Every year SSEC organizes and participates in many educational opportunities tailored for various audiences. Also, significant time and effort go towards educating the public about the center’s work.
Educating educators—The CIMSS and SSEC’s Office of Space Science Education hosts workshops for science educators. In late June 2005, Margaret Mooney led a teacher workshop in satellite meteorology for 26 middle and high school science teachers. Participants learned about weather satellites and SSEC’s contributions to satellite meteorology. Presentations included useful background information for educators, curriculum planning, and available student resources. Since the first of these workshops three years ago, its popularity continues to grow.
High school workshop—The Summer Workshop on Atmospheric, Earth, and Space Sciences for high school students ran for the thirteenth year this July 25–27. Eleven high school students participated in this year’s workshop that featured an exciting agenda in meteorology, astronomy, land remote sensing and geology. Margaret Mooney, this year’s organizer, told Madison’s TV Channel 27 that “UW–Madison is the best place to study meteorology, especially satellite meteorology.” Scientists come from around the world to study at SSEC’s Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies. Once a year, high school students have the chance to do the same.
Grandparents’ U—Every year the Wisconsin Alumni Association hosts a university-wide event called Grandparents’ University. This event gives UW alumni the chance to bring their grandchildren to campus. Twelve alums brought their grandchildren to SSEC to learn about meteorology and engage in hands-on activities. Under the instruction of Masrgaret Mooney and other experts, the participants built a state-of-the-art satellite (scale model), learned how satellites work and how NOAA uses their data, and got a tour of the roof of the Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences building.
Scientific storytelling—While talking with Patty Loew of UW-Madison’s Life Science Communications Department two years ago, Sanjay Limaye noticed the similarities between Native American folk stories and current scientific theory. Together, Loew and Limaye decided to find a culturally relevant way to teach Native American students about space science. In 2005, their concept got a chance to come to fruition by way of the Ira and Ineva Reilly Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment, a grant given to projects around the state that advance the Wisconsin Idea. Their project will encourage students at Native American schools throughout the upper Midwest to explore the connections between space science and folk tradition.
Juno outreach leader—Rosalyn Pertzborn, director of SSEC’s Office of Space Science Education will lead the approximately $12 million Education and Public Outreach (EPO) program for Juno, a planned NASA mission to Jupiter. Pertzborn said that “Substantial leveraging is achieved through strategic partnerships with two existing programs: the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) Rural Systemic Initiatives, and the Goldstone Apple Valley Radio Telescope (GAVRT) project. Our broad program targets rural America as the primary audience, including regions with substantial Native American and Hispanic populations, and young women in rural and urban areas.”
Science on a Sphere—UW-Madison and Hampton University in Virginia received a joint grant from NOAA’s Office of Education to provide, develop and implement educational applications for NOAA’s Science on a Sphere in the Nauticus Museum. Besides developing educational modules, UW-Madison will supply satellite and weather data.
High schoolers conduct research at CIMSS—As part of a UW-Madison program, two Madison area high school students, Bryce Lampe and Adeyinka Lesi, completed an eight-week summer internship at CIMSS. Under the direction of Robert Aune (NOAA at SSEC), the students conducted a research project called “Modeling Satellite Tracers with a Simple Barotropic Model.” Lampe and Lesi concluded their experience by presenting their results at a Madison Area School District event. The students were in a program that placed eighteen high schoolers from the Madison area with advisors from various UW-Madison departments to experience first hand the process of conducting applied research.
Online learning activity—The Satellite Observations for Science Education team released their first ten Reuseble Content Objects and began using them to develop an online learning activity called Hunting Icebergs. SSEC hosts the website under development by SOSE to describe the project and the learning activities in development, and to provide a directory of available tools with a user’s guide. Also in 2005, NASA’s Global Change Master Directory accepted and cataloged the SOSE project.
Collaboration with India—Rosalyn Pertzborn and Sanjay Limaye strengthened ties with Indian educators and researchers throughout 2005. Their efforts received attention in an article by University Communications’ Paroma Basu. India’s first educational satellite, EDUSAT, plays a large role in the interdisciplinary, cross-continental collaboration. UW-Madison plans to focus efforts on pre-college science education. Limaye and Pertzborn both represent UW-Madison in India alongside delegates from other U.S. universities. Discussions of other projects between India and the U.S. involve satellite instrument flights such as GIFTS and Data Center development.
No months missed—SSEC’s Public Information Office put out an In the News column for all twelve months of 2005, with the help of science-writing intern Jen O’Leary. In previous years, In the News took holiday vacations.
A new place for space—SSEC was pleased to participate in the UW Space Place Open House on August 28, 2005, at their new location in the Villager Mall on Madison’s Park Street. Among many other presenters, SSEC researchers Sarah Bedka, Kris Bedka and John Short managed a steady stream of visitors at SSEC’s AERIbago in the parking lot. Terri Gregory explained the workings of the Diffuse X-ray Spectrometer in the main display area. Shelley Knuth presented the work of the Antarctic Meteorological Research Center at one table in the activities room. Jim Nelson and Tim Schmit (NOAA, stationed at SSEC) at another table showed myriad GOES applications. Schmit and Nelson focused their presentation on an overview of GOES, the recent F3 tornado in Stoughton, and a near real-time look at Hurricane Katrina. In television coverage of the event, NBC15 showed various inside activities, especially (of SSEC’s participation) the DXS, a most photogenic spaceflight instrument.