The landing on Mars of Curiosity – NASA's biggest, newest, and most capable rover – will wrap up a STEM learning conference for educators at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory by the Mars Education Program of Arizona State University. The Mars Education Program is at the Mars Space Flight Facility, part of the School of Earth and Space Exploration on the Tempe campus.
"Bring 'Curiosity' into your classroom!" is the theme of the conference to take place Aug. 3-5, at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. The Curiosity rover is scheduled to land on Mars Sunday night, Aug. 5, at 10:30 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time/Mountain Standard Time.
"Landing on Mars is really hard. No one knows what will happen," says Sheri Klug Boonstra, director of the Mars Education Program and organizer of the conference. "Our goal in this conference is to bring educators to a place where they'll see planetary exploration history being made."
ASU's Mars Education Program, begun in 1992, has helped more than 40,000 students (grades K through early college) learn about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subjects. The program provides exciting STEM-based activities with a Mars focus; it also gives students authentic research opportunities using a camera orbiting Mars, through its Mars Student Imaging Project.
The program's activities, well-tested and national standards-aligned, key off the excitement of Mars exploration to engage students' interest and teach them scientific methods and thinking.
"We hope that educators who attend will carry back to their classrooms the thrill of exploring Mars," says Klug Boonstra. "And use the classroom activities we'll give them to build their students' skills in STEM subjects."
For more about the conference, go to http://marsed.asu.edu/curiosity.
Image: ASU's Mars Education Program helps teachers develop STEM skills in their students by bringing the excitement of exploring Mars to the classroom. A conference for educators organized by the Mars Education Program will conclude on August 5 with the landing of NASA's new Mars rover, Curiosity. Photo by: NASA/JPL-Caltech