National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES-2013)
Education and Public Outreach: Opportunities in Education and Public Outreach in Earth and Space Science (EPOESS)
Dear EPOESS Committee Members,
Consistent with the ROSES EPOESS goals of Strengthen (NASA and the Nation’s future workforce), Attract (and retain students in STEM disciplines), and Engage (through hands-on, interactive educational activities), as well outreach to underserved and underrepresented in the STEM professions, Borderland Ecology and Earth Sciences (BEES) will engage rural students in the borderland communities outside Las Cruces, New Mexico through a 3-year, intensive, spring training and summer learning program. Specifically, we will target 1st – 12th vulnerable children in poverty (predominantly Hispanic and English Second Language Learners),who currently have little or no access to high quality Earth Science educational programs through community center involvement and even reaching into impoverished communities (colonias) without access to such programs by means of a mobile, interactive learning lab. Data analysis, planning, and interactive web support and public outreach will occur year-round.
The Principal investigator is REDACTED who has led successful, science-based programs such as the SEMAA (Science Engineering, Mathematics, and Aerospace Academy), and Academies for Young Scientists. Our project has developed a three tiered, complimentary approach that targets students (for awareness of career opportunities in earth sciences), teachers (to carry on inquiry-based methods to their students when the project ends), and a web component (for engagement and data sharing/comparison between students and their instructors across the globe by the third year).
BEES will provide an innovative, hands-on, and career-aware program that emphasizes inquiry and scientific method, hypothesis development, and sound scientific method in testing, data collection, analysis, and control. With global climate and ecological challenges as a focal point – challenges too familiar in underrepresented communities in the region – we will create awareness within students not only of their potential to pursue STEM fields and its relation to Earth Science, but also how their community contributes to and interacts with other communities on a global level. That is, that even seemingly isolated systems contribute to a “whole earth” climate. This awareness and interaction with local teachers and others across the globe will, we believe, empower students with a greater understanding of their interaction with the planet as a whole.
Research questions pertaining to career expectations, students’ valuation of themselves and their community, and understanding of inquiry-based scientific method will guide the development, implementation, and evaluation of the program over the proposed 3 years of its implementation.