Australian Teacher Delegates for Spaceward Bound Australia Selected
3 March, 2009
MSA would like to congratulate and welcome the 5 Australian educators who have been selected and have accepted to participate in Spaceward Bound Australia 2009. After receiving a large range of submissions from very highly qualified, experienced and motivated teachers from all over Australia late last year, and a lengthy review process, the successful teacher candidates were recently informed about their selection.
Looking forward to the Spaceward Bound Australia 2009 expedition from Tasmania are Joanne Berriman, Head of Science at Oatlands District High School, Jane Dobson from Claremont College and Liz Ryan from Campania District High School. Joining these individuals, from New South Wales is Nicolette Burraston from the Armidale School and from Queensland Keith Treschman who is on the academic staff at Brisbane Girls Grammar School.
Spaceward Bound is about examining ecosystems found in remote locations, such as the Mojave Desert, Atacama Desert, McMurdo dry valleys in Antarctica and central Australia and applying findings to understanding off-world conditions and knowledge about the Solar system and our place in it. A key component is identifying the necessary conditions for life to exist.explains Mark Gargano, Education Team Leader-Australia for Spaceward Bound Australia 2009.
The program in South Australia is planned to occur from the 9th to 16th July starting and finishing in Adelaide after visiting Arkaroola, Maree and Reedy Springs. The science aims are to compare soil microbial populations, study colonized quartz and gullies and hydrological features at Reedy Springs.
As well as Australian educators there will also be teachers from the United States that will be participating in the program. The education team will be joining the group of NASA and MSA scientists in conducting field research.
The teachers involved are an integral part of the event, being involved with some 40 hours of field professional development during Spaceward Bound and 12 hours at the Australian Mars Exploration Conference. As well as developing field science skills, teachers will be collaborating on materials that will be brought back, trailed and used in their classes and school. This is a very exciting time in space science research, with new discoveries and upcoming missions, being a part of a Spaceward Bound expedition enhances teachers understanding and experiences, which will create a richer classroom experience, the end result a stimulating environment that perhaps will spark that interest with youth and maybe a future scientist or engineer.adds Mr Gargano.
Class materials generated will link initially to Science and Mathematics, with resources extending to Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Geography, Geology, Earth and Environmental Science and Middle School being proposed. An exciting professional development opportunity and one that will promote the importance of remote field science to the understanding of our planet, our solar system and our future.