DPS 35th Meeting, 1-6 September 2003
Session 42. Planetary Science for the Classroom II
Poster (Teacher Workshop), Highlighted on, Friday, September 5, 2003, 3:30-6:00pm, Sierra Ballroom I-II

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[42.06] Partners in Science Education: SOFIA EPO Program

D. Backman, E. DeVore (SETI Institute), M. Bennett (Astronomical Society of the Pacific)

NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) represents a unique opportunity for education and public outreach (EPO) as the first research observatory designed to include by educators, journalists and others in research missions. The EPO program will include formal K-12 and undergraduate educational activities, informal education, public outreach, and media relations.

SOFIA will carry educators on science flights, enabling them to partner with scientists and see science in action. Up to 200 formal and informal educators will participate in the SOFIA Airborne Astronomy Ambassadors (AAA) program each year. The AAAs will be sustained as a national network via continued communications and material support from the observatory's EPO program office, and will constitute a wide-spread outreach cadre for NASA and space sciences. wide-spread outreach cadre for NASA and space sciences.

Scientists, engineers, and other members of the SOFIA team will partner with local teachers and visit their classrooms as a part of the SOFIA Education Partners Program. Trained via the Project ASTRO network of astronomy education sites, SOFIA team members will work with teachrs and students to forge long-lasting science education partnerships. Participating educators may fly onboard SOFIA with their scientist partners.

The professors and instructors at community colleges, small colleges, and minority serving institutions teach astronomy in general education courses that include the majority of future K-12 teachers. SOFIA EPO will provide an opportunity for this important segment of the college/university faculty plus staff of science and technology centers and planetaria to learn about research astronomy through summer workshops at the observatory. Participants will be encouraged to develop partnerships with SOFIA-affiliated scientists and participate in research flights.

SOFIA is being developed and will be operated for NASA by

SOFIA is being developed and will be operated for NASA by USRA. The EPO program is being developed and will be operated jointly by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific and SETI Institute. For more information please contact the SOFIA EPO program director, Dr. Dana Backman: dbackman@mail.arc.nasa.gov

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://sofia.arc.nasa.gov. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35 #4
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.