DPS 35th Meeting, 1-6 September 2003
Session 42. Planetary Science for the Classroom II
Poster (Teacher Workshop), Highlighted on, Friday, September 5, 2003, 3:30-6:00pm, Sierra Ballroom I-II

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[42.02] Extreme Space: Engaging and Educating the Public by Showcasing the Extremes of Our Solar System

P.W. Davis (Jet Propulsion Laboratory)

The period of 2003 to 2006 is a critical time in solar system exploration with a fleet of more than a dozen spacecraft exploring the extremes of our solar neighborhood. The Solar System Exploration Education and Public Outreach Forum plans to mine the richness of this intense mission activity and related natural astronomical events to develop a cohesive story of exploration. This is a unique opportunity to raise NASA visibility and provide an inspiration for student career choices. The concentration of events includes mission launches and endings, flybys, encounters, and landings, and sample returns to Earth, to an exciting variety of extreme destinations in the solar system including the Sun, comets, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto.

To weave the variety of activities together into a simple concept, the SSE E/PO community has selected Extreme Space as the basis of our unifying theme. Also referenced in the SSE Roadmap, this thread emphasizes the harsh environments of the planets and bodies, and the needs for and challenges of designing and executing robotic missions to explore them. Since venturing beyond the Earth to other worlds is unique in the world of space exploration, this can serve as an additional audience hook. It encompasses SSE missions, research, and astrobiology, and is logically extensible to the Sun, the Earth and comparisons to other planets, including extrasolar worlds.

We plan audience-focused activities around this theme, aimed at the informal and K-12 formal education communities. We are providing one-stop access to SSE mission content and E/PO resources, and professional development opportunities for scientists, teachers and informal education professionals. Content and resource needs include a calendar of events, news alerts, a summary PowerPoint presentation, image and video collections, and thematic education package.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://solarsystem.nasa.gov. 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: phillips.w.davis@jpl.nasa.gov

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35 #4
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.