2014 Annual Science Report

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Reporting  |  SEP 2013 – DEC 2014

EPO Activity: Science Club for Girls Astrobiology Curriculum

Project Progress

MIT team member Benjamin Kotrc worked with partners at Science Club for Girls, a Cambridge, MA-based organization providing free out-of-school-time programs to ““foster excitement, confidence and literacy in STEM for girls from underrepresented communities”“, to develop a middle-school-age astrobiology curriculum.

The 8-week curriculum, leveraging many existing astrobiology education resources, including many from NASA, was implemented inprograms in Cambridge and Brookline, MA in spring 2014 and in Lawrence, MA in fall 2014. The spring programs culminated in a visit to NASA’s Chandra satellite control center in Cambridge, MA (figures 1 and 2 – caption: ““Participants and chaperones from the Science Club for Girls middle school astrobiology program visit the Chandra satellite operations control center”“). Two graduate students and an undergraduate from the Summons lab at MIT made two visits to the program in Lawrence to talk about their astrobiology research.

A set of clear goals across content knowledge, career awareness, interest, attitude, and skills were defined and an evaluation plan devised to measure impact in these goals.”