A partnership with the North Carolina Mathematics and Science Education Network to increase the number of high school students interested in pursuing STEM careers.
Thirty high school students from each of the 7 areas served by the North Carolina Mathematics and Science Education Network (MSEN) Centers, for a total of 210 students, will participate in 2 years of hands-on science experiences. The SPACE Project is an extension of the NC-MSEN Pre-College Program PCP) model, which has a 23-year history of increasing students’ college-going rate and the selection of STEM college majors, e.g., 97% of the student enroll in college and >82% majoring in STEM disciplines.
- Develop and conduct 5 Professional Development One Day Workshops for Science Education using NASA-related STEM content and resources and PARI remote instruments. PARI education and science staff provides cross curricular, culturally-relevant, standards-based professional development for PCP teachers and project personnel who will provide hands-on, inquiry-based instruction to students in the Summer and Saturday Programs.
- May 2010: Free Fall: Gravity (Force and Motion)
- August 2010: Microgravity (Force and Motion)
- December 2010: Rockets (Kinetic and Potential Energy)
- May 2011: Planetary Flight (Force, Energy)
- August 2011: Orbits of Spacecraft (Force, Energy)
The workshops focus on the NASA Science Mission Directorate and Space Mission Exploration Directorates. Workshops follow a progression from understanding the force of gravity, to rocket propulsion, planetary flight, orbits of spacecraft, and ending with the study of atmospheres of planets that NASA missions explore. Incorporated into the workshops will be NASA developed education activities, as well as activities and simulations from the National Science Digital Library (NSDL).
SPACE Instructors are active participants in the professional development workshops, doing what students will be doing, increasing awareness of NASA missions. When teachers complete the PARI workshops, they will have acquired an appreciation and understanding of NASA and the concepts of force, motion, and energy.
Ultimately, teachers will see the universe as a much more dynamic environment than might have been otherwise thought. The excitement of that discovery is expected to be carried into in-school time (IST). Furthermore, teachers will be using state-of-the-art technology tools in NSDL to teach.
Their content knowledge ultimately is strengthened using a very innovative method. In order that teachers maintain their newly found skills, ICAN, an Internet Community, will allow teachers and their students to communicate questions and new ideas, as well as follow up the teacher learning process.
The curriculum emphasizes force, motion, energy, and atoms developing mathematics skills such as graphing, interpretation of graphs, contour maps, and trigonometry; computer skills; and technology. The curriculum consists of concepts aligned with the NC Standard Course of Study (NCSCOS) grades 9-12 physical science strands and using NASA-related STEM content and resources and PARI remote instruments.