15th Symposium on Education


NASA's THEMIS Mission and the Involvement of Schools

N. Craig, Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA; and L. M. Peticolas

The NASA's THEMIS Mission Education and Public Outreach team at the University of California at Berkeley selected ten ground-based magnetometer stations each located in the proximity of a rural school in traditionally under-served, under-represented communities from Alaska to Vermont. These ‘ground based magnetometer' observatories will assist the THEMIS Mission's five identical satellites, called probes, when they are launched in the fall of 2006. The five probes, placed in strategic locations in Earth's magnetosphere, will help to determine the onset of auroral substorms. A teacher at each of these schools is responsible for their magnetometer data and system as well as using the data with their students through lesson plans developed collaboratively with the E/PO team. The network of teachers, students, and magnetometers together with other students who participate in monitoring the geomagnetic disturbances using the web is called the Geomagnetic Event Observation Network by Students (GEONS). We have installed five magnetometers during the Fall of 2004, and will be installing the remaining five in the Fall of 2005, and have started to display the data from the first five schools on the web. We will describe the pedagogical challenges of bringing understanding of the physics behind the THEMIS science which requires some understanding of magnetic fields, charged particles, forces, motions, and energy to middle school and high school classrooms. We will also include the formative evaluation results to date. .

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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