A $29,986 grant from the National Space Grant Foundation for the "Exploring the Solar System" project at Fort Hays State University. The program is an eight-week blended course (face-to-face and virtual) for middle and high school teachers. Applicants for the grant through FHSU's Science and Mathematics education institute are Dr. Paul Adams, Anschutz Professor of Education and professor of physics; John Ross, Forsyth Library director; and Dr. Carol Borchers, teacher education instructor.
"Exploring the Solar System" is designed to provide teachers with tools to increase the interest of middle and high school students in space exploration and other science, mathematics, engineering and technology disciplines.
Teachers who complete the course will receive four graduate credit hours from FHSU, plus NXT 2 Robotics kits for use in their schools and during the spring 2011 robotics competition. They will learn about the Mariner 10, Magellan, Viking, Sojourner, Spirit, Opportunity, Cassini-Huygens, Galileo and Stardust space exploration missions.
The workshop will be delivered by a member of the Aerospace Education Services Project and by FHSU faculty. It will supplement the online course and provide an opportunity for teachers to learn the basics of using the robotics kits, interfacing Vernier probes for data collection and planning a solar system robotic mission.
"This is a great opportunity to bring 21st-Century skills into the classroom through the use of robotics," said Adams.
To register, please visit www.fhsu.edu/smei. The course is limited to the first 18 applicants.