AAS Meeting #194 - Chicago, Illinois, May/June 1999
Session 70. Astronomy and Education
Display, Wednesday, June 2, 1999, 10:00am-6:30pm, Southwest Exhibit Hall

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[70.25] Space Science Education and Public Outreach in the Washington, DC Area

G. R. Carruthers (Naval Research Laboratory), M. L. Washington (Young Technocrats Public Charter Lab School)

This paper reports on educational activities supported by the IDEAS program in the Washington, DC area. Here, we discuss activities which have been in progress over the last 5 years, which include the following: (1) development of a series of videos in space science, and associated "hands-on" activities, intended for pre-college students as supplements to their classroom education; (2) a summer teacher-training course, along the same topic outlines as (1); and (3) direct involvement of students in space science research at the Naval Research Laboratory and at Howard University's on-campus observatory. We have completed 5 chapters, with a total run time of more than 9 hours, of our proposed "Pyramids to Planets" video series in Earth and Space Science (totalling 16 chapters, of which only the space science portions are funded by IDEAS). We also plan a "stand-alone" video, "From Earth to Mars", which is a documentary of a crewed mission to Mars and return, using student "actors", which utilizes and conveys only factual information and realistic proposals for such a mission. We presented a 2-week, full-time course of study in Earth & Space Science for DC Public Schools science teachers during the summers of 1996 and 1997 (co-sponsored by the DC Space Grant Consortium). This course also introduced the teachers to the "hands-on" activities demonstrated by students in the videos. Students are directly involved, via after-school programs and summer internships, in space science activities at NRL. These include pre-launch instrument development and testing, post-launch data analysis, and education/public outreach activities for the Advanced Research and Global Observation Satellite (ARGOS) launched February 23, 1999. Students also participated in the development of two spectrographs planned for use on an existing telescope at Howard University's on-campus observatory. The facilities at this observatory are being made available for pre-college student and public use, as well as for on-campus students and staff. (This activity is also co-sponsored by the DC Space Grant Consortium.)

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