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W. H. Waller (Tufts University and NASA/NESSIE), C. Clemens (H-S Center for Astrophysics and NASA/NESSIE), M. Dunne (Cambridge, MA Public Schools), T. Edwards (TERC)
National and state parks provide space scientists with many opportunities for involvement in education and public outreach (E/PO). Towards these ends, NASA's Space Science E/PO Support Network can help initiate and foster the necessary partnerships between scientists and park personnel. For example, the professional development of national park interpreters has been pursued with the "Earth to Sky" program that was led by the Sun-Earth Connection Education Forum. Through partnerships with space scientists and E/PO professionals, park rangers are now developing interpretive products and programs to enrich the experiences of more than 100 million park visitors across the U.S.
On a smaller scale, we have developed a community-wide educator enrichment program in the Earth and Space Sciences that is being implemented at Halibut Point State Park in Rockport, MA. Through wide-ranging partnerships, we are providing on-site hands-on workshops in Earth and Space Science that serve the interests of school teachers, scout leaders, park interpreters, amateur astronomers, and other community educators. Each 3-day workshop addresses the 3 broad topics of (1) living on Earth, (2) the Earth in space, and (3) our cosmic origins. Natural resources at Halibut Point State Park are used to enrich each of these topics. Astrobiology is the topical "glue" that binds all 3 topics. Research of the PI is featured through personal presentations on starbirth and starburst activity in galaxies. A wide selection of NASA education materials are showcased -- including those developed for Project ASTRO, Family ASTRO, Great Explorations in Math and Science (GEMS), EarthKam, the Night Sky Network, and the Spitzer E/PO Program. These workshops serve as models for similar programs in Earth and Space Science Education at state and national parks throughout the United States.
WHW gratefully acknowledges support from a Spitzer E/PO grant supplement.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #4
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.