1.2 A New Era of Observations: BLUECUBE

Monday, 7 January 2013: 11:15 AM
Room 13AB (Austin Convention Center)
John D. Moore, Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow Emeritus, Laurel Springs, New Jersey

Over the past five decades information and data collected from satellites in space and other remote sensors, have generated volumes of information, data, satellite imagery and now computer visualizations that, for the first time in the history of Planet Earth, allows for scientists, educators, and students alike to gain a new and unique perspective of our planet. With pressing issues, both national and internationally, such as sustainability and climate change, BLUE CUBE has potentially transformative opportunities for international student/teacher collaborations and open new innovative pathways in science education and workforce development.

The BLUECUBE Project (Build, Launch, Utilize, and Educate using CubeSats) proposes altering current educational practices by using CubeSats as a disruptive technology. Just as current scientific research reflects a new era of multidisciplinary studies, so should the preparation of students reflect crosscutting experiences, knowledge, and critical thinking skills through the establishment of a national network of geographically represented instructional nodes. CubeSats allow educators and students to experience authentic science, conduct relevant research, and acquire marketable skills for the 21st Century workforce. Research shows that students are better engaged by hands-on instruction and learn through experience. Project Based Learning and Systems Engineering allow students to apply the Scientific and Engineering Methods to real world problem solving.

BLUECUBE supports the student construction, flight, and tasking of CubeSats to image the Earth and/or other data for classroom applications. This effort will advance precollege STEM education and broaden student participation through the development of hands-on training for students and teachers to assemble functioning spacecraft and to utilize in the classroom imagery collected by these low Earth orbit (LEO) pico-sized satellites. This effort seeks to benefit students from four distinct educational groups: K-12, Career and Technical Education (CTE), Community Colleges, Undergraduates, and Graduate school students.

This presentation will highlight activities underway that focus on developing and applying Geoscience and Earth Systems Science applications in the classroom, applications of GLOBE Program protocols and investigations, image analysis, participation in a NSF CubeSat Forum, a "BalloonSat" event in collaboration with Drexel University Space Laboratory, and the development of GeoSTEM, the Geoscience approach to STEM Education.

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