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Education & Public Outreach Efforts

Kevin Cuff and Herb Thier
University of California at Berkeley and Lawrence Hall of Science

Our efforts have focused on gathering information from local science educators, secondary school students, and BioMARS scientists that will insure that resultant educational materials are unique, effective, and truly useful in both formal and informal educational settings locally and nationally. This process has included convening numerous focus group meetings at local high schools and Lawrence Hall of Science. At an early focus group meeting, which was used to gauge local student and teacher interest in proposed E/PO activities, BioMARS project leader, Jill Banfield made a presentation that provided an overview of the project’s scientific aims, as well as the nature of her own project-related work. We have also worked on the development of hands-on instructional materials that provide opportunities for students to explore standards-based science concepts directly related to investigations that BioMARS PIs are engaged in (e.g. heat transfer and its relation to subsurface fluid transport), and enable students to develop a better overall understanding of the nature of science. These materials include inquiry-based activities that use the research of BioMARS’ scientists to highlight and illuminate how important investigation design and detection systems are to BioMARS research in particular and, by extension, how these two elements are fundamental to all scientific research. Effectiveness of these activities has been assessed through a series of preliminary field-tests with high and middle school students at local middle schools and community centers.

Department of Astronomy    601 Campbell Hall    Berkeley, CA 94720-3411    510-643-2457