Center for Science Education
@ Space Sciences Laboratory
University of California, Berkeley
In 1997, the Space Sciences Laboratory (SSL) established a Senior Fellow Program for Science Education. This program was developed in collaboration with the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Education to attract experts in science education to collaborate closely with SSL space scientists, campus faculty and students, and education and community leaders. Dr. Isabel Hawkins, SSL's first Senior Fellow in Science Education, directs the Center for Science Education (CSE@SSL). CSE@SSL programs include digital curriculum development, professional development of teachers, the development of national resource directories for NASA educational materials, programs with students in the early grades in the area of basic literacy through science and technology, and basic science education research. Funding for these programs comes from NASA Office of Space Science, NASA High Performance Computing and Communications (HPCC), Calspace and the California Space Grant Consortium, Berkeley Pledge and Interactive University (two UC Berkeley-wide outreach initiatives), and the National Science Foundation.
CSE@SSL leads the regional and national Science Education Gateway (SEGway) Project, in partnership with K-12 schools in the Bay Area and the East Coast, science museums (Lawrence Hall of Science, Exploratorium, National Air and Space Museum, and Science Museum of Virginia), and other research institutions, such as CEPS and STScI. CSE@SSL is the host of NASA Office of Space Science Sun-Earth Connection Education Forum, a 5-year partnership with NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center to coordinate the educational components of all Sun-Earth Connection NASA missions across the country. CSE@SSL is a key partner in the UC-Berkeley campus-wide Berkeley Pledge and Interactive University Project. Through the SEGway program, CSE@SSL is leading the Education and Public Outreach components of several NASA missions, including the High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager (HESSI, Prof. Bob Lin, UCB/SSL) and the Cosmic Hot Interstellar Plasma Spectrometer (CHIPS, Senior Fellow Mark Hurwitz, UCB/SSL).
Lawrence Hall of Science
The Lawrence Hall of Science (LHS) is center for science education on the campus of the University of California at Berkeley. Combining the functions of a hands-on science museum, and a center for curriculum development and teacher education, LHS is able to reach both school and public audiences. Each year approximately 350,000 people visit the Hall's exhibits and educational programs, and outreach programs involve 220,000 additional students in the Northern California region, and over 20,000 teachers participate in LHS teacher in-service programs. LHS has developed, tested, and distributed eleven major science activity-based curricula used by 20\% of the nation's elementary students, and in 27 countries.
A Teacher Resource Room provides a quiet, staffed environment within which visiting teachers may be assisted with the many curriculum materials and other resources available. A major goal for LHS is to create a resource area with computer facilities so that teachers may have access to the Internet, the World Wide Web, and other on-line resources.
Housed within the walls of the Palace of Fine Arts, the Exploratorium is a collage of 650 interactive exhibits in the areas of science, art, and human perception. The Exploratorium stands in the vanguard of the movement of the "museum as educational center," by expanding its role as a center for exhibit based public education. The Exploratorium's annual attendance is 625,000 and its impact is extended to approximately 50 million to 60 million people per year through loan of exhibits to other museums.
The formal teaching of science is through its Center for Teaching and Learning. More than 500 elementary, middle and high school science and mathematics teachers annually attend institutes that use the Exploratorium's exhibit collection as a basis for hands-on teacher education in various sciences. The in-service training of educators stresses the interplay between informal and formal approaches to science. Each year, 60,000 school children visit the museum with their teachers through the Field Trips Program, and 100 high school students are trained as science guides, deepening their science knowledge.
Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
The National Air and Space Museum (NASM) of the Smithsonian Institution, opened its present facility to the public on July 1, 1976. As part of the world's largest museum complex and research organization, NASM is committed to "the increase and diffusion of knowledge". Charged by Congress to memorialize the national development of aviation and space flight, the Museum is also committed to educating its visitors on the nature of the universe, our solar system, and the Earth and its environment. Its mission is fulfilled through research, exhibitions, publications, audio-visual presentations, and public programs. The Museum serves a diverse local, national, and international audience. With an annual attendance of over eight million visitors, NASM is one of the world's most popular museums.
The Museum supports education through a wide range of activities that include gallery tours for young people, science demonstrations, and planetary programs for students. NASM is also committed to the support of teachers through curriculum, book, and video materials for teachers and through teacher workshops. NASM has an extensive collection of science data and resident experience and, as a center of expertise, will take a museum leadership role in developing the resource centers.
Science Museum of Virginia
The Science Museum of Virginia (SMV), headquartered in Richmond, VA, is an educational agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia with a mandate to increase the level of science literacy for all Virginians. It has over 250 hands-on exhibits on themes such as aerospace, astronomy, chemistry, computers, electricity, and physics. The Museum is home to the Ethyl Universe Planetarium and Space Theater and the Creative Computing Center (CCC). The ongoing educational activities of the Museum include lecture series, summer science workshops, teacher in-service training, science-by-van, science-by-mail, and numerous teacher workshops. Statewide outreach programs bring the resources of the Science Museum to 98% of Virginia's counties and localities. Through its various exhibits, programs, classes, workshops, films and planetarium shows, the SMV reaches over 600,000 people each year. The highly successful CCC, installed in 1984, has a number of IBM PC's accessible to the general public and serves more than 55,000 patrons each year. A collection of interactive exhibits guide visitors toward a clear understanding of fundamental logic functions in computers and plans have been formulated to upgrade and modernize the CCC.
Center for Earth & Planetary Studies
The Center for Earth and Planetary Studies (CEPS) is one of the scientific research departments at the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution. The Center plays an active role in research related to planetary and terrestrial geology using remote sensing data from Earth-orbiting satellites and manned and unmanned space missions. The Center has a computer image processing lab which allows for in-house processing and manipulation of remotely-sensed data.
As a NASA supported Regional Planetary Image Facility (RPIF), CEPS houses an extensive collection of imagery of the planets and their satellites which investigators in the department are able to reference for use in their research. In addition, CEPS serves as a repository for an extensive collection of space shuttle photographs, which continues to grow with each new shuttle mission. Both the RPIF and space shuttle photograph collections are freely accessible to investigators in the mid-Atlantic and southeastern regions as an archive for scientific research.
Space Telescope Science Intitute
Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) is the storehouse for of images and other data from the various instruments on the Hubble Space Telescope. The Institute's Office of Public Outreach (OPO) supports SEGway through various programs, including workshops for teachers on writing and using Web-distributed resources. The OPO's philosophy relies on many of the principles that guide SEGway: building on strategic partnerships and pursuing innovative methods to inspire an interest in science in all people, especially students. OPO programs reflect the scientific process and bring the newest research to the public in a manner that broadens their appreciation for the excitement of the search for knowledge.