Category Archives: Professional Development

Summer STEM Teacher Professional Development in Portland OR

The Portland Metro STEM Partnership is offering a series of math and science content and pedagogical practice courses , in collaboration with area school districts and Portland State University. All interested teachers are welcome. Electronic copies of the brochure and course descriptions can be found at http://pdxstem.org/intel-stem-center/stem-teachers-academy/ — all courses are designed to:

1.) deepen teacher content knowledge.
2.) increase teacher understanding of how students learn various content and processes/practices.
3.) align Oregon curriculum standards (including Common Core State Standards) and instructional materials.
4.) implement standards-based and assessment-for-learning practices.
5.) complement District professional development and instructional practice goals.

For more info, please contact Carol Biskupic Knight, STEM Center Professional Development Coordinator (bis2@pdx.edu). More about the Portland Metro STEM Partnership at http://www.pdxstem.org

Free Webinar – Where is the Solar System in this Image? – May 10, 2012

The May 10 webinar, “Where in the Solar System is this Image?”, features an interactive presentation connecting students with a scientist at the NASA Johnson Space Center.

NASA’s Expedition Earth and Beyond (EEAB) Program promotes student-led research investigations in the classroom using NASA data and resources. Students will view astronaut imagery of Earth and remote sensing imagery of other planetary bodies in our Solar System as they identify features, planetary locations, and learn the significance behind imagery being shared.

For registration and information, go to http://ares.jsc.nasa.gov/ares/eeab/event_05102012.cfm

2012 NASA Summer of Innovation Program

NASA Summer of Innovation

The 2012 NASA Summer of Innovation Program for middle school students and educators has begun!

NASA’s third annual Summer of Innovation (SOI) project is underway. The project is providing hands-on learning opportunities for middle school students and educators through NASA-unique science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) educational activities during the summer school break. SOI is a key component of the agency’s broader education program to increase student interest in STEM courses, particularly among those in underserved sectors of the academic community.

SOI uses NASA’s out-of-this-world missions and technology programs to boost interest in STEM among middle school students by offering interactive learning experiences. This year, a major portion of the SOI content focus will be on Curiosity, a NASA flagship science mission currently en route to Mars and scheduled to land Aug. 6.

“NASA always has been fortunate when it comes to offering interesting STEM education content; our missions are compelling and inspiring,” said Leland Melvin, associate administrator for NASA Office of Education. “Because Curiosity will reach the Red Planet during SOI 2012, it provides a timely and relevant context for teaching students about planetary science, engineering and technology. Students will get to see much of what they learned unfold as the rover makes its final rendezvous with Mars.”

SOI 2012 is multi-faceted and features a variety of engagement activities offered by NASA’s 10 centers located across the country. SOI 2012 also will continue several STEM summer programs developed by NASA’s national SOI partners during 2010 and 2011.

SOI includes a competitive “mini-grant” component to assist small education and outreach organizations in providing NASA-themed STEM content to middle school students or teachers through existing summer or afterschool programs. NASA plans to announce the mini-grants proposal process and due dates within the coming weeks.

A revamped SOI website will include new products and tools for students and educators to access virtually NASA’s educational offerings and resources. It will feature tools to download learning and activity plans and access to current SOI NASA center opportunities, highlights of the 2012 program and SOI contact information.

Another exciting new web feature is a collection of SOI virtual activity plans called “mini-camps.” These eight self-contained STEM learning modules offer one-day, two-day and weeklong programs in fields such as rocketry, aeronautics and robotics that easily can be tailored to a variety of audiences.

SOI debuted in 2010 as a three-year pilot program to respond to President Obama’s Educate to Innovate campaign. Since its inception, NASA has reached more than 45,000 students; had a presence in 46 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico; and provided professional development opportunities for approximately 5,500 educators.

For more information about the SOI project, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/soi

For more information about NASA’s broader education program, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/education

Free Education Webinar Series from the Aerospace Education Services Project – May 2012

The Aerospace Education Services Project is presenting a series of free webinars through May 2012. All webinars can be accessed online. Join aerospace education specialists to learn about activities, lesson plans, educator guides and resources to bring NASA into your classroom.

