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Learning to Investigate the Universe is an institute program, funded by the NSF, for science teachers in middle and secondary schools. Since 1987, 327 teachers from across the nation participated in thirteen two-week sessions.
The most important and successful component of the program is its research experience. During each two-week session, teachers work in teams to conduct investigations using a working 40-ft diameter radio telescope. NRAO scientists and engineers interact closely with the teams by providing advice and resource materials. At the conclusion of the session, teams share their findings and ideas with each other and NRAO staff during a colloquium.
As radio astronomy is unfamiliar to nearly all of the teachers, their experiences closely approximate those of scientists performing forefront research. Participants are required to adapt their experiences to the classroom setting by guiding their students in in-depth investigations of unfamiliar, open-ended problems. The program has significantly increased the participants' use of research methods in the classroom.
We will describe the program and outline plans to expand it for pre-service teachers.
Friday program listing