Status Report

Earth as a Classroom

By SpaceRef Editor
June 27, 2007
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Earth as a Classroom

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In July 2007 several hundred students will get look over the shoulder of space researchers at a remote research base in the Canadian arctic. The place: Devon Island, a place many call “Mars on Earth”.

Our team will visit Devon Island to conduct 5 days of webcasts and other instructional activities spanning the period of 16-20 July 2007. This activity is sponsored by the Mars Institute and the Challenger Center for Space Science Education with additional assistance from The Explorers Club and SpaceRef Interactive, Inc. and from the team itself.

We will conduct these webcasts from the Haughton-Mars Project Research Station and nearby locations to illustrate how NASA and other space agencies are learning to live on the Moon and Mars here on Earth. These webcasts will be combined with other materials to provide a unique educational opportunity for students participating in Challenger Learning Center activities. The audience will be focused at junior high/high school students, but will also be designed to reach a more general audience as well.

We currently plan to have twelve Challenger Learning Centers participate in these webcasts. During these activities, participating centers will be able to interact live with our team – and other participants – on Devon Island. At the present time these live webcasts will be provided only to participating Challenger Learning Centers. Material presented on these webcasts will be archived for public viewing shortly after their initial presentation. Should we be able to broaden distribution of these webcast further we’ll update this website accordingly.

Our team consists of 4 individuals: veteran astronauts William Readdy and Leroy Chiao, horticulturist/space researcher Matthew Reyes, and space biologist Keith Cowing (who is also the team lead for this project).

As we prepare for our trip, we were all very pleased to get the following note from STS-118 Astronaut Barbara Morgan: “Best wishes to Leroy, Reads, Matt, and Keith on their Teaching Expedition to Devon Island. I look forward to learning all about it when I return from space.”

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SpaceRef staff editor.