DPS Meeting, Madison, October 1998
Session 18P. K-12 Planetary Science Education Posters
Contributed Poster Session, Tuesday, October 13, 1998, 10:40-11:40am, Hall of Ideas

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[18P.11] Middle School Adventures in Planetary Exploration

S. S. Limaye, R. A. Pertzborn (Space Science \& Engineering Center, UW-Madison)

During the summer of 1998 the UW-Madison Office of Space Science Education (OSSE) developed and implemented a pilot summer school program to improve the math and science performance of middle school students. The program focused on the subject of solar system exploration for the summer school offered by the Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) for middle school students. OSSE staff collaborated with science, math, and technology teachers from two middle schools (Milwaukee Education Center and Bell Middle School) to expand upon a series of hands-on, interdisciplinary lesson plans originally developed to accompany the Planetary Society's Red Rover, Red Rover Program. For six weeks, sixty inner city middle school students had the opportunity to explore new worlds as far reaching as Mars, Mercury, Titania, Uranus and Pluto with the assistance of Planetary Scientists and staff from the UW-Madison Space Science and Engineering Center. Students were provided with computers and internet connections by AT&T to conduct on-line research on their own research topic relating to planetary exploration. Based on their own research efforts, teams of five or six students wrote a mission statement and then proceeded to create a terrain resembling their desired planetary target. Team engineers then built a computer operated Lego Dacta rover designed especially for exploring the unique features of their targeted planet. In addition to strengthening their science and math skills, students also focused on the improvement of their communication skills by maintaining a daily journal of their experiences, tribulations and successes. Students were tested in the beginning and again at the end of the program. An independent group from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee performed overall assessment of the summer program. Based on the overall success in achieving performance enchmarks, the Milwaukee Public Schools and UW-Extension Learning Innovations Center have elected to collaborate with the OSSE to expand the pilot space science curriculum for the academic school year. This effort was supported by a grant from the AT&T Educational Foundation.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://www.ssec.wisc.edu/. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: SanjayL@ssec.wisc.edu

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