NASA's Langley Research Center will host a free MY NASA DATA workshop July 29-Aug. 3, 2007, in Hampton, Va., for educators of grades 6-12. MY NASA DATA is a project that develops microsets of Earth-system science data that are accessible, interesting and useful to the K-12 and citizen scientist communities.
Image above: Participate in a workshop to learn how to use MY NASA DATA. Credit: NASA
"The idea is to create microsets that relate directly to existing curriculum and allow teachers to enrich that curriculum by bringing in real measurements of Earth-system variables and processes," said Langley's Lin Chambers, who started the project. "It will also enable them to practice math skills using real data, rather than invented data."
The workshop will focus on the implementation and use of the data sets, including the development of lesson plans. Participants will explore hands-on classroom activities, learn how the data can be used for inquiry-based learning and research, and benefit from the expertise of nationally recognized atmospheric researchers.
Teachers from all disciplines are eligible. Earth science teachers are especially encouraged to apply. Applicants must provide a letter of recommendation and describe how their participation in the workshop would benefit their students. Those selected will receive funding for travel and lodging expenses. Applications must be postmarked by April 30.
MY NASA DATA microsets are created using data from Earth-observing instruments operated by NASA and other organizations. The microsets include variables describing a variety of features of the Earth's atmosphere and surface. Data are available online along with lesson plans, helpful computer tools, an Earth science glossary and other teaching resources. A new section of the Web site presents ideas for science projects using the data.
MY NASA DATA also maintains an e-mentor network to connect teachers with scientists and other educators. "This enables teachers to have experts to turn to for help in designing relevant questions that relate to the Earth, using and interpreting the microsets, and guiding research on any further questions," Chambers said.
Through this workshop, NASA continues its tradition of investing in the nation’s education and furthers its major education goal of attracting and retaining students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines. To compete effectively for the minds, imaginations and career ambitions of America’s young people, NASA is focused on engaging and retaining students in education efforts that encourage their pursuit of disciplines critical to NASA's future engineering, scientific and technical missions.
Dan Stillman, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies