DPS Meeting, Madison, October 1998
Session 18P. K-12 Planetary Science Education Posters
Contributed Poster Session, Tuesday, October 13, 1998, 10:40-11:40am, Hall of Ideas

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[18P.01] ``Teachers Touch the Sky": A one-week hands on workshop in astronomy

B. J. Buratti, J. Hillier, K. A. Tryka, D. Lavely, P. Nercessian (JPL, Caltech )

``Teachers Touch the Sky" (TTS) is a one week, hands-on workshop in astronomy for teachers in grades 4-8. In its fifth year, TTS was developed under the NASA IDEAS program. Offering a comfortable approach to science, the workshop shows the teachers how to enable their students to become "mini-investigators". The week offers a combination of lectures by JPL scientists and engineers and experiments that the teachers practice for classroom use. Many of the experiments are derived from the Great Explorations in Math and Science (GEMS) series developed by the Lawrence Hall of Science of the University of California at Berkeley. This year the themes of the workshop were expanded to include two of NASA's thrusts: Origins and the Exploration of Mars.

The workshop in August 1998 was the first to include computer activities. We found that computers can be used successfully in the classroom if two conditions are met. First, computers must be used only as an adjunct to actual experimentation and paper learning. Second, computer programs must be prepared by, and set up by, individuals who are both highly computer literate, and knowledgeable about the background subject.

Work funded by NASA.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: bonnie.buratti@jpl.nasa.gov

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