2010 Fall Meeting          
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Cite abstracts as Author(s) (2010), Title, Abstract xxxxx-xxxx presented at 2010 Fall Meeting, AGU, San Francisco, Calif., 13-17 Dec.

HR: 1340h
AN: ED53A-0526 Poster
TI: Rescuing Middle School Astronomy
AU: *Mayo, L A
EM: astronomer2go@verizon.net
AF: Planetary Science, NASA / GSFC, Silver Spring, MD, USA
AU: Janney, D
EM: Dorian_W_Janney@mcpsmd.org
AF: Science, Parkland Middle School, Rockville, MD, USA
AB: There is a crisis in education at the middle school level (Spellings, 2006). Recent studies point to large disparities in middle school performance in schools with high minority populations. The largest disparities exist in areas of math and science. Astronomy has a universal appeal for K-12 students but is rarely taught at the middle school level. When it is taught at all it is usually taught in isolation with few references in other classes such as other sciences (e.g. physics, biology, and chemistry), math, history, geography, music, art, or English. The problem is greatest in our most challenged school districts. With scores in reading and math below national averages in these schools and with most state achievement tests ignoring subjects like astronomy, there is little room in the school day to teach about the world outside our atmosphere. Add to this the exceedingly minimal training and education in astronomy that most middle school teachers have and it is a rare school that includes any astronomy teaching at all. In this presentation, we show how to develop and offer an astronomy education training program for middle school teachers encompassing a wide range of educational disciplines that are frequently taught at the middle school level. The prototype for this program was developed and launched in two of the most challenged and diverse school systems in the country; D.C. Public Schools, and Montgomery County (MD) Public Schools.
DE: [0805] EDUCATION / Elementary and secondary education
DE: [0830] EDUCATION / Teacher training
SC: Education and Human Resources (ED)
MN: 2010 Fall Meeting