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Center for NASA Research & Technology

South Carolina State University

Teacher Professional Development Session

Saturday, April 24, 2004
10 am - 2:30 pm
South Carolina State University

Event Summary

A total of 24 teachers from South Carolina attended the four-and-a-half-hour session. The teachers were largely from grades 6-12, with a few from the earlier grades as well. The session was designed to acquaint them with standards-based educational materials and lesson plans developed by the MESSENGER team, prepare them for the June 2004 transit of Venus and introduce them to additional NASA educational materials and resources

The session was hosted by SCSU's Center for NASA Research and Technology (CNRT) and the Midlands Mathematics and Science Regional Center. Support for the session was provided by NASA's MESSENGER Mission, NASA's Minority University Space Interdisciplinary Network (MU-SPIN) and NASA's Broker/Facilitator, the SouthEast Regional Clearing House (SERCH) at the College of Charleston.



The main activity of the day included a two-hour videoconference with Ms. Stephanie Stockman, Education/Public Outreach Project Manager and Team Lead for the MESSENGER mission. She made her presentation from the Goddard Space Flight Center to the participants through the MU-SPIN-funded CNRT videoconferencing lab at SCSU. She provided an overview of the mission and answered questions from the teachers. A number of the participants remarked how much they enjoyed being able to talk directly with someone from NASA.






The morning session ended with Stephanie leading the teachers through a web-based, interactive exercise on mission cost and design that was a big hit with everyone.




Marcelite Jenkins and Kenneth Brown




Two SCSU students, Marcelite Jenkins and Kenneth Brown, gave a talk during the lunch period on their experience working on the MESSENGER mission at the Applied Physics Laboratory during the summer of 2003. The teachers clearly enjoyed learning that students were directly involved in such a project.



The afternoon portion of the development session included presentations by Drs. Don Walter and Linda Payne, faculty members at SCSU. Don Walter talked about the upcoming transit of Venus and had the participants go online to register for NASA's Sun-Earth Day Kit. Of the 24 participants, only one of them was previously registered, the other 23 completed registration during the SCSU session. Linda Payne discussed the state and national science and math standards as they related to the MESSENGER mission. Additionally, she provided the teachers with NASA education materials provided by SERCH and the NASA Educator Resource Center (ERC) for South Carolina. The state ERC is located on the campus of SCSU and Linda is its Director. The participants in the session also received a CD that included copies of all of the SCSU student and faculty presentations given during the session.