Our Solar System: A Model Overview (Grades 4-9)
May 1, 2012, 6 – 7 p.m. EDT
Aerospace education specialist Steve Culivan will present NASA inquiry activities that demonstrate remote sensing and scale models to better visualize our sun, planets, asteroids and other objects as a whole system.

Mars Uncovered: Revealing the Geologic History of Mars (Grades 5-12)
May 2, 2012, 7:30 – 8:30 p.m. EDT
Aerospace education specialist Tony Leavitt will share an inquiry-based lesson that presents a critical-thinking approach of studying the surface of Mars. This process is similar to the approach used by NASA scientists. This lesson will teach students to examine geologic features of a planetary surface and use relative-age dating techniques to analyze the information and interpret the geologic history.

NASA and Education Resource Access (Grades K-12)
May 3, 2012, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. EDT
Aerospace education specialist Sonya Williams will explain NASA’s mission directorates and their purposes. Learn about the K-12 educational materials created by each of the directorates and how educators can access these materials free of charge. Learn about citizen science opportunities, student design challenges and many other NASA resources that educators can incorporate into their classrooms.

Animals in Space (Grades K-5)
May 3, 2012, 7 – 8 p.m. EDT
Aerospace education specialist Wil Robertson will demonstrate how teachers can use stuffed animals as props in telling the story of the animals that preceded humans in space. The program is geared for teachers in K-5 with a special focus of aligning the topic with the Core Literacy Standards for elementary grades. Web resources will be provided.

Animals in Space (Grades K-5)
May 5, 2012, 9 – 10 a.m. EDT
Aerospace education specialist Wil Robertson will demonstrate how teachers can use stuffed animals as props in telling the story of the animals that preceded humans in space. The program is geared for teachers in K-5 with a special focus of aligning the topic with the Core Literacy Standards for elementary grades. Web resources will be provided.

Food for Thought: Space Food and Nutrition in the Classroom (Grades 4-9)
May 5, 2012, 11 a.m. – noon EDT
Aerospace education specialist Steve Culivan will share “Food for Thought,” a new NASA educator guide designed to explore space food and the nutritional needs of astronauts that includes a menu of inquiry activities and other resources to address this exciting topic.

Rocket Scientists Write? (Grades K-12)
May 7, 2012, 6 – 7 p.m. EDT
Aerospace education specialist John Weis will demonstrate language arts activities using NASA materials and lessons found within NASA educator guides. Materials discussed will cover reading comprehension and composition for grades K-12. Lesson plans and strategies will be shared.

NASA’s S’COOL Program (Grades 4-12)
May 8, 2012, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Aerospace education specialist Les Gold will introduce NASA’s Students’ Cloud Observations On-Line, or S’COOL, program. The program engages students to make observations of cloud type and cover and then share it with NASA. Scientists use the data to assist their understanding of global climate change. After sending in observations, teachers receive satellite images for comparison to student data.

Free Planetarium Program for Your Computer (Grades K-12)
May 15, 2012, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Aerospace education specialist Les Gold will introduce participants to a free planetarium program. Participants will learn how to use the program to demonstrate day/night cycles, the sun’s changing position in the sky, as well as seasons, phases of the moon, constellations and more.

Looking at Our Earth From Above (Grades 4-9)
May 15, 2012, 6 – 7 p.m.
Aerospace education specialist Steve Culivan will integrate science, technology, engineering, mathematics and geography, or STEM-G, with Earth observations, remote sensing and maps. NASA curriculum products, missions and other resources will be utilized to demonstrate an inquiry-based teaching strategy to better understand Earth and the processes that shape it.

Mars Uncovered: Revealing the Geologic History of Mars (Grades 5-12)
May 16, 2012, 7:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Aerospace education specialist Tony Leavitt will share an inquiry-based lesson that presents a critical-thinking approach of studying the surface of Mars. This process is similar to the approach used by NASA scientists. This lesson will teach students to examine geologic features of a planetary surface and use relative-age dating techniques to analyze the information and interpret the geologic history.

Rocket Scientists Write? (Grades K-12)
May 21, 2012, 6 – 7 p.m. EDT
Aerospace education specialist John Weis will demonstrate language arts activities using NASA materials and lessons found within NASA educator guides. Materials discussed will cover reading comprehension and composition for grades K-12. Lesson plans and strategies will be shared.

