Press Release

NASA Workshop Attracts Educator From Norwalk, California

By SpaceRef Editor
July 15, 2008
Filed under , ,
NASA Workshop Attracts Educator From Norwalk, California
http://images.spaceref.com/news/corplogos/nasa.02.jpg

NASA’s Langley Research Center hosted its fourth annual MY NASA DATA workshop June 22 to 27 attracting 21 educators from regions across America.

Shay Vanderlaan, a science teacher at Corvallis Middle School, Norwalk, selected the MY NASA DATA (MND) workshop for professional development because the training included using real data collected by NASA satellites, weather balloons and other sources.

The MND program offered educators in math and science relevant tools for teaching that are both standards-based and challenging for students. This year’s workshop goals allowed teachers to access and explore NASA Earth system science data and develop lesson plans to share these data with their students.

“The MND workshop gives me the chance to take real scientific learning opportunities back to my students,” Vanderlaan says, “And these opportunities come from some of the best minds in the country.”

Even more important to Vanderlaan is that students are very receptive to lessons applying directly to their world.

“The data gathering and graphing for Earth systems and the scientific inquiry methods will interest my students in learning more about their environment,” Vanderlaan says.

“There is an educationally effective blend of content lectures, tours, directed practice, and self-guided exploration of the technology,” says Susan Moore, a member of the MND team. “Enthusiastic about their profession, our team of teachers have developed networking opportunities and lesson collaborations among one another.”

The importance of scientific inquiry and reflection to advancing student knowledge was a common thread in this year’s discussion. These processes are important skills in scientific studies and are not techniques children learn from a textbook. Scientific inquiry and reflection motivate students to think in deeper levels.

Lin Chambers, an atmospheric scientist at NASA Langley who developed the MND program, is pleased with the growth and progress she sees in the program.

“Being the fourth workshop, we have definitely learned from past experience,” Chamber says. “We can provide a quality experience for our teacher participants.”

To find out more about MY NASA DATA and workshop availability, go to:

http://mynasadata.larc.nasa.gov/

SpaceRef staff editor.