2010 Annual Science Report

University of Hawaii, Manoa Reporting  |  SEP 2009 – AUG 2010

EPO Activity: 2010 ALI'I Summer 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. 2010 ALI’I focused of advancing the knowledge base of former participants to develop an astrobiology master teacher cadre. 45% of the teachers were returnees from previous summers. The workshop was held the last week in June to ensure that the East Coast and Washington state teachers could attend. Over the years, it has been observed that the science teachers willing to integrate all the sciences are more inclined to participate. Thus, they are more open to novel ideas and flexible. This summer, our scientists became increasingly involved with ALI’I by initiating new activities. Besides giving lectures, Dr. Gary Huss, our UH NAI cosmochemist, had the teachers observe slides of chondrules in mineral samples through polarizing microscopes. Pennsylvania teacher took photos and shared them with all participants. The teachers truly appreciated our NAI scientist’s working with them on activities. After ALI’I, his special needs students at a summer program enjoyed learning about this. NAI bioinformatics specialist Stephen Freeland introduced teachers to the historical overview of “classification” in biology to modern times. The returnees were able to hone in on astronomy image processing skills after doing telescope remote observing the past school year with DeKalb Observatory. Heliophysics topics were also introduced for the first time as efforts are being made to connect the sun (star) to conditions of Early Earth atmosphere. A 2-day field trip to Mauna Kea Observatories and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park fueled the teachers’ enthusiasm about astrobiology. 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. The teachers are interested in returning again next summer as recommended by the National Science Foundation. Attempts will be made to develop this cadre of astrobiology master teachers.

Note – In fall, 2009, Dr. Sanjay Limaye from University of Wisconsin visited Oahu middle schools classes of 2009 ALI’I teachers Clyde Kobashigawa and Mark Hill. He also spoke at Eric Wolgemuth at his Seattle Washington high school about Venus atmosphere.