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Paper: Using NASA Data in the Classroom: Promoting STEM Learning in Formal Education using Real Space Science Data
Volume: 473, Communicating Science
Page: 117
Authors: Lawton, B.; Hemenway, M. K.; Mendez, B.; Odenwald, S.
Abstract: Among NASA's major education goals is the training of students in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) disciplines. The use of real data, from some of the most sophisticated observatories in the world, provides formal educators the opportunity to teach their students real-world applications of the STEM subjects. Combining real space science data with lessons aimed at meeting state and national education standards provides a memorable educational experience that students can build upon throughout their academic careers. Many of our colleagues have adopted the use of real data in their education and public outreach (EPO) programs. There are challenges in creating resources using real data for classroom use that include, but are not limited to, accessibility to computers/Internet and proper instruction. Understanding and sharing these difficulties and best practices with the larger EPO community is critical to the development of future resources. In this session, we highlight three examples of how NASA data is being utilized in the classroom: the Galaxies and Cosmos Explorer Tool (GCET) that utilizes real Hubble Space Telescope data; the computer image-analysis resources utilized by the NASA WISE infrared mission; and the space science derived math applications from SpaceMath@NASA featuring the Chandra and Kepler space telescopes. Challenges and successes are highlighted for these projects. We also facilitate small-group discussions that focus on additional benefits and challenges of using real data in the formal education environment. The report-outs from those discussions are given here.
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