Denise Smith Denise Smith

Astrophysics E/PO Monthly Tag-Up Notes: 2010 July

Posted on May 17, 2011 - 10:45 AM CDT

Tags: NASA Headquarters | SMD E/PO Community | Tag-up (WebEx / Telecon) | Meeting Notes (Tag-ups, etc.)

SMD Astrophysics E/PO Community Monthly Tag-Up: July 20, 2010

Summary

A. Group Input to Draft Conceptual Framework to Guide National Science Education Standards

B. Implementation Team Updates; community Workspace preview and Product Analysis Input

C. Working on Community Collaborations at the ASP E/PO Conference (and how to participate if you're not able to attend)

D. NASA Reporting Update (OEPM, the office of Education Performance Measurement System)

E. NSTA 2011 Planning

F. Additional ASP E/PO Conference Coordination Items

NEXT TAG-UP

The date for our next tag-up will be Tuesday, August 24th at 2PM

A. Group Input to Draft Conceptual Framework to Guide National Science Education Standards (Denise Smith and Lindsay Bartolone)

The National Academies and National Research Council (NRC) have posted a survey
where individuals can provide input on a draft of a conceptual framework to guide
the development of new science education standards. There is also a process for
groups to provide group input. Theresa Scherwin (Earth Science Forum Lead) has
contacted the NRC on behalf of the four Forums and has received a list of questions
similar for the NASA SMD E/PO community to respond to. They are similar in
nature to the questions individuals have been asked to respond to.

The National Academies are looking for feedback in four major areas. They are as
follows:

(1) Whether or not the framework identifies the most important ideas and practices
for K‐12 science education and describes them accurately.
(2) Are there important and major areas that have been over‐looked?
(3) Are the progressions appropriate?
(4) Is the framework organized in a way that’s accessible and understandable?
If you choose to provide input as an individual they have a detailed survey that will
guide you through the four questions. Likewise, for group feedback, they’ve
provided us with about a dozen questions that will guide us in more depth thru the
four major areas for feedback. You can view and respond to the questions that the
NRC has provided for the NASA community here: http://tinyurl.com/NASAForum‐
NRC‐Response. If you would like your input to be part of the NASA SMD E/PO
community response, you must respond via the above URL by COB Monday July 26.
The link to download the draft framework document is also available from the
above URL. If you haven’t had an opportunity to view the document we encourage
you to do so. It is a lengthy document totaling 190 pages. The sections are hot
linked so you can get an overview of the document and identify the areas you want
to review, e.g. “Core Ideas in the Earth and Space Sciences.” For example, in chapter
seven they’ve identified progressions of ideas so you can see how concepts flow and
develop through the different grade levels. This is one of the things they’ll be asking
about in the surveys. Other areas that you may wish to examine include “Chapter 5:
Dimension 3: Scientific and Engineering Practices.”
A lot of the ideas discussed in the conceptual framework still resemble the current
National Science Education Standards (NSES) and the AAAS benchmarks. From the
perspective of NASA education and public outreach, that means some of our favorite
topics are still present and in some instances enhanced.

Initial observations:

One observation is that they’ve made gravity a strong strand in the conceptual
framework. In discussing gravity, they talk about tides in Middle School (MS) and
force fields are discussed in High School (HS). The question this approach raises is
do we believe tides can be taught in MS if they’re not talking about fields until HS.
This is an area we should consider commenting on as a group if we determine this to
be an issue. Another major change is that they recommend teaching seasons to
students in HS.

The document also discusses light as waves in MS. Several of us have had success
talking about it as energy and photons in MS rather than deal with waves, algebra,
energy etc. These are areas we might all want to take a look at. Specifically, we
might consider where these items appear in the framework, and how they appear in
relationship to the physical science concepts.

(1) Whether or not the framework identifies the most important ideas and practices
for K‐12 science education and describes them accurately.
(2) Are there important and major areas that have been over‐looked?
(3) Are the progressions appropriate?
(4) Is the framework organized in a way that’s accessible and understandable?

