2006 EPO Award Recipient
K-12 Teacher Involvement in Space Update
Investigator: Ian Smith
Over the past decade, Rice University and the Houston Museum of Natural Sciences have developed Space Update, an interactive, real-time display system of Space Science images and data designed for Museums and Schools. Running from a CD-ROM on a Mac or Windows computer, the program displays hundreds of images and movies of the best of space science research. The images have easy to understandcaptions, and web links to more information. By installing the software on a hard drive, it is possible to connect to the Rice servers anddownload up-to-date images. The program has been used extensivelyas part of the Master of Science Teaching Degree Program at Rice University.
The PI has been responsible for updating and maintaining the content in the Astronomy Update module of Space Update. Rather than being a gallery of pretty pictures, the aim is to explain - in simple terms -the exciting results from multi-wavelength astronomy soon after they are released. The users of the software therefore get a taste of the cutting edge of space research.
The continued involvement with K-12 teachers across Texas is essential for the long-term success of the project. We propose to develop new material with teachers that will be tailored for their classroom needs.We will continue to send copies of the program to teachers to have them test it and give feedback for improvements.
The uniqueness of this project relies on the constant updating ofthe material with new images as they are released, as well as thecorrecting of older material that can rapidly become obsolete. Wepropose to continue this maintenance over the next two years.