Queen Elizabeth II will learn about NASA education tomorrow, May 8, when she visits NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. Bonnie Eisenhamer, the Hubble Space Telescope Formal Education Manager at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Md., will lead an education workshop for local middle school students during the Queen's Goddard visit.
The Goddard Education Office asked Ms. Eisenhamer to develop and lead the workshop, called "Exploration: From Questions to Discoveries." She was selected because of her expertise and background in developing Hubble Space Telescope education materials and workshops.
Ms. Eisenhamer also trained a team of educators to assist the students participating in the workshop. The educators are Dan McCallister, a curriculum specialist from the Space Telescope Science Institute, and education specialists John Leck, Lynn Hardin, and Dynae Fullwood, from Goddard.
"This is an opportunity for the Queen and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, to see how NASA science is used to train the next generation of explorers," Ms. Eisenhamer said.
The workshop's theme is how scientists use light to study the Earth and the universe. Students will learn about light by participating in hands-on, inquiry-based activities at three learning stations by researching information to answer specific questions. The exploration questions are: "What is the relationship between light and exploration?"; "Why do we use light to study Earth?"; and "How is light used to explore the universe?"
Each learning station gives students first-hand experience in learning how science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills are needed to answer scientific questions and make new discoveries, Ms. Eisenhamer explained. Among NASA's educational goals, she said, are translating science data into relevant, interactive education materials and activities that will inspire students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math.
One station is devoted to the Hubble telescope's image of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field, the deepest portrait ever taken of the visible universe. Students will look at the shapes and colors of the galaxies and stars in the image and develop a classification system for them. The students then will compare their data with those of astronomers.
"This workshop is a good example of how NASA missions, such as the Hubble Space Telescope, can bring the wonders of the universe into the classroom," Ms. Eisenhamer said.
Donna Weaver/Ray Villard
Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Md.