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Workshop and Short Courses for Teachers

Downloadable teacher workshops flyer (pdf)

In the Footsteps of Galileo Workshop for Teachers in Grades 3-12 (Sat. & Sun. July 30 - 31)

Facets of Space and Earth Science Teaching: Half-Day Short Courses for Teachers in Grades K-12 (Aug. 1 - 3)

In the Footsteps of Galileo Workshop for Teachers

Workshop Participants will Explore:

  • Classroom tested, standards-based, hands-on astronomy activities (on such topics as the phases of the Moon, the planets, the scale of the solar system, etc.)
  • The development of student reasoning and how to help students think like scientists
  • Astronomy teaching resources, including The Universe at Your Fingertips 2.0 (a collection of 133 complete activities and a wealth of other teaching resources on DVD-ROM, free copy included)
  • The Galileoscope: an inexpensive telescope for the classroom (free kit included)
  • How telescopes work and how they changed our perception of the universe
  • Dark skies awareness and the threat of “light pollution” to our heritage in the night sky
  • Recent developments in our exploration of the solar system

Facilitators Include:

  • Andrew Fraknoi (Chair, Astronomy Dept, Foothill College; 2007 California Professor of the Year)
  • Dennis Schatz (Vice-President, Pacific Science Center, Seattle)
  • Rommel Miranda (Towson University Department of Science Education, Baltimore, MD)
  • Robert Sparks (National Optical Astronomy Observatories, Tucson, AZ)
  • Brian Kruse (Lead Formal Educator, Astronomical Society of the Pacific)

$95 for both days (includes Galileoscope telescope kit and the new Universe at Your Fingertips 2.0 DVD)

A limited number of scholarships are available to teachers for this workshop.

Register here.
(This link takes you to the registration instructions page for the entire ASP meeting. You do not need to attend other parts of the meeting to register for the workshop -- although you are welcome to do so if you wish. The registration form allows you to register for the workshop alone.)

For more information send an email to: gttp {at}

No background in astronomy is required; both new and veteran teachers will learn new ideas and techniques from the workshop.

Continuing Education Units may be available for an extra fee.

Facets of Space and Earth Science Teaching: Three-Hour Short Courses for Teachers in Grades K-12 (Aug. 1 - 3)

With the support of our meeting co-sponsors, we are pleased to present a series of six hands-on short courses for K-12 teachers concurrent with our EPO conference. Space in these sessions is limited and we urge you to apply for the short courses of your choice as soon as possible (teachers only please.)

Each short course requires a separate registration and has a separate registration fee.

A limited number of scholarships are available to teachers to help with registration and travel expenses for these short courses.

The six short courses are:

Monday, Aug. 1:

Short Course 1
9 am to 12 n: Active Astronomy: Classroom Activities for Learning about the Electro-magnetic Spectrum (Grades 6 - 12)
Leaders: Dana Backman, Pamela Harman (SETI Institute), and Coral Clark (USRA)

Most students are familiar with the rainbow of colors that make up visible light. They’re often less comfortable and unfamiliar with light from the other portions of the electromagnetic spectrum – gamma rays, x-rays, ultraviolet light, microwaves, and radio waves. Experience hands-on and demonstration activities designed to complement instruction on the electromagnetic spectrum for middle and high school students. Teachers will take home the Active Astronomy Kit of materials used in five classroom lessons, with lesson plans.

Short Course 2
1:30 to 4:30 pm: Chasing Shadows: Bring NASA’s Search for Earth-like Planets Around Other Stars to Your Classroom (Grades 6 - 12)
Leaders: Edna DeVore, Pamela Harman (SETI Institute) and Alan Gould (Lawrence Hall of Science, U of California, Berkeley)

Is there a home for E. T. out there? Learn about the exciting search for Earth-size planets in the habitable zone of Sun-like stars, using the Kepler mission, which seeks transiting planets (those that cross the face of their stars). Learn how the June 2012 transit of Venus can be a part of understanding this search for distant worlds. Participate in demonstrations that show how exoplanets are discovered, practice math-based student activities that use NASA exoplanet data, and bring exoplanet discoveries into your classroom. Lessons, lithos, and posters included.

Tuesday, Aug. 2:

Short Course 3
9 am to 12 n: Eye on the Sky: Exploring the Sun with Activities for the Elementary Classroom (Grades K - 5)
Leaders: Ruth Paglierani, Laura Peticolas, and Bryan Mendez (U. Of California, Berkeley)

Short Course 4
1:30 to 4:30 pm: Light and Color in the Night Sky, in the City, and in the Classroom (Grades K - 8)
Leaders: Stephen Pompea, Rob Sparks, and Connie Walker (National Optical Astronomy Observatory)

Elementary and middle school experiments with light using ordinary fluorescent, incandescent, and city street lights to teach about light and color in astronomy. We will give each teacher a kit of materials that includes diffraction gratings for the whole class, a powerful ultraviolet light, and several glow in the dark materials. The demonstrations and kits are based on the successful standards-based Hands-On Optics kits developed at the NOAO. If you have used color-changing beads in your classroom, you will enjoy these activities that greatly expand on the idea of how light can affect materials.

Wednesday, Aug. 3:

Short Course 5
9:00 am to 12:00 n: Evidence-based Science: Climate in the Classroom (Grades 6 - 12)
Leaders: Peg Steffen, Bruce Moravchik, and Paulo Maurin (NOAA National Ocean Service)

Accessing historical and real-time scientific data offers exciting teaching opportunities, yet teachers face many challenges utilizing real-time data and incorporating it into their teaching. NOAA possesses an array of observing systems that monitor oceanic, atmospheric, and terrestrial parameters.  Participants will learn about common climate misconceptions, how paleoclimatology is used to show past climates, and multiple strategies to use climate data in the classroom. Participants will be provided with several CDs that provide a wealth of resources and classroom activities to make evidenced-based climate science a reality in their classrooms. 

Short Course 6
1:30 pm to 4:30 pm: Global AND Local: Activity-based Explorations Connecting Global Climate Change to Change in Students’ Own Communities (Grades 6 - 12)
Leaders: Rusty Low (Institute for Global Environmental Strategies) and Carole Mandryk (George Mason University)

Make climate change lessons more relevant through classroom activities that engage students in climate science explorations of their local environment, and through service learning experiences to mitigate the impacts of climate change in their community. The format of the workshop includes discussions with climate scientists and "learning by doing" through inquiry-based, hands-on activities designed for 6-12 classrooms, incorporating NASA resources and data. Bring your questions about climate change science as well as your challenges and classroom experiences to share. 

The registration fee for each short course is:
Early bird rate (until June 15): $40
Advance rate (June 15 - July 15) $45
On-site rate: $50 (only if space is available)

The fees include handouts and kits as described above.

Registration for the concurrent EPO Conference is not required to participate in these short courses. Likewise, the short course fees do not provide access to the EPO Conference program, which has a separate fee structure outlined above.

But paying the short course fees does allow access to the conference exhibit hall, where education organizations and vendors will have booths with information and materials that may be of interest to K-12 teachers.

Register here.
(This link takes you to the registration instructions page for the entire ASP meeting. You do not need to attend other parts of the meeting to register for the short courses. The registration form allows you to register for the short courses alone.)

Any questions? Please direct them to: 2011meeting {at}


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