Goldstone Apple Valley Radio Telescope Program For Educators

Teacher Training Opportunity: Goldstone Apple Valley Radio Telescope Program

The Lewis Center for Educational Research announces an opportunity for K-12 teachers to participate in a unique program. The Goldstone Apple Valley Radio Telescope Program, or GAVRT, is an education partnership involving NASA, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and LCER. The program is a K-12 project using radio astronomy to provide an opportunity for students to experience real science and to learn that science is an ongoing process and actual discovery is possible. Using classroom computers, 32,000 students have taken control of a 34-meter, 500-ton, nine-story-tall radio telescope located at NASA’s Deep Space Network at Goldstone, Calif. There are currently 473 trained teachers at 283 schools in 37 states across the United States and at American schools in 14 countries and three U.S. territories.

What is in it for the students? They learn how to gather data, understand what the data mean and how to follow through with analysis. Students and teachers team with scientists to conduct cutting-edge research leading to discovery. GAVRT is exciting for students while accomplishing educational and scientific objectives.

In 2010, the teacher training program will also include Radio JOVE. Radio JOVE is a hands-on educational activity that brings the radio sounds of the sun, Jupiter, the Milky Way galaxy, and terrestrial radio noise to students, teachers and the public. This program targets students in grades 6 – 14 and involves building a simple radio telescope, making observations, and sharing results with other participants and with professional radio astronomers.

To bring the GAVRT program into the classroom, teachers must attend a five-day class. Teacher training classes are scheduled to take place at the Lewis Center on March 8-12, July 19-23, and Oct. 25-29, 2010. The program strongly recommends that at least two teachers attend the training from each school or area. While this is not a requirement, it will definitely help in program support once back in the classroom. The cost of the five-day class is $745. Teachers interested in participating are invited to apply online at http://www.lewiscenter.org/gavrt/opportunities.php

For more information about GAVRT and Radio JOVE, visit http://www.lewiscenter.org/gavrt/ and http://radiojove.gsfc.nasa.gov

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