2011 Annual Science Report

Arizona State University Reporting  |  SEP 2010 – AUG 2011

EPO Activity: EPO Informal Education, Task 2: ASU STEM College for Kids Summer Camp

Project Progress

ASU STEM Summer College-for-Kids camp
The College-for-Kids program is part of the Modeling Institute, an NSF-sponsored consortium of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education programs across all the Arizona State University campuses. It’s goals are to create: 1) A Master of Natural Science (MNS) degree program Middle School STEM, 2) A middle school STEM Summer College-for-Kids program, and 3) STEM-net – Valley-wide network of STEM educators who gather regularly at ASU to learn, share and help one another grow professionally.

Astrobiology was part of the “To the Moon, Mars and Beyond” summer camp held at the R.S. Dietz Museum of Geology from June 20-July 1, 2011. 11 underserved, underrepresented middle school students attended the camp under the guidance of a certified teacher, Dawn Knappenberger (Figures 1-2) and Astrobiology EPO Lead, Wendy Taylor. The two week summer camp explored planetary science and astrobiology through daily hands-on STEM activities, interactions with researchers, and tours to SESE mission centers and collections. As part of the daily camp activities, students participated in a education research that was conducted by four Modeling Institute graduate students (Figure 3). Their research involved the effectiveness of white boards versus large pads in concept mapping.

Figure 1: STEM Summer College for Kids. ​Summer camp students in the R.S. Dietz Museum with camp instructor, Dawn Knappenberger. Students spent two weeks focusing on planetary science topics including astrobiology, meteoritics, lunar and Mars Exploration.

Figure 2: STEM Summer College for Kids. ​Summer camp students spent time at several NASA facilities at ASU getting tours and working with staff scientists. Rebekah Hines from the Center for Meteorites Studies presented a tour of the collections and Meteorite Museum.

Figure 3: STEM Summer College for Kids. ​As part of the College for Kids camp experience, the students participated in a research program conducted by five graduate students from the Modeling Institute’s, Master of Natural Science (MNS) degree program Middle School STEM in ASU Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College. The graduate students were studying the effectiveness of concept mapping on white boards versus large pads with middle school students.