This event is open to all educators free-of-charge who RSVP in advance to the UNL Center for Science, Mathematics, & Computer Education at 402-472-8965.
Abstract: The scientific community's understanding of earth and space science is rapidly growing and public outreach efforts via the Internet provide up-to-date data and images. Nevertheless, text-based classroom materials largely remain behind this rapidly advancing knowledge front. Moreover, many pre-college teachers report that their lack of training and understanding of contemporary content makes it difficult for them to provide inquiry-driven instruction in earth and space science. To address these issues, we initiated a project aimed at systematically implementing the earth and space science concepts in the National Science Education Standards (NSES) by using NASA resources - both primary data and educational activities - on the Internet. We first created a series of exemplary WWW-based classroom lessons that integrate the student-centered inquiry emphases of the NSES and on-line data resources from NASA. We then developed five graduate-level courses in earth and space science for K-12 teachers to be delivered over the Internet. These asynchronous computer-mediated courses use a unique and robust combination of WWW resources and conferencing software for extended participant interactions over a 16-week course and serve as a major component of an online MS in Science Education degree program.
This event is open to all member of the public free-of-charge.
Abstract:Astrobiology can be defined as the study of the origin, evolution, distribution, and destiny of life in the universe. It defines itself as an interdisciplinary science existing at the intersection of astronomy, biology, chemistry, geology, and physics. Discoveries from this field have dramatically changed our view of the potential for life in the universe. For example, at least ten times as many planets have been discovered outside our solar system as there are within it. Perhaps even more impressive is that life has been found to exist under conditions previously thought impossible. This includes organisms that thrive in temperatures above the boiling point and below the freezing point of water, in extreme acidic and basic conditions, thousands of feet below the Earth's surface and on the ocean's floor, and in the extreme radiation conditions of outer space. As a result, our understanding of the limits on life has forever been changed. These discoveries are being made simultaneously with discoveries that strongly suggest that liquid water oceans exist under the icy surface of Jupiter's moon Europa and that running water was likely present on the surface of Mars in the past.
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