If you choose to provide input as an individual they have a detailed survey that will
guide you through the four questions. Likewise, for group feedback, they’ve
provided us with about a dozen questions that will guide us in more depth thru the
four major areas for feedback. You can view and respond to the questions that the
NRC has provided for the NASA community here: http://tinyurl.com/NASAForum‐
NRC‐Response. If you would like your input to be part of the NASA SMD E/PO
community response, you must respond via the above URL by COB Monday July 26.

The link to download the draft framework document is also available from the
above URL. If you haven’t had an opportunity to view the document we encourage
you to do so. It is a lengthy document totaling 190 pages. The sections are hot
linked so you can get an overview of the document and identify the areas you want
to review, e.g. “Core Ideas in the Earth and Space Sciences.” For example, in chapter
seven they’ve identified progressions of ideas so you can see how concepts flow and
develop through the different grade levels. This is one of the things they’ll be asking
about in the surveys. Other areas that you may wish to examine include “Chapter 5:
Dimension 3: Scientific and Engineering Practices.”

A lot of the ideas discussed in the conceptual framework still resemble the current
National Science Education Standards (NSES) and the AAAS benchmarks. From the
perspective of NASA education and public outreach, that means some of our favorite
topics are still present and in some instances enhanced.

Initial observations:

One observation is that they’ve made gravity a strong strand in the conceptual
framework. In discussing gravity, they talk about tides in Middle School (MS) and
force fields are discussed in High School (HS). The question this approach raises is
do we believe tides can be taught in MS if they’re not talking about fields until HS.
This is an area we should consider commenting on as a group if we determine this to
be an issue. Another major change is that they recommend teaching seasons to
students in HS.

The document also discusses light as waves in MS. Several of us have had success
talking about it as energy and photons in MS rather than deal with waves, algebra,
energy etc. These are areas we might all want to take a look at. Specifically, we
might consider where these items appear in the framework, and how they appear in
relationship to the physical science concepts.

If anyone would like to talk about the framework offline before submitting input
through the survey, you can contact Lindsay Bartolone at
lbartolone@adlerplanetarium.org.

Questions, Answers, and Comments:

In response to a question on the process for providing group input:

The NRC and the four Forums have established a process for the NASA Science
Mission Directorate Education Outreach community to provide group input. The
NRC has provided us with the questions they want us to answer as a group; Theresa
Scherwin has posted the questions in an online survey. Those individuals that wish
to respond to those questions can do so through the online survey. The four forums
will synthesize the input provided through the online survey into a single response
for the NRC. The NRC will receive the combined NASA SMD Education Outreach
Community group response.

Other groups that are providing group input are getting together prior before
posting to the group survey; we might consider a similar approach. If you have
other team members at your institution, for example, you might want to get
together with them to combine your comments first, making sure to note in one of
the question boxes that your input is from your entire team. If it’s easier to respond
as an individual through the NASA survey form, you can do so, understanding that
your comments will be included in a group response.

Opportunity for Continued Discussion at the ASP E/PO Conference in Boulder:

For those of you traveling to Boulder for the ASP E/PO conference, the first E/PO
Plenary Session on Monday, August 2, will feature members of the committee that
drafted the framework for Earth and space science. Dennis Schatz and a few others
will be part of a panel that will talk about this framework and what comes next and
can take direct input from audience members. August 2nd is the deadline NRC has
established for individual and group input. We encourage Boulder attendees to
review the document prior to the plenary so they can give input during the
interactive plenary session.

B. Implementation Team Updates (Denise Smith)

B.1. community Workspace

We’ve had a cross‐forum implementation team in place since the Forums were
established last October to look at various web and social media needs of the SMD
education and public outreach community. Steph Shipp from the Planetary Science
Forum at the Lunar Planetary Institute heads this team. There is one member from
each Forum, and we call on a variety of external expertise and other team members
as needed.

Background on the Workspace:

One of the first tasks of this group is to put in place a community workspace,
essentially, for Astrophysics, the successor to the Origins‐Universe Moodle online
workspace. The intent is to provide a workspace to facilitate online communication
and collaboration, e.g. providing online document sharing capabilities, for all four
Forums. The decision was to create one workspace that we can all use to
communicate and collaborate with each other as opposed to each forum coming up
with their own workspace. For those of you participating in multiple forum
communities, we wanted to make communication easier. The workspace also
provides transparency and access to information for individuals who are interested
in our work, but who are not currently members of our community.

