MAVEN: Red Planet: Read, Write, Explore! Professional Development

Program Element / Activity Title:
MAVEN: Red Planet: Read, Write, Explore! Professional Development
E/PO Project Name:
Contact Information:
University of Colorado at Boulder
LASP Space Technology Research Building
1234 Innovation Dr.
Boulder, CO 80303
Program Element / Activity Website:
Short Description:

Red Planet: Read, Write, Explore! – a professional development project for elementary teachers across the United States and focused on Latino, Spanish-speaking communities. The professional development will incorporate science in elementary school literacy projects using the topic of Mars exploration.

Audience Metrics
Who is the primary audience of your program element / activity?:
Who is the secondary audience of your program element / activity?:
National Priorities and Coordination Approaches as Articulated in CoSTEM:
  • Improve STEM Instruction
  • Better Serve Groups Historically Under-represented in STEM Fields
What are the goals and objectives of your program element / activity?:
MAVEN’s goal for formal education is that K-12 educators across the United States are equipped with the necessary tools to help their colleagues or students understand appropriate science and engineering concepts and processes related to MAVEN and the history of Mars’ atmosphere and climate, liquid water, and planetary habitability.
What are the main impacts of your effort to date and how do they correlate to the project's goals and objectives:
One of the objectives of MAVEN’s Red Planet Teacher Workshop project is to increase the Awareness, Knowledge and Understanding of the MAVEN mission, MAVEN science and engineering. As a way to measure the success of this objective is to examine the pre-post evaluation quiz was developed was designed to quantify these metrics.

The results of the pre-post evaluation show that before the Red Planet: Read, Write, Explore workshops, participants averaged 66% on the content evaluation. After the workshop, the average grade was 91%, showing a 25% increase in knowledge and understanding of Mars and MAVEN concepts, science and engineering. In addition, the evaluation helped to uncover some very significant misconceptions surrounding Mars and the MAVEN mission, including the effect of gravity on astronauts and the role of MAVEN.