AAS 204th Meeting, June 2004
Session 94 Cool Astronomy for Everyone
Special Session, Thursday, June 3, 2004, 2:00-3:30pm, 710/712

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[94.02] Scientists and Science Education: Working at the Interface

E. K. DeVore (SETI Institute)

“Are we alone?” “Where did we come from?” “What is our future?” These questions lie at the juncture of astronomy and biology: astrobiology. It is intrinsically interdisciplinary in its study of the origin, evolution and future of life on Earth and beyond. The fundamental concepts of origin and evolution--of both living and non-living systems--are central to astrobiology, and provide powerful themes for unifying science teaching, learning, and appreciation in classrooms and laboratories, museums and science centers, and homes.

Research scientists play a key role in communicating the nature of science and joy of scientific discovery with the public. Communicating the scientific discoveries with the public brings together diverse professionals: research scientists, graduate and undergraduate faculty, educators, journalists, media producers, web designers, publishers and others. Working with these science communicators, research scientists share their discoveries through teaching, popular articles, lectures, broadcast and print media, electronic publication, and developing materials for formal and informal education such as textbooks, museum exhibits and documentary television. There’s lots of activity in science communication. Yet, the NSF and NASA have both identified science education as needing improvement. The quality of schools and the preparation of teachers receive national attention via “No Child Left Behind” requirements. The number of students headed toward careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) is not sufficient to meet national needs. How can the research community make a difference? What role can research scientists fulfill in improving STEM education?

This talk will discuss the interface between research scientists and science educators to explore effective roles for scientists in science education partnerships. Astronomy and astrobiology education and outreach projects, materials, and programs will provide the context for this discussion.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://www.seti.org. 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: education@seti.org

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