Report from Headquarters

Teachers: Plan Now for Summer Learning

Written by: developer

Teachers: Plan Now for Summer Learning Educators can plan now to spend part of the summer in Colorado Springs, earning professional development credit or working toward a masters degree. The Space Foundation Space Across the Curriculum courses focus on national standards and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) principles. Master’s degrees in Curriculum and Instruction with a space studies emphasis are available. All courses are experiential, hands-on and immediately transferable to the classroom.

These full-day, week-long classes are held at the Space Foundation Discovery Institute, 105 Coleridge Ave., Colorado Springs.

June 13 – 17 Earth Systems Science: Planetary Geology
As our quest of exploration leads us from Earth to other planets and moons in our solar system, we must understand what shapes and creates the world around us if we are to find life outside Earth. This course enables educators to discover the fascinating processes that form and shape our Earth and the other terrestrial planets. Participants will have the opportunity for a unique learning experience in the Garden of the Gods and on the ascent to Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs and at the Fountain Creek Nature Center in Fountain, Colo. They will perform fieldwork in the Garden and on Pikes Peak using the terrain and geological formations. Teachers will also participate in a variety of ecological and water quality studies at the Fountain Nature Center. Through a variety of guided tours, hands-on activities, lesson plans and knowledgeable instructors, educators will gather a better prospective of their planet and how it functions.

June 13 – 17 PreK-2 Early Childhood Space Exploration
Centered on space and science education for early learners, the Space Foundation’s PreK-2 Space Across the Curriculum course is designed to provide Early Childhood educators the necessary tools to inspire eager young minds through inquiry-based learning. Instructors will present teachers with age-appropriate, hands-on activities that they can immediately use with their students and are specifically designed to instill the excitement of exploring the child’s world and the wonderment of space.

June 20 – 24 Rocketry: Space History
Rockets are an effective way to teach students the fundamental processes of propulsion, Newton’s Laws of Motion and the physics of space travel. The building and construction of a variety of rockets including soda pop, water and solid fueled, enable educators an experiential approach to teaching an overview of various rocket propulsion concepts. Educators will receive an overview of the history of space exploration and will become aware of the connection between the social and political aspects of the “space race” and how this transformed our society. They will also discuss the laws that govern the space industry and the exploration and use of space.

July 11 – 15 Astronomy Principles for the Classroom: Exploring our Universe and the Search for Life
Participants will examine the many fascinating aspects of astronomy as it relates to astrobiology and the development of life on Earth, as well as the possible existence of life elsewhere in the universe. Investigations of extremophile organisms will occur by conducting fieldwork at the Cave of the Winds. The Miller-Urey process and the Drake equation will be explained and investigated as possible theories of how these organisms could exist on other worlds such as Mars, Europa, Enceladus and Titan. Exploration of current NASA missions will help teachers explore the possibility of life on other worlds. Educators will spend an evening stargazing and learning to use a planisphere to view these worlds that may harbor possible life.

July 18 – 22 Space Technologies in the Classroom: Nanotechnology and Space Spin-Offs
This course will examine the numerous uses of space technologies in our society for the benefit of humankind. Educators will discover the practical applications of orbital mechanics as they explore the everyday uses of satellites. Through field trips and hands-on demonstrations, educators will receive an introduction to space transportation and design, robotics, communications, space power and space structures. Participants will build and explore a variety of space technologies, including constructing their own programmable robots.


This article is part of Space Watch: February 2011 (Volume: 10, Issue: 2).