AAS Meeting #194 - Chicago, Illinois, May/June 1999
Session 70. Astronomy and Education
Display, Wednesday, June 2, 1999, 10:00am-6:30pm, Southwest Exhibit Hall

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[70.19] Space Projects And Research by Kids (SPARK): A Web Based Research Journal for Middle School Students

S.S. Limaye, R.A. Pertzborn (Space Science and Engineering Center, University of WI-Madison)

Project SPARK is designed to facilitate opportunities for upper elementary and middle school students to develop the necessary skills to conduct investigations that focus on the subjects of astronomy, space exploration, and earth remote sensing. This program actively engages students in conducting their own research project to acquire increased understanding and content knowledge in the space sciences. While the development of scientific inquiry skills and content literacy is the primary focus, students also enhance their critical thinking, analytical, technological and communications skills. As in the professional science community, the web based SPARK Journal presents an avenue for students to effectively communicate the results of their investigations and work to classmates as well as the "global learning community" via the world wide web. Educational outreach staff at the Sapce Science and Engineering Center have developed active partnerships with teachers and schools throughout Wisconsin to facilitate the development of standards based curriculum and research projects focusing on current topics in the space sciences. Student research projects and activities arising from these initiatives were submitted in the Spring and Fall of 1998 for inclusion in SPARK, Volume 1. The second volume of SPARK will be published in Spring, 1999. Support for the development of this journal was provided by the NASA/IDEAS Program.

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