Toys in Space (Grades 4-9)
May 24, 2012, 7 – 8 p.m. EDT
Aerospace education specialist Steve Culivan will share NASA’s Toys in Space videos and activities. In this program, astronauts took toys from around the world with them into space. Students predict, observe and record how the toys behave without the effects of Earth’s gravity, putting Newton’s Laws of Motion to the test. Participants will receive copies of the astronaut videos for use in the classroom.

Sun-Earth-Moon Relationships (Grades K-8)
May 24, 2012, 7 – 8 p.m. EDT
Aerospace education specialist Rick Varner will introduce sun-Earth-moon models that help to explain the phases of the moon and both lunar and solar eclipses. Additionally, the activity “Kinesthetic Astronomy” will be introduced for its explanation of the seasons.

For more information about these webinars, and to see a full list of webinars taking place through June 2012, visit http://neon.psu.edu/webinars/.

Questions about this series of webinars should be directed to Gwendolyn Wheatle at Gwendolyn.H.Wheatle@nasa.gov.

Free Education Webinar Series from the Aerospace Education Services Project – April 2012

Aerospace Education Services Project is presenting a series of free webinars through June 2012. All webinars can be accessed online. Join aerospace education specialists to learn about activities, lesson plans, educator guides and resources to bring NASA into your classroom.

NASA Literature and Science (Grades K-5)
April 2, 2012, 4 – 5 p.m. EDT
Aerospace education specialist Lester Morales will share an array of NASA literature to enrich students’ vocabulary and scientific skills. During this session Morales will review The Air we Breathe, Echo the Bat and Amelia the Pigeon. Participants will practice the scientific method and remote sensing in both the city and in the wild.

Physics Resources for Secondary School (Grades 5-12)
April 2, 2012, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. EDT.
Aerospace education specialist John Weis will demonstrate simple activities and resources for teaching physics at middle- and high-school levels. Topics and resources covered will include Newton’s Laws of Motion, energy, light and gravity. Lesson plans and modification strategies will be discussed.

Mass Versus Weight: A Heavy-Duty Concept (Grades 5-8)
April 3, 2012, 3 – 4:30 p.m. EDT
Aerospace education specialist Steve Culivan will discuss mass and weight and how these words that have a big difference in meaning often get used incorrectly by students. This workshop will explore these terms using inquiry activities and NASA resources, including a NASA video filmed on the International Space Station.

Physics Resources for Secondary School (Grades 5-12)
April 5, 2012, 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. EDT
Aerospace education specialist John Weis will demonstrate simple activities and resources for teaching physics at middle- and high-school levels. Topics and resources covered will include Newton’s Laws of Motion, energy, light and gravity. Lesson plans and modification strategies will be discussed.

Color Spinners: Understanding Light and Color (Grades 4-8)
April 6, 2012, 6 – 7 p.m. EDT
Aerospace education specialist Christina Comer will explain light and color by constructing color spinners and observing the effects of rapid movement using colors. This webinar will be a fun introduction illustrating how different colors can be made and then changed.

NASA and Education Resource Access (Grades K-12)
April 11, 2012, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. EDT
Aerospace education specialist Sonya Williams will explain NASA’s mission directorates and their purposes. Learn about K-12 educational materials created by each of the directorates and how educators can access these materials free of charge. Learn about citizen science opportunities, student design challenges and many other NASA resources that educators can incorporate into their classrooms.

Messenger’s Mission to Mercury (Grades K-12)
April 16, 2012, 5 – 6 p.m. EDT
Aerospace education specialist Brandon Hargis will provide an overview of the Messenger mission to the planet Mercury and will share lessons and activities connected with the mission. Participants will learn where to find online resources to bring the excitement of exploring Mercury into the classroom. Attendees will learn about geological processes and create a labeled illustration of lava layering.

Start a Space Garden (Grades K-5)
April 18, 2012, 4 – 5 p.m. EDT
Aerospace education specialist Tom Estill will share how to start a school garden using seeds from NASA’s Seeds in Space project and the Canadian Space Agency’s Tomatosphere project. Over the past 10 years, Tomatosphere has evolved into a regular component of the curriculum for more than 13,700 classrooms in Canada and the United States. At the end of the workshop, a NASA space seeds surprise awaits you.

