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Session 15 - Teaching of Astronomy.
Display session, Monday, June 10
Great Hall,

[15.07] An IDEA for a Mars Colony

M. L. Urquhart (LASP/APAS, U. Colorado, Boulder), C. D. Garmany (JILA/APAS, U. Colorado, Boulder)

An Astronomy Resource Center, funded by IDEA grant ED 90003.01-94A, has recently been set up at Sommers-Bausch Observatory on the University of Colorado at Boulder campus. The purpose of the Astronomy Resource center is to foster close ties between the University's research and teaching staff (including graduate students) and local schools. Graduate students and professors are matched with teacher requests on specific topics, and come into classrooms of local schools as well as providing general resource assistance. University personnel are usually asked to put in a minimal amount of time from which the students greatly benefit. Occasionally, however, teachers have more ambitious projects in mind. One such link between a local elementary school teacher and a graduate student has led to the development of an 8 week long curriculum centered around planning a Mars colony, and ending with the previously existing MarsVille project developed by the Challenger Center for Space Science Education. Tailor-made for a gifted and talented program composed of students from grades 4-6, the curriculum is designed to teach a variety of concepts and skills with an emphasis on planetary astronomy. Although the Mars colony material is designed to utilize University resources and extensive classroom time with the graduate student involved, neither is essential to the program. In addition to a presentation of the Mars colony curriculum, a discussion of the experiences and difficulties of putting together the program will be discussed.

Program listing for Monday