AAS 202nd Meeting, May 2003
Session 10 Astronomy Education: Middle School to College
Poster, Monday, May 26, 2003, 9:20am-6:30pm, West Exhibit Hall

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[10.02] Twenty-first Century Space Science in The Urban High School Setting: The NASA/John Dewey High School Educational Outreach Partnership

B. Fried, M. Levy, C. Reyes (John Dewey High School), S. Austin (Medgar Evers College, CUNY)

A unique and innovative partnership has recently developed between NASA and John Dewey High School, infusing Space Science into the curriculum. This partnership builds on an existing relationship with MUSPIN/NASA and their regional center at the City University of New York based at Medgar Evers College. As an outgrowth of the success and popularity of our Remote Sensing Research Program, sponsored by the New York State Committee for the Advancement of Technology Education (NYSCATE), and the National Science Foundation and stimulated by MUSPIN-based faculty development workshops, our science department has branched out in a new direction the establishment of a Space Science Academy.

John Dewey High School, located in Brooklyn, New York, is an innovative inner city public school with students of a diverse multi-ethnic population and a variety of economic backgrounds. Students were recruited from this broad spectrum, which covers the range of learning styles and academic achievement. This collaboration includes students of high, average, and below average academic levels, emphasizing participation of students with learning disabilities.

In this classroom without walls, students apply the strategies and methodologies of problem-based learning in solving complicated tasks. The cooperative learning approach simulates the NASA method of problem solving, as students work in teams, share research and results. Students learn to recognize the complexity of certain tasks as they apply Earth Science, Mathematics, Physics, Technology and Engineering to design solutions. Their path very much follows the NASA model as they design and build various devices. Our Space Science curriculum presently consists of a one-year sequence of elective classes taken in conjunction with Regents-level science classes. This sequence consists of Remote Sensing, Planetology, Mission to Mars (NASA sponsored research program), and Microbiology, where future projects will be astronomy related. This program has been well received by both students and parents and has motivated some students to consider careers in the field of space science and related areas.

[This program is partially supported by NASA MU-SPIN NCC5-330 and NASA Space Science/Minority Initiative NAG5-10142]

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: bfriedfab4@aol.com

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