Poster Abstracts

Poster session theme: "Challenges and Successes Using Data in Education"

1 NASA Earth Observations (NEO): Data Access for Informal Education and Outreach
Kevin Ward, SSAI and David Herring, NASA

The NEO (NASA Earth Observations) web space is currently under development with the goal of significantly increasing the demand for NASA remote sensing data while dramatically simplifying public access to georeferenced images. NEO will target the unsophisticated, non-traditional data users who are currently underserved by the existing data ordering systems. These users will include formal and informal educators, museum and science center personnel, professional communicators, and citizen scientists and amateur Earth observers. Users will be able to view and manipulate georeferenced browse imagery and, if they desire, download directly or order the source HDF data from the data provider (e.g., NASA DAAC or science team) via a single, integrated interface.

NEO will accomplish this goal by anticipating users expectations and knowledge level, thus providing an interface that presents material to users in a more simplified manner, without relying upon the jargon/technical terminology that make even the identification of the appropriate data set a significant hurdle. NEO will also act as a gateway that manages users expectations by providing specific details about images and data formats, developing tutorials regarding the manipulation of georeferenced imagery and raw data, links to software tools and ensuring that users are able to get the image they want in the format they want as easily as possible.

2 Project AstroData: Using Data in the Classroom
Kirk Borne

I will review a few short examples of how large data-producting astronomy projects can enable inquiry-based science through the use of scientific data in the classroom. This will include a brief report from a successful NASA IDEAS grant, which funded a workshop for geography teachers in Native American schools. Examples of how data mining of large data collections has impacted some non-astronomy classroomenvironments will also be presented. The use of astronomy data offers stimulation for learning and can have amazing results. Support for this work was provided in part by NSF through Cooperative Agreement AST0122449 to the Johns Hopkins University and through the NSF Cooperative Agreement to the LSST Corporation.

3 Investigations in Enviornmental Science: A Case-Based Approach to Teaching Environmental Systems
Meridith Bruozas

4 Astrobiology in the Urban High School
Barry Fried, Honora Dash, Mark Levy, Dr. Shermane Austin, Dr. Leon P. Johnson

At John Dewey High School, students tackle challenging questions such as Are we alone? and How did life begin on Earth? in our Space Science Academy, a one-year sequence of classes consisting of Comparative Planetology, Mission to Mars, Astrobiology (TERCs curriculum) and Remote Sensing. Our Academy recruits students with diverse learning styles; including special-needs, ELLs and underserved populations. Students work in teams to discover, explore and participate in science research and design. All students have an equal stake in the outcome. These Academy classes are interdisciplinary; applying concepts of biological and physical sciences, astronomy, the geosciences, sociology, psychology and ethics. We have a New York State teacher leader in Astrobiology who provides professional development on incorporating Astrobiology into classrooms. Two staff members are NASA-JPL Solar System Educators for New York State who help educators integrate NASA's Mission Space Science into science curricula. We highlight inclusion-teaching strategies across all grade-levels. Our partnership with Medgar Evers College assists in making connections to remote sensing, meteorology and planetary studies. NASA/MU-SPIN sponsors trips to Goddard Space Flight Center. We collaborate with the American Museum of Natural History and The Rose Center through education outreach venues. Our curriculum is enriched with material resources from Passport to Knowledge (P2K) and we were featured in some of their productions and Space Day celebrations. We hosted Mars activities in the community and schools coinciding with the MER landings. Our current focus is NASAs New Horizons mission to Pluto and we were invited, and attended its launch in January, 2006.

5 Marine Geosciences Data Management System (mgDMS) Ridge 2000 and MARGINS database
Andrew Goodwillie and the mgDMS team

Hosted at Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory, the marine geoscience Data Management System, mgDMS, incorporates a database for the NSF-funded multi-disciplinary Ridge 2000 and MARGINS research programs. The database covers each of the program study sites and currently contains information on fifty dedicated Ridge 2000 and MARGINS ocean-going research cruises.

Web-based tools provide easy access to the database. Any web browser can be used to perform a versatile text-based search using a broad range of parameters including type of data collected, cruise ID, name of scientist, and geographical location.

The search results return basic cruise and submersible dive information, sample and data inventories, navigation, and other relevant items such as shipboard personnel and links to NSF funding awards. Data files, images, and derived products such as grids, as well as science reports, can be freely downloaded from the database. Ship track lines can be viewed on an interactive map.

The Ridge 2000 and MARGINS database is fully integrated with other projects hosted by mgDMS including the Antarctic marine geophysics and seismic reflection data initiatives. Also, links are provided to partner databases that that provide geochemistry and drill core information, and to national data repositories.

Interactive map-based exploration and visualisation of the database is provided by GeoMapApp, a freely-available Java(tm) program developed within the mgDMS group. GeoMapApp includes a global multi-resolutional grid of seafloor depths and allows users to import their own data files and to create customised maps and grids. Alvin seafloor dive photos are also available.

Educational resources based upon GeoMapApp are already used in undergraduate teaching and are being further developed by mgDMS.

