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Proceedings Paper

Astrobiology as a tool for getting high school students interested in science
Author(s): B. Wieb Van der Meer; James J. Alletto; Dudley Bryant; Mike Carini; Larry Elliott; Richard Gelderman; Wayne Mason; Kerrie McDaniel; Charles H. McGruder; Claire Rinehart; Rico Tyler; Linda Walker
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Paper Abstract

A workshop was held (10/99) for high school students and teachers on astrobiology. NASA provided support through an IDEAS grant. Out of 63 qualified applicants, 29 were accepted: 22 students (11 minorities) and 7 teachers. The workshop was held on 2 successive weekends. Activities included: culturing microbes from human skin, discussing "what is life?", building and using a 2-inch refractive telescope and a van-Leeuwenhoek-type microscope (each participant built and kept them), listening to lectures by Dr. Richard Gelderman on detecting extra solar planets and by Dr. Richard Hoover on life in extreme environments. Other activities included: collecting samples and isolating microorganisms from the lost river cave, studying microbial life from extreme environments in the laboratory, using the internet as a research tool and debating the logistics and feasibility of a lunar colony. Written evaluations of the workshop led to the following conclusions: 48% of the students considered a possible career in the biological and/or astrophysical sciences, and half of these stated they were spurred on by the workshop itself.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 December 2000
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 4137, Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology III, (29 December 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.411615
Show Author Affiliations
B. Wieb Van der Meer, Western Kentucky Univ. (United States)
James J. Alletto, Richard Stockton College of New Jersey (United States)
Dudley Bryant, Western Kentucky Univ. (United States)
Mike Carini, Western Kentucky Univ. (United States)
Larry Elliott, Western Kentucky Univ. (United States)
Richard Gelderman, Western Kentucky Univ. (United States)
Wayne Mason, Western Kentucky Univ. (United States)
Kerrie McDaniel, Western Kentucky Univ. (United States)
Charles H. McGruder, Western Kentucky Univ. (United States)
Claire Rinehart, Western Kentucky Univ. (United States)
Rico Tyler, Franklin-Simpson High School (United States)
Linda Walker, Warren Central High School (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4137:
Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology III
Richard B. Hoover, Editor(s)

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