LASP education and outreach staff work to create additional programming based on the current needs and research interests of LASP scientists. Below is a summary of our current pilot programs.
High-Altitude Ballooning Project
The High-Altitude Ballooning Project is a NASA-funded educational program. We are currently in the process of selecting a school group for this year. We will also be running the program during the 14-15 school year, so check back for our call for proposals next September!
This project will result in a comprehensive program for middle school students in authentic balloon instrumentation experiments. LASP mentors will work with students to design and create simple experiments that will launch twice during three consecutive school years beginning in 2011-12.
Students will be exposed to authentic engineering through creating hypotheses, coming up with designs to test their hypotheses, and testing/reevaluating their designs. The culminating product will be launching the balloon to collect authentic data for classroom analysis.
LASP education and outreach staff will use the class-based program to build an electronic version of the program. The electronic version, or “interactive,” will be available online and via CD-ROM so that audiences not associated with the in-class program can have a “virtual” ballooning experience.
Public Lecture Series
The LASP Public Lecture series, an ongoing NASA-funded outreach program, will begin offering programming to the southern Colorado town of Trinidad in 2012.
LASP education and outreach staff and scientists, in partnership with the University of Colorado Office for University Outreach, will conduct two talks each year in Trinidad. The lectures will be accompanied by visits to Trinidad High School and Fisher’s Peak Elementary School, and a community-based “Family Night.” All of these program components will focus on a common theme, driven by the current research of LASP scientists, which will allow us to engage students and adults in exploring specific topics in depth.
The school-based activities and family nights will incorporate curriculum and materials from existing NASA and LASP resources. These resources will include lessons from NASA-approved products such as Exploring Magnetism, Space Weather: Exploring Sun-Earth Connections, and Dancing Lights, and will focus on a variety of missions and scientific research. The students and families of the Trinidad community will be exposed to the latest NASA research and scientific discoveries through this unique community outreach program.
Junior Aerospace Engineering Program
The Junior Aerospace Engineering Program is a NASA-funded educational program being held during the summer of 2012.
This project, led by LASP in collaboration with the University of Colorado Science Discovery program and with support from the NASA Lunar Science Institute (NLSI), will introduce underserved and underrepresented Colorado students to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education and careers. During the course of a three-week program, students will be given an overview of basic physics, the lunar environment, and research conducted at the Colorado Center for Lunar Dust and Atmospheric Studies (CCLDAS). These topics will serve as a foundation for the students as they learn how to design, build, and program their own LEGO-based robotic lunar rover.
The program will incorporate elements of real lunar missions and objectives, engineering and programming principles, and teamwork elements. The students’ efforts will culminate in a final mission challenge, where they will be challenged to overcome obstacles from a remote location and accomplish their mission objectives on a simulated lunar surface.
LASP Rocket Program E/PO
The LASP Rocket Program develops and conducts various Education and Public Outreach (E/PO) for students in and around the Boulder Valley.