Education & Public Outreach Proposals Selected In Cycle 5

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Education & Public Outreach Proposals Selected In Cycle 5

The Cycle 5 Chandra EPO Peer Review, conducted by the CXC, was held in Cambridge, MA, on Oct. 23-24, 2003. A nine member panel representing science, education, museum, Forum, and NASA mission and management perspectives reviewed 15 proposals. Eight individual PI proposals and 7 institutional proposals were submitted. The submitted proposals oversubscribed the available funding by more than a factor of two. Six individual proposals and 3 institutional proposals were selected for funding. A short overview of each selected proposal follows. A longer summary can be found at

Individual PI proposals

Supernova and Black Hole Patch Activity: Involving Middle School Girls in Science
Science PI: Dr. Ann Hornschemeier, Johns Hopkins University,
Education Co-I: Katie Kutsy, Program Coordinator, Girl Scouts of Central Maryland
Education Partners:
Girl Scouts of Central Maryland
Universities Space Research Association
Maryland Space Grant Consortium
This program will package existing middle school activities concerning stellar evolution, the electromagnetic spectrum, supernovae and black holes for distribution throughout the Girl Scout Council of Central Maryland (GSCM). A "patch day" will be held at JHU in mid-summer 2004 to which 60 girls and 20 leaders will be invited to carry out hands-on activities in the targetted science areas.

The Sun-Earth Connection
Science PI: Dr. Christine Jones, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics,
Education Partners:
Arlington Public Schools, Arlington MA
This program will develop a series of science investigations focused on the Sun for the 400 third grade students in the Arlington Public Schools. The program will generate a teacher s handbook containing the investigations and hold workshops for the participating teaching staff.

A Multi-wavelength Astronomy Guide for the Visually Impaired
Science PI: Dr. Mark Lacy, Spitzer Science Lab, JPL,
Education Co-I: Doris Daou, IPAC and Spitzer Science Center,
Education Partners:
Noreen Grice,
This program will produce a prototype Braille book containing images of astronomical objects at wavelengths from radio to X-ray, similar to the book "Touch the Universe", which focused on Hubble images. As an introduction to non-visible wavelengths, this book will provide the visually impaired target audience with a context for understanding many other NASA missions, including the Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Spitzer Infrared Telescope.

A Learning Module Based on Multi-wavelength Observations of Supernova 1987A
Science PI: Prof. Richard McCray, Univ. of Colorado,
Education Partners:
Rose Planetarium/American Museum of Natural History
Fiske Planetarium/University of Colorado, Boulder
This program will develop an instructional module to illustrate the science that is being learned from observations of Supernova 1987A with Chandra and other telescopes. In collaboration with educators at the Rose and Fiske Planetaria, the module will be designed with learning levels that address the needs of multiple grades, with both Spanish and English text and narration options. Various formats will enable dissemination via a public web site, a CD-ROM, and through display on public terminals at the two planetaria.

Tuning in the Sun
Science PI: Prof. Ronald Reynolds, Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison,
Education Co-I: Dr. James Lattis, Univ. of Wisconsin Space Place,
Education Partners:
UW Space Place, Madison
Phillips Planetarium/Univ. Wisconsin, Eau Claire

This program will develop an extension to a prototype activity, which uses a product that produces H-alpha images of the sun. It will use a special solar-optical telescope to introduce students and teachers to a range of astronomical ideas, including how understanding "normal" stars like our sun helps astronomers understand more exotic phenomena. The program will include development of a solar-observing workshop for school groups; an interactive exhibit on the electromagnetic spectrum to be housed at Space Place; and two planetarium shows.

Enhancing Outreach from the Middlebury College Observatory
Science PI: Prof. Frank Winkler, Middlebury College,
Education Co-I: Dr. Robert Prigo, Dept. Teacher Education, Middlebury College,
Education Partners:
Middlebury College Observatory
This program will enrich the existing program of Public Nights at the Middlebury College Observatory that serve a primarily rural population. The program will provide wall mounted astronomical images and video displays, with appropriate explanations, of the latest science results from NASA's high energy astrophysics missions, including Chandra. Middlebury College students training in science education will be involved in designing and carrying out the project.

Institutional Proposals

Chandra in Out-of-School Time
Institutional Science PI: Prof. Deepto Chakrabarty, MIT,
Education Co-I: Dr. Irene Porro, MIT,
Education Partners:
Boston 2:00-6:00 After-School Initiative
In collaboration with the Boston 2:00-6:00 After School Initiative, this project will design a program to promote academic achievement in science and to support the preparation for college of high school students from the Boston Public Schools. The program consists of two components: an afterschool program to reinforce learning in physics and space science through activities that develop students' computer skills; and a summer program that specifically addresses highly motivated students and provides in-depth science content in selected topics related to the Chandra mission.

Penn State In-service Workshops in Astronomy
Institutional Science PI: Prof. Eric Feigelson, Pennsylvania State University,
Education Co-I: Lori Lauver, Director, Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts, Harrisburg PA,
Education Partners:
Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts, Harrisburg, PA
Pennsylvania Space Grant Consortium
This program will fund the ninth annual Penn State In-service Workshops in Astronomy (PSIWA) in 2004. The intensive, content-rich workshops will educate middle and high school teachers about space science and related technologies. The 2004 curriculum uses NASA-developed and disseminated education products and will be enhanced by new content to be introduced by the Whitaker Center, including hands-on activities using the "Starry-Night" planetarium software. Partcipants will receive copies of the presentations on CD-ROM as well as curriculum materials such as textbooks and activity guides and other resource material from NASA missions. The workshops target rural/underserved as well as inner-city Pennsylvania school districts.

Rumplestiltskin's Starry Secret: a Planetarium Show for small/middle-sized planetaria
Institutional Science PI: Prof. Larry Rudnick, Univ. Minnesota,
Education Co-I: Evan Skillman, Univ. Minnesota,
Education Partners:
Minnesota Planetarium Society
Using the fable of Rumplestiltskin and his magical powers that turn straw into gold as a familiar, audience-friendly entry point, this program will create a planetarium show that will explore the processes inside a star that make new elements. The show will be targeted to general family audiences, and will use relevant results and images from Chandra and other telescopes. Primary responsibility for the show's development will be placed with Robert Bonadurer, the nationally-known creator of over 20 planetarium shows. The show will be distributed nationwide, at cost, by the Minnesota Planetarium Society.

Questions concerning Chandra EPO proposal opportunities should be directed to the CXC Education Coordinator, Kathleen Lestition, at

Kathleen Lestition Education and Public Outreach

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