6 Tornado Outbreaks 1965-2003
Scott Walker and Michelle Hall

We will present a case study beginning with an investigation of the recipe for a tornado and general patterns of tornadoes in the US. The investigation then proceeds to look indepth at the atmospheric conditions present for several very large outbreaks and the resulting damage.

7 GoogleEarth in the Earth Science Classroom
KLUGE, Steve, Earth Science, Fox Lane High School, Bedford, NY and FERMANN, Eric J., Earth Science, Eastchester High School, Eastchester, NY

Since its release in the summer of 2005, GoogleEarth has provided an uncomplicated - even simple - means of combining satellite imagery with geological and geographic information in dramatic fashion. This ready availability of detailed satellite imagery creates a unique opportunity for Earth Science students to study landforms and landscapes, enabling them to literally broaden their horizons by including not only individual geologic features, but also boundaries and transition zones between regions dominated by different geologic processes.

While satellite visualization tends to grab the student's attention, it remains necessary to integrate these techniques into lessons that include inquiry-based learning activities that go beyond the "oohs and ahhs" that the program initially generates. The authors have collaborated by beginning to create topical earth science lessons and laboratory activities using GoogleEarth to enhance conceptual understanding of topics ranging from simple map interpretation and visualization to erosion and deposition by rivers and glaciers, plate tectonics, structural geology and more. These and other similar .kmz files are available online at

8 Lecture Tutorials for the Introductory Geoscience Classroom Using Data Found on DLESE
Karen Kortz, Jessica Jager

Lecture Tutorials (LTs) are short, interactive exercises completed by students during lecture, guiding student learning. They are designed to be used by instructors as a simple way to increase the amount of interactive learning in their classroom. We developed several geoscience LTs, with data sets found using the Digital Library for Earth System Education (DLESE) website, in order to address the problems of student misconceptions in introductory geosciences and their varying attitudes toward science.

Through the semester we tested three LTs that were designed to focus on data interpretation and scientific methods using real-world data sets. Based on the student responses on the LTs, we discovered several new misconceptions that need to be addressed. In addition, 3 to 4 multiple choice questions were given before the LT was used, and similar questions were given after the completion of the LT in order to determine student learning. Near the end of the semester students were interviewed to determine how their attitudes changed with the use of these LTs.

It was often difficult to include data interpretation and scientific methods using real-world data sets in the LTs because data on specific topics were difficult to find. The data sets were often in formats that were difficult to incorporate in the LTs, and some of the data addressed issues that were too complex to be used in a short introductory LT. Finally, the data did not usually specifically address the topic of the identified misconceptions addressed in the LTs. However, despite these difficulties, preliminary work indicates that including data in the LTs is a valuable tool in addressing student attitudes toward science.

9 Satellite Observations in Science Education
Steve Ackerman, Tommy Jasmin, Tom Whittaker, Leanne Avila

Satellite Observations in Science Education (SOSE) is a five year project funded by the NASA REASoN (Research, Education, Applications Solutions Network) mission. The goal is to develop an Internet based education environment that provides interactive learning activities teaching remote sensing principles and exploratory data analysis. A toolkit of Reusable Content Objects will allow scientists and educators from many disciplines to easily assemble learning modules accessible from any Java-enabled web browser.

10 Ocean Explorers
Steven Moore, Jenny Brady, Sam Jenkins, Mary Moore, Center for Image Processing in Education

The Center for Image Processing in Education (CIPE), in collaboration with Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary and partners from organizations involved in information technology (IT) education, are nearing completion of Ocean Explorers, a Comprehensive Project for Students and Teachers funded by the Information Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program of the National Science Foundation. Over a three year period, the project has provided professional development on geographic information systems and image processing, instructional materials, and software for 20 teams of three to five educators from California and Arizona. During the three-year period, each team has worked on creatingIT-based learning activities directly supporting attainment of national and state standards for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. This poster presents the current status of the project and offers preliminary evaluation results.

11 My World GIS
Daniel C. Edelson, Matthew Brown, David Smith, Eric Russell, Northwestern University

My World GIS is a geographic information system designed specifically for use in educational settings. Its intended audience is middle school through college geosciences and geography courses where investigations involving geographic data can support the learning goals of the course. My World is designed to meet the needs of students and teachers while keeping the constraints of educational settings in mind. It combines the power of a full-featured GIS environment with the support and structure required by novice users in an educational environment.

12 The Global Telescope Network
Robert T Sparks, National Optical Astronomy Observatory, Tim Graves, Sonoma State University, Gordon Spears, Sonoma State University

The Global Telescope Network (GTN) is an informal association of scientists, students, individuals, and observatories interested in observing high-energy astronomical objects (black holes, active galaxies, etc.) in optical and near-optical light.The main goals of the GTN are 1) to support the science missions of NASA's Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST), Swift, and XMM-Newtonobservatories by obtaining and reducing ground-based observations for objects related to the primary science goals for these missions, and 2) to educate students about how digital astronomical data is obtained, reduced, and analyzed.

