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Live from the Hubble Space Telescope

UPDATE # 3A

PART 1: Getting ready for Live from the Hubble Space Telescope

PART 2: Step one: the live telecasts


Getting ready for Live from the Hubble Space Telescope

This series of three messages (HST 3A, 3B, 3C) will provide you with an overview of the suggested steps to follow as you integrate Live From the Hubble Space Telescope into the classroom, home, or other unique learning environment. HST 3A addresses the live telecasts including educational objectives, HST 3B the Teachers' Kit and opening activities, and HST 3C On-line Resources and helpful reminders.

Please remember: Activities 1-A, B and C from the Teacher's Guide should be regarded as DRAFT only. There will certainly be editorial revision to the text by the time it is published. But we hope there are no factual errors, and that this will orient you as to the kinds of preparatory activities we'll be offering. We expect that the Teacher Kits (including the printed Teacher's Guides) will begin being mailed out on February 15.

There are only five and one-half weeks until the *first live broadcast,* "Making YOUR Observations" and it is time to think about steps you might consider to help make Live From the Hubble Space Telescope an exceptional learning experience for your students. We hope this set of messages assists you in that effort.

Keep in mind, that each Passport to Knowledge project incorporates three components:

  • LIVE TELECASTS

  • PRINT curriculum support materials

  • NASA K-12 Internet Initiative ONLINE resources

Each of these components is interrelated, enabling the combination of all three resources to provide the optimal learning experience. All of these resources are accessible to educators, regardless of the level of technology expertise or access. Passport to Knowledge provides alternatives for those who lack on-line access or access to the broadcasts by traditional means.

(See NASA CORE information later in this message. Also see Please Copy This Disk service in HST #3c)


STEP ONE: THE LIVE TELECASTS

The ultimate electronic field trip experience is one that students and educators can experience dynamically, LIVE as it unfolds! Two upcoming broadcasts are scheduled for the following dates/times via NASA-TV and many PBS stations. The programs are described below, along with specific educational objectives.

1) Program 102: " Making Your Observations" March 14, 1996 at 13:00-14:00 Eastern time

Program Description:

"Making YOUR Observations" will climax with a live "First Look" at the original data acquired as a direct result of the original Passport to Knowledge observations. Planet Advocates and viewing K-12 students alike will see, at exactly the same moment, what we've collectively discovered about Neptune and Pluto, during a live uplink from the Space Telescope Science Institute, in Baltimore, Maryland (STScI). ("First look" is what astronomers call their initial glimpse of new data: during the comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 collision with Jupiter, first look was welcomed with whoops of delight and celebratory toasts, as we'll see in this program.)

EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVES of Program 102 correlate with Activities 2A-2E in the Teacher's Guide:

  • Students will be able to describe the Hubble Space Telescope as both a spacecraft AND a telescope, and compare and contrast the importance of each role.

  • Students will be able to describe the extensive network of people, places and processes needed to design, deploy and operate the HST.

  • Students will be able to summarize current knowledge about Neptune, Pluto and Jupiter, and explain what might be learned about these planets through the use of HST during the Passport to Knowledge observations.

  • Students will be able to identify the main parts of the electromagnetic spectrum, and compare and contrast the use of various wavelengths to study the planets.

  • Students will be able to compare and contrast HST with other telescopes, and describe how its unique advantages are being used during the Passport to Knowledge observations.

  • Students will be able to describe how HST observes the moving targets of the planets of our solar system, and how the data is routed down to Earth for analysis.

2) Program 103 "Announcing Your Results" April 23, 1996 at 13:00-14:00 Eastern time

Program description:

This program will take the form of a highly interactive, student- oriented scientific symposium, announcing the first results achieved through the Live from the Hubble Space Telescope project. A live student audience of 140 will join Marc Buie and Heidi Hammel in STScI's main auditorium in Baltimore, with email and CU-SeeMe input from other students around the nation and the world. Heidi and Marc will share preliminary findings about what they've discovered. They'll respond to student comments and questions based on the parallel work that's been done by students, analyzing and trying to understand the data for themselves. We'll review the questions which initially motivated student interest in Pluto and Neptune during the "Great Planet Debate", and see which have been answered and which require more analysis or research.

Live uplinks in America will include the Buhl Planetarium at the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (where students helped make our original selections via interactive technology) and Los Angeles, California, a school district making a major push to integrate the Internet into the curriculum. The program will provide for considerable "give and take" between the Planet Advocates and their student "Co-Investigators", as students witness live the process of testing a scientific hypothesis, verifying results and sharing new findings with peers to substantiate their significance.

EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVES of PROGRAM 103 correlate with activities 3A-3D in the Teacher's Guide:

  • Students will understand how images are constructed from streams of digital data, and the process by which black and white images become color pictures.

  • Students will understand how the use of different color filters, time exposures and image processing techniques reveal different aspects of the same image.

  • Students will compare and contrast weather patterns on the HST target planets to storms on Earth, in terms of scale, speed of motion, vertical structure and duration.

  • Students will be able to describe how scientists gather data, interpret it, test hypotheses, come to preliminary conclusions and publish results for review by peers.

ACCESSING the PROGRAMS

  • If you have a satellite dish that can access NASA-TV (Spacenet 2; 69 degrees West, C-band, transponder 5, channel 9, horizontal, frequency, 3880 Megahertz, audio on 6.8 Mhz.), you are in luck. Just double check with your local AV support person to be sure videotaping and live viewing will be available on the dates/times above.

  • If you do not have your own satellite dish, check to see if your local PBS station will carry the programs live, re-broadcast at a later time/date, or not at all. It is important to contact the Education Programming Director at your local PBS station.

    Based on recent surveys of PBS stations, many plan to support access to the programming! But do not delay, contact the PBS station nearest you NOW! Passport to Knowledge will post lists of which PBS stations are carrying the broadcasts and at what times from March through April 23rd.

  • If the above options do not provide access, be creative and PRO-ACTIVE.... contact your local cable company. Are they willing to capture and feed the programs on an unused or local education channel? Is there a business, academic institution, parent, or local school district willing to help out?

  • Don't forget....It would be a good time to review our first live broadcast!
    Program 101: "The Great Planet Debate" aired November 9, 1995 and provides an introduction to the Live From the Hubble Space Telescope project. If you do not have access to this (or any other) Passport to Knowledge broadcast, contact NASA Core to order copies of the videotapes.
    NASA CORE, Lorain County Joint Vocational School, 15181 Route 58 South, Oberlin, OH 44074, (216) 774-1051, Ext. 293/294.


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