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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[42.08] Bringing the Excitement of Exploring Mars and the Giant Planets to Educators and the Public

C. A. Morrow, P. B. Dusenbery, J. Harold (Space Science Institute, Boulder CO)

We are living in a wonderful era of planetary exploration. In 2004 alone, two rovers will land on Mars and the Cassini-Huygens mission will arrive in the Saturn system for an extended 4-year tour. These events will bring much public attention and provide excellent reasons for substantive educational outreach to educators and the public. The Space Science Institute (SSI) of Boulder, CO and collaborators are responding with a comprehensive array of funded and proposed projects. These include the refurbishment and redeployment of the 5000 sq. ft MarsQuest national traveling exhibition, the launch of a 600 sq. ft. “mini-MarsQuest” called Destination Mars, the launch of an interactive website called "MarsQuest Online" (in partnership with TERC and JPL), a variety of workshops for teachers, museum educators, and planetarians (in partnership with “To Mars with MER”, and JPL), and the development of a "Family Guide to Mars" for use by adults and children in informal learning settings. SSI is also proposing to develop another national traveling exhibition called "Giant Planets: Exploring the Outer Solar System". This exhibit (envisioned to be 3500 sq.ft.) and its educational program will take advantage of the excitement generated by the Cassini mission and origins-related research. Its education program will also benefit from SSI having led the development of the “Saturn Educator Guide” – a JPL-sponsored resource for teachers in grades 5 and up. This paper will provide an overview of our resources in planetary science education and communicate the valuable lessons we've learned about their design, development and dissemination. SSI’s educational endeavors related to planetary science have been funded by several NASA and NSF grants and contracts.

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