AAS 204th Meeting, June 2004
Session 77 Astronomy for K-12
Poster, Thursday, June 3, 2004, 9:20am-4:00pm, Ballroom

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[77.02] Astronomy Education through the NSF GK-12 Program

A. G. Jensen (University of Colorado-Boulder)

The National Science Foundation's GK-12 program encourages graduate students in science to be active in public education at the middle school and high school levels. As a GK-12 fellow at the University of Colorado-Boulder (CU), I worked with a local 8th-grade science teacher and his students during the 2003-2004 school year. In the Boulder Valley School District, 8th-grade science covers Earth history, meteorology, astronomy, and oceanography. There are many special challenges for this school district and 8th-grade education in Colorado, including a large number of English as a second language (ESL) students and the administration of standardized tests during March, before students have completed much of the relevant material. As a GK-12 Fellow, my responsibilities included work with the Earth history Full Option Science System (FOSS) kit, guest lecturing, aid in hands-on exercises, and the creation of new activities and assignments. Astronomy activities accomplished through this program include sunspot viewing and a field trip to the Colorado Scale Model Solar System on the CU campus. The GK-12 program at CU will continue for at least two more years, possibly placing future GK-12 fellows who are astronomy grad students into classes that are astronomy- or physics-specific.

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