2012 Annual Science Report

University of Hawaii, Manoa Reporting  |  SEP 2011 – AUG 2012

EPO Activity: ALI'I Teacher Workshop

Project Progress

Conducted since 2004 with over 100 teachers from over 15 states and Puerto Rico participating, ALI’I has been supported by many of our UH NAI team scientists. After an external evaluation in 2011, this program is seeking to develop astrobiology master teachers to conduct secondary workshop across the nation. Working with our UH scientist, a few of these teachers are leading activities at ALI’I. Besides relating astronomy, cosmochemistry and heliophysics to astrobiology, we focused more activities on microbiology and technology in 2012. Master teacher Nicole Chambers initiated our collaboration with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to send a speaker to ALI’I since they are expanding their outreach to all sciences. We plan to have them support us with national workshops. Also, the new technology component involves underwater robots as they are crucial for the subsurface microbial life research being conducted by our NAI oceanographer and his NAI postdoc. A partnership has been established with a UH SOEST engineer who leads the annual MATE student competition on underwater robots on Oahu. ALI’I is embracing the integration of STEM, science, technology, engineering and mathematics into its program. Master teachers Nicoline Chambers (CA), Lloyd Lytle (CA), Jeanne Shratwieser (NH), Mark Friedman (CA) and James Johnson (PA) will be supported to conduct workshops in the 2012-2013 school year. Funding from a recently awarded C-DEBI (Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations) EPO grant will fund the subsurface microbial life and underwater robotics activities at their astrobiology workshops. Another heliophysics grant will subsidize them to integrate the sun into their astrobiology workshops. Other first time teachers, Paul Dorney (IL), will be conducting secondary workshop. Effort are being made to assist the teachers with grant writing to subsidize their workshop expenses and registration fees for conducting workshop and sessions at professional association conferences such as NSTA, NBTA, and AAPT. Experiences at these conferences will serve to enhance their professional development to improve their effectiveness as teachers and workshop leaders. A standard evaluation plan will be developed to be used by all teachers.

In summer of 2012, our annual ALI’I teacher workshop brought together UHNAI researchers with K-12 teachers to undergo a thorough introduction to the science of astrobiology, and examples of activities that can be translated back into the classroom