Education and Human Resources [ED]

ED11C MCW:3022 Monday 0800h

Teacher Professional Development Programs Promoting Authentic Scientific Research in the Classroom I

Presiding: C E Walker, National Optical Astronomy Observatory; G Scowcroft, University of Rhode Island


Bringing Real-time Astronomical Observations into the Classroom

* Cominsky, L ( , Sonoma State University, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy 1801 East Cotati Avenue, Rohnert Park, CA 94928, United States

The Sonoma State University Education and Public Outreach group (SSU E/PO) coordinates the {\it Global Telescope Network} (GTN) - an informal association of scientists, students, individuals and observatories interested in supporting NASA's Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST) and Swift missions, as well as the joint ESA/NASA XMM-Newton mission. Partners and associates in the GTN obtain and reduce ground based observations for objects related to the primary science goals for these missions and work together with NASA mission scientists to conduct multi-wavelength studies of exotic objects such as monstrous black holes, and highly-magnetized neutron stars and white dwarfs. The Global Telescope Network provides hands-on classroom activities and engaging instructional materials for a range of levels and interests, including {\it Cookie Cutter Photometry} and {\it Jelly Bean Spectroscopy.} We also provide mentoring in research practices, telescope use, data analysis and other educational resources. Examples of ongoing research projects will be presented, and the educational resources available through the GTN will be discussed.


Research Experiences for Teachers: The Impacts on Their Students and the Economy

* Dubner, J ( , Columbia University, 630 West 168 St. Room 11-444, New York, NY 10032, United States

In contrast to most other professions, schools require no real apprenticeship training of science teachers. Imagine the evolution of the career of a modern scientist who was required to undertake an independent research position immediately on completion of his/her Ph.D. Or imagine the quality of United States medical care if physicians began practicing medicine and surgery immediately upon graduation from medical school. This is the situation for teachers. Overall, only 38% of United States teachers have had any on-the-job training in their first teaching position, and in some cases this consisted of a few meetings over the course of a year between the beginning teacher and the assigned mentor or master teacher. Research shows that teacher expertise is one of the most important factors in raising student achievement. A review of 60 studies found that investing in support for teacher expertise was the most cost-effective way to increase student achievement. Seeking ways to address these matters, scientists and educators throughout the United States developed a variety of intensive professional development programs for science teachers. Data derived from Columbia University's Summer Research Program for Science Teachers will be presented showing strong evidence that Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) are one of the most effective forms of professional development yet identified for secondary school science teachers. The economic benefits to city, state and federal government of teacher participation in an RET are very large, both in absolute terms and in comparison to program costs.


Climate Literacy Through Student-Teacher-Scientist Research Partnerships

Niepold, F ( , NOAA Climate Program Office, 1100 Wayne Ave., Suite 1200, Silver Spring, MD 20910, United States
Brooks, D ( , Drexel University, 3141 Chestnut, Philadelphia, PA 19104, United States
Lefer, B ( , University of Houston, Geosciences Department, 4800 Calhoun Rd., Houston, TX 77004, United States
Linsley, A ( , Bellaire High School,, 5100 Maple, Bellaire, TX 77401, United States
* Duckenfield, K ( , NOAA Climate Program Office, 1100 Wayne Ave., Suite 1200, Silver Spring, MD 20910, United States

Expanding on the GLOBE Program's Atmosphere and Aerosol investigations, high school students can conduct Earth System scientific research that promotes scientific literacy in both content and the science process. Through the use of Student-Teacher-Scientist partnerships, Earth system scientific investigations can be conducted that serve the needs of the classroom as well as participating scientific investigators. During the proof- of-concept phase of this partnership model, teachers and their students developed science plans, through consultation with scientists, and began collecting atmospheric and aerosol data in support of the Gulf of Mexico Atmospheric Composition and Climate Study (GoMACCS) campaign in Houston Texas. This effort uses some pre-existing GLOBE materials, but draws on a variety of other resources to tailor the teacher development activities and intended student participation in a way that addresses local and regional problems. Students and teachers have learned about best practices in scientific inquiry and they also helped to expand the pipeline of potential future scientists and researchers for industry, academia, and government. This work began with a Student-Teacher-Scientist partnership started in 2002 during a GLOBE Aerosol Protocol Cross-Ground Validation of AERONET with MODIS Satellite Aerosol Measurements. Several other GLOBE schools, both national and international, have contributed to this research. The current project support of the intensive GoMACCS air quality and atmospheric dynamics field campaign during September and October of 2006. This model will be evaluated for wider use in other project-focused partnerships led by NOAA's Climate Program Office.


