer Science Experience for Teachers, in collaboration with SETI Institute, is a science and curriculum institute for high school teachers. It is an intense and exciting experience consisting of interactive, content-rich presentations by leading astrobiology researchers from SETI, NASA Ames, and the California Academy of Sciences. Through their participation, teachers receive the “Voyages Through Time” curriculum to utilize in their classrooms. This assists them in incorporating astrobiology into their science curriculum. By partnering teachers with NAI Ames Team members, the teachers have a ready resource available to them.

In partnership with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the University of Wisconsin, Madison, the Ames Team hosted the Solar System Educators (SSE) Astrobiology Institute at NASA Ames this year. The purpose of the institute was to introduce teachers to astrobiology and available resource materials. The SSE Program is a nationwide network of 119 highly motivated teachers who volunteer to lead workshops that show other teachers how to successfully incorporate NASA materials and research into their classes.

Ames team member Niki Parenteau provided an astrobiology context to this year’s Montana State University Biology/Chemistry High School Teachers Workshop at Montana State University. Parenteau contributed classroom lectures and field site demonstrations at Yellowstone National Park.