15th Symposium on Education


Education and Public Outreach with a NASA Space Weather Mission (SDO)

Emilie Drobnes, NASA, Greenbelt, Maryland; and D. Scherrer, D. Pesnell, and B. Thompson

There is an increased drive to better understand Space Weather and its effects on Earth and near-Earth. The next five years will see the launch of THEMIS, STEREO, SDO and many other missions aimed at studying the Sun, the Earth and the space in between. With each of these missions come unique opportunities to engage the public and excite students to the science being performed. One such opportunity is through the Space Weather Monitor program, an education project to build and distribute inexpensive ionospheric monitors to students around the world. Students directly observe and track disturbances in the ionosphere by using a receiver to monitor the signal strength from distant VLF transmitters and compare their findings with other students and data from the GOES satellite. This growing network of teachers, students, scientists will have access to a centralized data repository and chat site where students and researchers can exchange and discuss data. Two versions of the monitor exist - one simple and low-cost, named SID, and one research quality, called AWESOME. Currently there are 5 SID and 7 AWSOME monitors in use. Through a partnership with the International Heliophysical Year (IHY) and the United Nations Basic Space Science (UNBSS) division, the hope is that one AWSOME monitor and five SID monitors will be deployed in over 190 countries. We will describe how high school and community college classes can become involved in the SID and AWSOME projects. .

Session 2, K-12 Educational Outreach Activities for Space Weather
Monday, 30 January 2006, 1:30 PM-2:30 PM, A402

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