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Spaceward Bound Pilot Program 2006 For Teachers

An opportunity to plan and implement high fidelity Moon/Mars analog exploration research

Do you …

  • Have a passion for exploration, science and scientific research?
  • Find planetary science fascinating - particularly the utilization of places here on earth to investigate what it might be like on other planets?
  • Like the outdoors and exploring new, remote places?
  • Like working with teacher peers, scientists, and informal educators?
  • Like discovering and developing new and novel ways to bring authentic science and scientific research into your classroom?

Then we invite you …
To apply to join a science expedition
to explore and study the Atacama Desert in Chile
with the
Spaceward Bound Pilot Program 2006
June 20 – July 1, 2006

Spaceward Bound is a program that …

  • Immerses teachers in authentic NASA exploration research by challenging them to plan and implement a field research expedition
  • Develops cohorts of teachers located throughout the country who have significant experience in NASA field research
  • Supports teachers to “go forth and multiply” by facilitating the training of peers by program graduates and dissemination of NASA science throughout the Explorer School system and beyond
  • Recruits teachers from NASA Explorer Schools to
    • Identify highly qualified program participants with established interest, motivation and pre-requisite experience with NASA science and education
    • Infuse Spaceward Bound teacher learning and experience throughout the nationwide Explorer School network and beyond
  • Connects with other NASA projects to establish a matrix of programs covering multiple applications of field research in NASA exploration and science, e.g.:
    • Spaceward Bound - Moon/Mars analogs
    • SON Winter Story - hydrothermal science and astrobiology
    • Phoenix MARSFEST - mission centered exploration

The Spaceward Bound Teacher Cohort 2006 will …

  • In conjunction with NASA scientists and educators, plan and conduct a field research expedition to the Atacama Desert in Chile.
  • Work with NASA scientists to perform ground-breaking scientific research in the field
  • Learn and apply current planetary exploration an science concepts, theories and ideas
  • Utilize experience, knowledge, and creativity to determine how to develop pedagogical content knowledge and methods for bringing field research into the classroom in an authentic, relevant and educative manner
  • Actively support and provide training on PCK and methods to peer teachers within the NASA Explorer School program and beyond
  • Mentor subsequent cohorts of Spaceward Bound teachers
  • Utilize their learning and experience to support the evolution of the Spaceward Bound Program

Post-Expedition Requirements

  • Journals of field expedition experiences to be posted on Spaceward Bound website
  • Plan for leveraging of field expedition experiences into classrooms
  • Plan for outreach to all NASA Explorer Schools via DLN network
  • Written reflection on personal learning, program strengths and weaknesses, and recommendations for inclusion in final Spaceward Bound Pilot Program 2006 report

Spaceward Bound Events

  • Applications due midnight February 22, 2006
  • Selections announced March 8, 2006 (6 teachers and 3 alternates will be selected)
  • Five 1 1/2 hour pre-trip session during March, April, May, and June (dates TBD) via DLN; will cover topics such as:
    • Past and current Atacama research
    • Moon/Mars analog theory and science
    • Field research - design, preparation and conduct
    • What to bring, logistics
  • Note: all members of the Spaceward Bound 2006 team will communicate frequently via email/phone during expedition preparations
  • Airfare, transportation, room, board paid by NASA
  • There will potentially be opportunities for exploration into the interior of the Antofagasta region as time permits

Spaceward Bound Itinerary

  • June 20: fly to Santiago, Chile
  • June 20 - 21: drive to Yungay Research Station (south of Antofagasta); overnight in Copiapo
  • June 22 - 28: field work
  • June 29: drive to Santiago
  • June 30: fly home, arriving in the U.S. port of entry July 1

Take a closer look at the research site.

Read the article Two Dry For Life: The Atacama Desert and Mars by Chris McKay

Application Instructions for Teachers
Applicant Information Form
Sample Letter of Recommendation and Commitment
Teacher Requirements
Teachers Release and Consent Form

 FirstGov  NASA

Editor: Linda Conrad
NASA Official: Liza Coe
Last Updated: April 2007
Teachers Contact: Liza Coe