Some lucky students from Eastside Union School District will get to study actual objects from the moon.
Teachers Terra Pennsy of Columbia Elementary and Amanda Sullivan of Tierra Bonita Elementary schools took part in NASA’s Lunar and Meteorite workshop for K-12 educators, and the space agency certified them to have actual parts of the moon in their classrooms for student science labs.
The NASA workshops featured lunar discs with moon rock and soil samples brought back from the historic Apollo missions of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Both Eastside teachers engaged in hands-on, standards-based activities on accretion, differentiation, cratering and volcanism. Both instructors can also submit a request to obtain more lunar and meteorite samples to use in their classrooms.
“Students will be able to reach new heights by learning hands-on from actual materials of the moon and meteorites,” said Mark Marshall, E.D.D., and superintendent of Eastside Union school District. “We are grateful; that [our] faculty and staff continue to seek new opportunities for our students.”
Sullivan said the materials will assist with instruction in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) curriculum.
“What’s most exciting is that we can pass on next-generation science skills to our students,” she said. “The kids we are teaching now will be the generation that makes it to Mars. A number of little kids have come up to me after labs to say they want to be astronauts and be a part of the first Mars colony.”
Pennsy and Sullivan later this month will attend a special NASA workshop, “Earth Right Now: Atmosphere,” in which participants will learn about the GLOBE (Global Learning and Observation to Benefit the Environment) program which focuses on international science education.