Press Release

NASA Workshop Attracts Educators From Biddeford, Maine

By SpaceRef Editor
July 15, 2008
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NASA Workshop Attracts Educators From Biddeford, Maine
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NASA’s Langley Research Center hosted its fourth annual MY NASA DATA workshop June 22 to 27 attracting 21 educators from regions across America.

Barbara Fortier, an Earth and space science teacher at Biddeford Middle School, Biddeford, 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.

“In my classroom, students are scientists,” Fortier says. “I am always looking for new data for them to access and conduct their own investigations.”

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

“Using the MND materials allows students to see real-life applications of the data and understand current climate issues and the future of our planet,” Fortier 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.