Animals in Space (Grades K-5)
April 18, 2012, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. EDT
Aerospace education specialist Wil Robertson will demonstrate how teachers can use stuffed animals as props in telling the story of the animals that preceded humans in space. The program is geared for teachers in K-5 with a special focus of aligning the topic with the Core Literacy Standards for elementary grades. Web resources will be provided.

NASA Literature and Science (Grades K-5)
April 25, 2012, 4 – 5 p.m. EDT
Aerospace education specialist Lester Morales will share an array of NASA literature to enrich students’ vocabulary and scientific skills. During this session Morales will review The Air we Breathe, Echo the Bat and Amelia the Pigeon. Participants will practice the scientific method and remote sensing in both the city and in the wild.

For more information about the webinars listed above, and to see a full list of webinars taking place through May 2012, visit http://neon.psu.edu/webinars/.

Mars Student Imaging Project – Summer 2012

The Mars Student Imaging Project is seeking educator applicants to participate in a virtual experiential opportunity for the 2011-2012 school year and the summer of 2012. Students will have the opportunity to ask a research question about Mars, use real Mars data to answer the question, interact with Mars scientists and target a brand new image of Mars using a special camera on the Mars Odyssey Spacecraft. This is an opportunity to do authentic research, build science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, experiences, and possibly make a new discovery on Mars!

For more information about the project and to apply online, visit the Mars Student Imaging Project website at http://marsed.mars.asu.edu/msip-home

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to Jessica Swann at jlswann@asu.edu or Anthony Zippay at jzippay@asu.edu.

New Free Electronic Professional Development Network Courses

NASA’s Learning Environments and Research Network and the Georgia Institute of Technology have teamed up to create the electronic professional development network, or e-PDN, an initiative dedicated to preparing K-12 teachers to engage their students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, through the use of NASA-developed learning materials and resources.

If you are looking for a way to enhance your instructional skills, meet your professional development goals or find new and exciting resources to use in your learning environments, apply to one of our free courses today!

Applications are now open for the following courses:

Technology Integration — Engage and Educate: Podcasts in the Classroom – May 30-July 3, 2012
Participants will examine how podcasts can be integrated into the STEM classroom. In this course, the benefits, as well as obstacles, of podcasts will be discussed and you will be introduced to the tools and techniques of creating podcasts. You will finish by creating your own podcasts using NASA resources. This course is aimed at beginners who have little or no experience with podcasts.

Technology Integration — Vodcasts – July 11- Aug. 14, 2012
Participants will use various audio and video editing software tools to create video podcasts, or vodcasts. Each participant will begin by creating an enhanced podcast and build up to a vodcast through the creation of video and audio files. During the course, you will examine and use many of the NASA public domain resources for infusing STEM concepts into your projects.

To learn more about these free courses and to apply online, visit http://nasaepdn.gatech.edu/course_schedules.php.

For more information on the e-PDN and the resources it offers to K-12 teachers, visit http://www.nasaepdn.gatech.edu.

Questions about these courses should be directed to Kristen Anderson at kristen.anderson@dlpe.gatech.edu.

Mathematical Models: Black Holes Web Seminar – March 29, 2012

Giant Black Hole Rips Apart Unlucky Star In Cosmic Reality Show

Register for the Mathematical Models: Black Holes Web Seminar

As part of a series of electronic professional development experiences for educators, the NASA Explorer Schools and Learning Environments and Research Network, or LE&RN, projects are hosting a 60-minute live professional development Web seminar for educators on March 29, 2012, at 8 p.m. EDT. Misconceptions about black holes will be addressed, as participants learn background information about the structure and behavior of one of the universe’s most mysterious and spectacular bodies. Learn how to derive the equations used in the Black Hole Math problem set for students to better understand the physics of black holes.

For more information and to register online, visit https://digitalmedia.wufoo.com/forms/nes-webinar-registration-mathematical-models/.

To learn more about the NASA Explorer Schools project, visit http://explorerschools.nasa.gov.

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