"Mentor of the Month" featuring Svetlana Shkolyar!
When: Mar. 16th at 11AM US Pacific/2PM Eastern/7PM GMT
Join us for a LIVE one-hour event with SAGANet Scientist-Mentor and PhD student Svetlana Shkolyar on SAGANLive!
About Svet: Svetlana holds a Physics bachelor’s degree, a Master of Arts degree in Science Mass Communication, and a Master’s of Science in Space Studies. She is currently pursuing a PhD in astrobiology. Her research interest involves biosignature detection techniques on Mars using laser-based rover tools. She is also working on an education project to enhance science learning in the classroom by creating astrobiology-themed lessons for middle and high school teachers. When she is not thinking about life on Mars or exciting the public about science, she enjoys salsa dancing and performing a different kind of experiment - cooking.
Talk Title: Bringing 21st century science alive in the classroom through astrobiology and how you can get involved
Talk Abstract: Positive exposure to science early in life promotes positive long-term attitudes towards science and scientific careers. Negative exposure to science discourages young students from not only pursuing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers, but also impacts their daily awareness of science. As grade school teachers move towards digital classrooms, they lack the time to find engaging, reliable online resources to enhance science learning. The goal of this project is to improve teacher confidence in teaching science, change bad attitudes towards science, and increase the range of students exposed to NASA and STEM materials. To this end, I am developing a classroom lesson package for teachers around the exciting story of how scientists “hunt” for habitable worlds, organized around a theme which all students are curious about: “Are we alone in the universe?” The lesson package addresses 8-12th grade interdisciplinary science curriculum concepts using 21st century thinking skills, technologies beyond the textbook and chalkboard, and aligns with effective teaching principles and Next Generation Science Standards. Each lesson enables students to engage in inquiry-based learning experiences to supplement and reinforce the science they already learn in the classroom. Each lesson includes interactive, engaging, and free multi-media resources, misconceptions surrounding the science of each lesson, and rubrics. This presentation will cover three themes: (1) an overview of the lessons topics and structure, (2) a discussion of how any student can volunteer to improve lessons, and (3) how any educator can obtain and pilot lesson materials.
About the "Mentor of the Month" series on SAGANet: SAGANet is not just a social network, but also a hub for scientists to engage with the public through our e-mentoring programs. Each month, we feature one of our international cohort of scientist-mentors with a special one-hour event highlighting their scientific and/or public engagement activities.