A Satellite Operations Class for Teachers

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Session 18 -- Astronomers Outside the University
Oral presentation, Monday, 30, 1994, 10:00-11:30

[18.04] A Satellite Operations Class for Teachers

I.Hawkins (CEA/UCB), S.Lea (SFSU), R.Battle (UCB Grad. Ed./CEA), J.Moriarta (UCB/CEA), R.F.Malina (CEA/UCB)

ASTRO 650 is a self-contained teacher training class on the mission operation of a satellite-based astronomy project which has been offered through a collaboration between UCB's Center for Extreme Ultraviolet Astrophysics (CEA) and San Francisco State University's (SFSU) Physics and Education Departments. The class, funded by a NASA Astrophysics AGSE grant, utilizes the Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer (EUVE) NASA satellite mission as a test case for educational outreach. The underlying theme of the class focuses on how scientists carry out research. Emphasis is given to problem-solving techniques with specific examples taken from the pre and postlaunch stages of the EUVE mission. The class, first offered during the Spring semester of 1994, involves weekly two-hour lectures at SFSU and weekly three-hour lab sessions at CEA. The teachers are taught the computer skills and space astrophysics concepts needed to perform hands-on analysis and interpretation of the EUVE satellite data. The last third of the class is dedicated to a final project for groups of the teachers to develop units/activities/materials based on EUVE that they can take back to the classroom. The final projects include implementation and assessment plans. This model treats teachers as professionals, allowing them to collaborate with scientists and to learn about curriculum development---an important aspect of their professional growth. We will give a summary of class content and present a few of the lesson plans developed by the teachers. This work has been supported by NASA contract NAS5-29298. Class support has been provided by a NASA supplemental grant for education.

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