NASA SMD E/PO Community Addresses the needs of the Higher Ed Community: Introducing Slide sets for the Introductory Earth and Space Science Instructor

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Sanlyn Buxner1, Bonnie K Meinke2, David Brain3, Nicholas McCord Schneider4, Gregory R Schultz5, Denise A Smith2, Jennifer Grier1 and Stephanie Staples Shipp6, (1)Planetary Science Institute Tucson, Tucson, AZ, United States, (2)Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, MD, United States, (3)University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, CO, United States, (4)Univ Colorado, Boulder, CO, United States, (5)Astronomical Society of the Pacific, San Francisco, CA, United States, (6)Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston, TX, United States
The NASA Science Mission Directorate (SMD) Science Education and Public Outreach (E/PO) community and Forums work together to bring the cutting-edge discoveries of NASA Astrophysics and Planetary Science missions to the introductory astronomy college classroom. These mission- and grant-based E/PO programs are uniquely poised to foster collaboration between scientists with content expertise and educators with pedagogy expertise. We present two new opportunities for college instructors to bring the latest NASA discoveries in Space Science into their classrooms.

The NASA Science Mission Directorate (SMD) Astrophysics Education and Public Outreach Forum is coordinating the development of a pilot series of slide sets to help Astronomy 101 instructors incorporate new discoveries in their classrooms. The “Astro 101 slide sets” are presentations 5-7 slides in length on a new development or discovery from a NASA Astrophysics mission relevant to topics in introductory astronomy courses. We intend for these slide sets to help Astronomy 101 instructors include new developments (discoveries not yet in their textbooks) into the broader context of the course.

In a similar effort to keep the astronomy classroom apprised of the fast moving field of planetary science, the Division of Planetary Sciences (DPS) has developed the Discovery slide sets, which are 3-slide presentations that can be incorporated into college lectures. The slide sets are targeted at the Introductory Astronomy undergraduate level. Each slide set consists of three slides which cover a description of the discovery, a discussion of the underlying science, and a presentation of the big picture implications of the discovery, with a fourth slide includes links to associated press releases, images, and primary sources. Topics span all subdisciplines of planetary science, and sets are available in Farsi and Spanish. The NASA SMD Planetary Science Forum has recently partnered with the DPS to continue producing the Discovery slides and connect them to NASA mission science.