2010 Annual Science Report

Montana State University Reporting  |  SEP 2009 – AUG 2010

EPO Activity: Masters of Science in Science Education

Project Progress

“My head is still humming with the ideas we discussed and worked with,” teacher Richard Fortner wrote of Examining Life in Extreme Environments, a two credit course MSU’s ABRC developed for the Master of Science in Science Education (MSSE) program. The MSSE program is designed specifically for science educators to gain a Master’s degree while working.
This years’ course had 18 students from 17 states. We examined four extreme environments: extreme hot and acidic environments of Yellowstone, icy environments of the poles, deep sea environments under the ice sheets in Antarctica as well as high saline, alkaline lakes in Washington State.

Students were presented with cutting edge research that brings together information from geosciences, biosciences and chemical sciences to gain a better understanding of early earth, extreme environments and connections to current astrobiology research. Students were exposed to K12 content and activities to integrate into their classrooms. The course included a day-long field lab in Yellowstone National Park to give students a look at the diverse extreme environments found there.

Students offered praise and gratitude to course organizers and instructors. Course participant Candi Lommen wrote, “I learned so much and have many ideas for incorporating some of the learning into my school year…I left Bozeman feeling accomplished and challenged.”