13 Site Reconnaissance for the EARTHScope/USArray Transportable Seismic Array. Geographic Information Systems and Community Participation
Carlos Rios and Others

Identification and permitting of sites for seismic stations of EarthScopes USArray Transportable Seismic Array is a very ambitious undertaking. Initial site reconnaissance requires skills to integrate information from a variety of geographic databases as well as an understanding of the regional geology and tectonics and of the objectives of the EarthScope and USArray programs. It thus provides rich opportunities for students in earth sciences and geography to apply and enhance their knowledge.

During summer, 2005, Oregon State University participated in site reconnaissance for USArray in Oregon and Washington as part of a USArray-sponsored internship program. The program began with a 3-day workshop attended by authors of this presentation. The workshop included lectures about the scientific objectives of EarthScope, training on procedures to identify sites that meet the requirements of USArray, and a field trip to find a few local sites. Prior to going into the field, GIS tools using databases assembled by OSU, IAGT and IRIS were used to identify locations that met as many requirements as possible: appropriate topography and geology, adequate distance from cultural noise sources, private ownership, and digital cell phone coverage.

Lab work was followed by field visits to make contact with landowners and identify specific sites. In rural areas, University extension agents provided a valuable introduction to the local community. The products of this project were formal Reconnaissance Reports that included contact information, special site considerations and detailed instructions for finding the sites. Site locations were finalized by professional USArray staff. This has proven to be an efficient and cost-effective way to locate a large number of sites while simultaneously providing an exciting practical training opportunity for students, involving a variety of units throughout the university system, and transmitting the excitement of USArray to the public.

14 Turning Numbers into Knowledge with Microsoft Excel
Charles Burrows, Spring Valley HS / East Ramapo CSD, Spring Valley, New York

Now that you have access to all of this great data, what are you going to do with it? Microsoft Excel is a solution, and fortunately, Excel can be found on virtually every computer you're likely to encounter. You will learn to import data from different formats into Excel, integrate data from multiple sources into one or more graphs, create instant output graphs to accelerate learning, print blank tailored graphs for student plotting practice, number crunch with the Data Analysis ToolPak, and more!

15 Student Response to the use of Geographic Information Technologies in Science Class
Elizabeth Youngman, Phoenix Country Day School, Paradise Valley Arizona

This study examined the effects of the use of Geographic Information Science (GIS) on student learning and engagement in science. Students were taught a 12 -week long oceanography unit that incorporated GIS skills along with science content. GIS was used as a tool to facilitate the visualization of the important patterns of ocean science. Student response to GIS was overwhelmingly positive. In their journals, students indicated that GIS had helped them to visualize important concepts, such as hurricane patterns and kelp forest locations. The use of GIS was an effective tool for teaching both factual content and analysis skills. I found GIS to be a tool that facilitates the integration of many of the strengths of technology, making worth my investment in learning how to teach with the software.

16 Global Land Cover Facility's Earth Science Data Interface
Saurabh Channan and Matthew Smith, Global Land Cover Facility

The Global Land Cover Facility (GLCF) provides Earth science data and products to help everyone to better understand global environmental systems. In particular, the GLCF develops and distributes remotely sensed satellite data and products that explain land cover from the local to global scales. The Earth Science Data Interface (ESDI) is the GLCF's web application for searching, browsing, and downloading data from their online holdings. Satellite imagery available through ESDI include ASTER, QuickBird, IKONOS, OrbView, Landsat, SRTM and MODIS data as well as range of derived data products. Data are available via a Map Search as well as other methods

17 Earth Exploration Toolbook - Facilitating the Use of Earth Science Data in Education
Tamara S Ledley, LuAnn Dahlman, Carla McAuliffe, and Nick Haddad, TERC

The Earth Exploration Toolbook (EET) provides step-by-step instructions for using Earth science datasets and software tools in educational settings. Each chapter features a specific Earth science dataset and data analysis tool and walks users through an example-a case study, to explore issues or concepts in Earth system science, and gives the user enough knowledge to modify the activity to be effective in his/her own situation. In addition, each chapter provides the teacher information on what the outcome of the activity should look like, the appropriate grade levels, the standards that the activity addresses, the learning goals, the time required to complete the activity, and ideas for exploring further using the featured dataset and data analysis tools.

The Earth Exploration Toolbook has a mechanism, the EET chapter template, which allows for the development of consistent additional EET chapters by those outside the project who would like to facilitate the use of their Earth science datasets and analysis tools in educational settings. We also have author support documents including the EET Chapter Authors Guide and the EET Chapter Template Field Descriptions that provide information on the components of an EET chapter and what they should contain. Results from the teams at the Data Services Workshop will be expanded on and entered into the EET chapter template to form new chapters in the EET.

In order to facilitate the effective use of EET chapters in the classroom, we conduct pairs of 2-hour telecon-online workshops. In the first of these we walk teachers through a specific chapter. By the end of the workshop the teacher has the software and required data correctly downloaded and installed on their own computer and has successfully done the analysis. We ask the teachers to implement what they have learned with their students in the following month and post what they have done on an online discussion board. Following this period we have a second telecon-online workshop during which the teachers share their experiences, highlighting what has worked and discussing how to overcome obstacles. At the completion of the workshop the teachers are in a better position adapt the data and tools featured in the EET chapter for use with their students.