Timing:

We anticipate that the workspace will be available for community use in late
July/early August. A few of community members have been involved in testing the
workspace and your feedback has been invaluable. We will be taking a closer look
at the workspace at the ASP meeting. We will also be doing some more work on the
system in August by getting everyone into the system and familiar with its
capabilities.

Capabilities and Usage:

The intent is to provide access to documents and online discussions in a quick and
easy manner. Each community member will have and account and password. Once
logged in, you will be able to access documents that are works in progress within
your forum community and to participate in online discussions. As we go forward,
we’ll look at what works best for everyone. Some people prefer to receive
documents through email, and others want to come to a common workspace for
those documents, for example. There will be information for new members and a
place to learn about individual community members. If you’re in multiple forums
you will be able to access information for each of the forums you’re involved in. As
we make the site available, hearing from you what does and does not work will be
crucial to the continued evolution of the site.

B.2 Product Analysis

The product analysis team is in the process of beginning their analyses of K‐12
products, as we discussed last month. As they begin the process, they want to check
in with the community to make sure that the list of products that they are working
from is in fact the list of products you want them to work from. After the
teleconference, community members received a request for input from the product
analysis team. The same email is going out through all four forums. The information that you need to respond to is listed after the description of what the product
analyses is.

One of the attachments is a list of K ‐12 products that have gone through the NASA
education product review. Please take a moment to confirm your products are on
the list. If anything is missing, there will be an email address to notify the product
analysis team. If you see something on the list you don’t want included on the list,
it’s important to let us know that as well.

Also, in order to ensure the accuracy of the data included in the spreadsheet, please
check the URL’s listed for your products, and update as appropriate.

You will also have an opportunity to look at the information the team is collecting
and identifying about each product. The request for input also contains a
spreadsheet that lists out the information the product analysis team is collecting. If
you would like to provide some of this information, this is your opportunity to do so.

For example, the product analysis team has been asked by NASA to determine which
AAAS benchmarks are addressed by your product. If there is a particular AAAS
benchmark that you feel your product aligns with, this is an opportunity to do so.

C. Community Collaborations (Denise Smith, Mangala Sharma, Lindsay Bartolone, and Greg Scultz)

We will be having a variety of activities to move community collaborations forward
at the ASP E/PO conference in Boulder. If you aren’t able to attend the ASP/EPO
conference, we will solicit input and circulate discussion outcomes offline so
everyone can continue to contribute and remain involved. We can also organize
calls or online communication on specific topics in August.

Please note: We will have a get together/business meeting for the NASA
Astrophysics EPO community during the ASP E/PO conference on Wednesday at
11:15 AM. If you will be at the ASP E/PO conference on Wednesday, please join us.
We will continue to work on our community collaborations and discuss other topics.
(N.B. the meeting agenda has been sent out by email. Please reply to Mitch Watkins,
watkins@stsci.edu, if you are planning to attend.)

C.1 Engaging Girls in Science (Mangala Sharma)

Mangala has spoken with librarians and the American Library Association, and the
librarians are very enthusiastic about collaborating with the community. Our next
step is to determine our input and figure out what questions we have for the
librarians. The intent of this collaboration is to reinforce girls’ scientific identity.
For ASP, we submitted an abstract on behalf of the entire E/PO community. A poster
will be presented that includes a preliminary inventory of Astro E/PO programs,projects, activities, and resources that can be used to engage girls in science, or that
can be recast towards engaging girls in science. This is where we would really
appreciate your input. If you have resources, information, or pictures that show the
activities you do with girls we would love to hear from you. We would love to
showcase your projects on the ASP poster and use it as a starting point for further
conversations.

We’ll also continue working on the project at the community gathering, so if you
have any information on the work you do with girls, please contact Mangala at
msharma@stsci.edu.