A New Educational Scaffolding Approach to Support Authentic Solar Research in the Classroom

Demuth, N ( , NOAO REU Student, El Camino College 16007 Crenshaw Blvd, Torrance, CA 90506, United States
* Walker, C E ( , National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 N. Cherry Ave., Tucson, AZ 85719, United States
Isbell, D M ( , National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 N. Cherry Ave., Tucson, AZ 85719, United States
Pompea, S M ( , National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 N. Cherry Ave., Tucson, AZ 85719, United States

Teacher Leaders in Research Based Science Education (TLRBSE) is a multi-year teacher professional development program sponsored by NSF and administered through the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO). The program reaches the formal education community through a national audience of well-trained and supported middle- and high-school teachers. Every year, a new cohort of teachers prepare for research through an on-line course in the spring. In the summer they conduct astronomy research at NOAO, working with astronomer-mentors to gather and analyze their data. They then return to their classrooms and engage their students in inquiry-based astronomy research using this authentic data. TLRBSE has much to offer teachers both inside and outside the program who wish to initiate research in the classroom. However, the activation energy to conduct authentic research is high. To address the needs of a wider audience of teachers and students, steps have been taken to supply web-based foundational resources for the solar research program. Teachers can use this •Àsolar scaffolding•À to support the implementation of authentic solar research in the classroom. The scaffolding files on the webpage will serve as a template for other TLRBSE research strands, as well as enable non-TLRBSE middle and high school teachers to download and use TLRBSE data in their own classrooms. The resultant webpage has links to high quality, vetted resources (webpages, interactives, movies, etc.) that provide content background and lesson plans relevant to solar research. Tools on presenting research, print resources, sample articles on research, videos, DVDs, and posters are included. Powerpoint presentations have been provided with lecture notes on themes ranging from •ÀWhy Study the Sun•À to •ÀThe Nature of Light.•À Sample teaching materials give examples for a calendar to implement the research project, a daily point sheet, a rubric for a student poster evaluation, a student research project description and a student self evaluation. Various background activities help to pave the way to more challenging solar research projects. As a culminating feature, the website includes several downloadable support files from the TLRBSE solar research project, as well as the solar data files and software programs. These scaffolding resources and future directions will be described in detail. NOAO is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA), Inc. under cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation. For further information on the TLRBSE.


Bringing Authentic Mars Research into the Classroom: Professional Development that Translates into Student Success

* Klug, S L ( , ASU School of Earth and Space Exploration, Mars Space Flight Facility Moeur Bldg. Rm. 131, Box 876305, Tempe, AZ 85287-6305, United States
Christensen, P R ( , ASU School of Earth and Space Exploration, Mars Space Flight Facility Moeur Bldg. Rm. 131, Box 876305, Tempe, AZ 85287-6305, United States
Graff, P ( , ASU School of Earth and Space Exploration, Mars Space Flight Facility Moeur Bldg. Rm. 131, Box 876305, Tempe, AZ 85287-6305, United States
Grigsby, B ( , ASU School of Earth and Space Exploration, Mars Space Flight Facility Moeur Bldg. Rm. 131, Box 876305, Tempe, AZ 85287-6305, United States

There is a major change afoot in the classroom teaching environment that is being driven more and more by the push for alignment to national, state, and local standards and high stakes testing. This change has the possibility to greatly effect the ability to bring in outside curriculum and content to the classroom (i.e., NASA programming and content) that is not direcly aligned to these standards. Programs that can design and align their content, data, and delivery to resonate with these new changes will be more easily embraced and have a greater success to become accepted. The Mars Student Imaging Project will be highlighted as such a program. To date, over 13,000 students nationwide have participated in using authentic research at Mars. The professional development phases that have been created around this program will be outlined.


