A continuing challenge for scientists is to keep K-12 teachers informed about new scientific developments. Over the past few years, this challenge has increased as new research findings have come from the field of astrobiology. In addition to trying to keep abreast of these new discoveries, K-12 teachers must also face the demands of the content and pedagogical goals imposed by state and national science education standards. Furthermore, many teachers lack the scientific content knowledge or training in current teaching methods to create their own activities or to implement appropriately new teaching materials designed to meet the standards. There is a clear need for special courses designed to increase the scientific knowledge of K-12 science teachers. In response to this need, the authors developed a suite of innovative, classroom-ready lessons for grades 5-12 that emphasize an active engagement instructional strategy and focus on the recent discoveries in the field of astrobiology. They further created a graduate-level, Internet-based distance-learning course for teachers to help them become familiar with these astrobiology concepts and to gain firsthand experience with the National Science Education Standards-based instructional strategies.
- Public outreach
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Space and Planetary Science
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)