C.2 Electromagnetic Spectrum Professional Development Collaboration (Lindsay Bartolone)

Mary Dussault has put together a narrative description of the professional
development experience the group discussed at the May retreat. It’s been proposed
as an online semi‐asynchronous professional development experience similar to
what ASTC has done for professional development of informal educators.

At the ASP community meeting, we would like to come together to work on goals
and objectives for the effort and to continue working on the workshop planning
documentation. We will then start culling all the existing resources we know are out
there that can help inform the process.

C.3 Higher Education (Greg Schultz)

At ASP there will be 2 Special Interest Group sessions.

Group 1 at 11:15 AM on Tuesday August 3rd.

Emily CoBabe‐Ammann, Rusty Low, and Greg Schultz are leading this group, as
members of the SMD higher education working group, representing each forum.
(Emily is representing two Forums at this session). The session will focus on
looking at cross‐disciplinary issues. We will be speaking to a community of
instructors coming to the “Cosmos in the Classroom” symposium.

Group 2 at 4:30 PM on Tuesday, August 3rd.

Greg, Mangala, and Denise will be hosting this session focused on the astrophysics
community and higher education initiatives. During the session, we will split into 2
groups. One group will be looking at extending existing E/PO resources presently
tagged as HS level that could be appropriate for the higher education community.
The second group will look at strategies for enriching undergraduate research
experiences in ways that meet SMD goals for higher education.

All are welcome at either or both sessions; we will do a recap at the Wednesday
morning Astro E/PO community meeting. After the conference, we will be
surveying the higher education community, developing higher education product
review guidelines, and looking at which resources are proper for higher education.

D. NASA Reporting Update (OEPM) (Denise Smith and Bryan Mendez)

The Forum leads are staying in touch with Larry Cooper about OEPM; Larry is in
touch with the Office of Education. At the time of last month’s call, he had been
notified that the deadline is August 30 for inputs for this fiscal year. He has since
received a message that seems to imply that data can still be entered after August
30. Larry is seeking clarification from the Office of Education, as the deadlines are
confusing for everyone.

SMD and the Forums are also aware that training on the new system has not been
available for SMD E/PO community members who do not reside at NASA Centers.
Forums do not yet have access to the OEPM system. Once we are able to access the
system, our intent is to provide a WebEx session for community members.

While we are all awaiting further guidance (and access to OEPM), you may wish to
take a look at the Draft Summary Forum that has been sent to points of contact for
mission E/PO programs and EPOESS grants. (This is the extent of our knowledge
about what is to be entered into OEPM this year.) You will see items that are similar
to what we are all used to entering into former data collection systems, e.g. the
number of educators attending workshops. This will give you an idea of the type of
data that you are being asked to enter.

Please note that this year, the data entry form will ask you to enter the grand total
for all of your workshops combined, instead of entering each workshop separately.

Because this is the first year of reporting for OEPM, the only thing SMD E/PO
community members will be responsible for is the Summary Form. (You are not
responsible for survey forms associated with individual educator workshops.)

E. NSTA 2011

NSTA 2011 will be discussed at the ASP E/PO conference, during the community
gathering on Wednesday August 4th.

F. Additional ASP E/PO Conference Coordination Items

We will be creating and distributing a list of sessions presented by the Astrophysics
E/PO community members.
Hashima Hasan, SMD Astrophysics Division E/PO Lead, is attending ASP from Sun,
August 1st ‐ Wed August 4th and is available for one‐on‐one meetings. She is finalizing the NASA contributions to the US report on the International Year of
Astronomy (IYA), and she wants to thank everyone for making IYA such a success.

There will be a NASA Town Hall meeting on Tuesday August 3rd at lunch time.

The Astro E/PO Community get together on Wednesday August 4th will also give you
the opportunity to meet with folks you may not have had time to speak with earlier
in the meeting, to continue those 1‐on‐1 collaborations identified at the Chicago
retreat. As discussed earlier, we will also spend time exploring the community
workspace and discussing how we want to use that as a community; and, continue
work on the three community collaborations.

If you’re interested in ride sharing from Denver International contact Mitch
Watkins, watkins@stsci.edu, by COB, Monday, July 26.