A Teacher Research Experience: Immersion Into the World of Practicing Ocean Scientists

* Payne, D L ( , Connecticut Sea Grant / University of Connecticut, 1080 Shennecossett Road, Groton, CT 06340, United States

Professional development standards for science teachers encourage opportunities for intellectual professional growth, including participation in scientific research (NRC, 1996). Strategies to encourage the professional growth of teachers of mathematics and science include partnerships with scientists and immersion into the world of scientists and mathematicians (Loucks-Horsley, Love, Stiles, Mundry, & Hewson, 2003). A teacher research experience (TRE) can often offer a sustained relationship with scientists over a prolonged period of time. Research experiences are not a new method of professional development (Dubner, 2000; Fraser-Abder & Leonhardt, 1996; Melear, 1999; Raphael et al., 1999). Scientists serve as role models and 'coaches' for teachers •À a practice which has been shown to dramatically increase the transfer of knowledge, skill and application to the classroom (Joyce & Showers, 2002). This study investigated if and how secondary teachers' beliefs about science, scientific research and science teaching changed as a result of participation in a TRE. Six secondary science teachers participated in a 12 day research cruise. Teachers worked with scientists, the ships' crew and other teachers conducting research and designing lessons for use in the classroom. Surveys were administered pre and post TRE to teachers and their students. Additionally, teachers were interviewed before, during and after the research experience, and following classroom observations before and after the research cruise. Teacher journals and emails, completed during the research cruise, were also analyzed. Results of the study highlight the use of authentic research experiences to retain and renew science teachers, the impact of the teachers' experience on students, and the successes and challenges of implementing a TRE during the academic year.


Out Among the Asteroids •À Research Experiences for Middle School

* Croft, S K ( , National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 N. Cherry Ave, Tucson, AZ 85719, United States
Pompea, S M ( , National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 N. Cherry Ave, Tucson, AZ 85719, United States

We are developing a prototype student education and research project using visible & near infrared color photometry to characterize Near Earth Objects, newly discovered asteroids, and other interesting objects of known orbits (e.g., Vesta and Ceres). The project is part of NOAO's successful student/teacher research program Teacher Leaders in Research Based Science Education and is also in support of the educational outreach program for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope currently under development. The project will be designed to provide Middle School students experience with hands-on observing and extracting research data from existing data archives. We will use asteroid science to teach elements of earth science, including the nature, development, and relations between terrestrial rocks, meteorites, and asteroid types; earth processes and origins of rock types, formation of the Earth, Moon, and solar system, the nature and possible use of near earth resources, and, of course, the connection between asteroid impacts and life on earth. Teachers will be provided with online modular classroom support materials and activities designed to be flexible in student learning objectives and classroom time commitment (one day, one week, or longer). Materials will tie asteroid science and processes to Earth Science Standards: different types and colors of terrestrial rocks and meteorites (relating to colors of observed asteroids), how different types of rocks and meteorites are formed (relating to rock cycle and other processes on Earth and asteroids), models of the solar system and how and where asteroids fit, etc. Research opportunities will be provided for students and teachers to use remote-controlled telescopes to make their own color or light curve observations of asteroids from their classrooms. Online support materials will describe observing techniques, provide lists of objects to be observed, and introduce detectors and standardized filters. Techniques for doing research using existing data archives (i.e., data-mining) will also be provided. Materials will describe data sets, software, and techniques for locating and/or discovering asteroids, measuring asteroid shapes and rotation rates (i.e., light curves), and determining the type and composition of asteroids by measuring their color. Students will be able to submit their own observations and results to a project archive, thereby contributing to a common source of data and information that can be used to develop research projects.