Space Foundation News

Space Discovery Institute Classes Continue in Colorado Springs

Written by: developer

Space Discovery Institute Classes Continue in Colorado SpringsCOLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Jun. 30, 2009) -- Teachers in the Space Foundation’s Space Discovery Institute have been studying a variety of subjects this summer including extremophile organisms, those that thrive in extreme conditions. Their study included field trips to Cave of the Winds and Fountain Creek, both in Manitou Springs, Colo.

At Fountain Creek the 23 teachers conducted field experiments to test water pH levels and water temperatures to determine if the water is viable to sustain life (pictured). They learned about local organisms and how extremophile organisms thrive in harsh environments.

Enrollment in this summer’s Space Discovery Institute includes nearly 100 elementary-school-through-high-school teachers from throughout Colorado, as well as Nebraska, Hawaii, Alaska, Virginia, Florida, New York, Arkansas, Missouri, and Texas.

The week-long programs cover six different topics:
• Biological and Physical Research: International Space Station Science & Space Law
• Astronomy Principles for the Classroom: Exploring our Universe/The Search for Life
• Space Technologies in the Classroom: Nanotechnology and Space Spinoffs
• Earth Systems Science: Planetary Geology
• Lunar/Mars Exploration and Base Construction
• Rocketry: Space History

The teachers who attend learn hands-on, minds-on activities and develop lesson plans that they can take back to the classroom. They also gain access to Space Foundation-provided teaching aids and additional lesson plans. The classes can be applied to several master's degree programs through both Regis University and the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. The courses are developed and taught by Space Foundation educators, who are accredited teachers with additional space education credentials. The standards-based curriculum is designed to improve students' skills in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and to motivate them to continue to study STEM topics.

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