NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory today inaugurated an Educator Resource Center and Applied Technology Classroom in Pomona, California, designed to provide materials and strategies for teachers at all levels who wish to include the space program in their curricula.
In 1998, Pasadena-based JPL and the Pomona Unified School District agreed to house the state-of-the-art facilities in the District-owned Village at Indian Hill educational mall, located at 1460 E. Holt Avenue., Suite 20.
"We are excited about the capabilities of these beautiful facilities and about the new relationship with the District," said site administrator Gene Vosicky of JPL's Communications and Education Office. "With today's dedication ceremonies, we've unveiled a valuable resource for Southern California's science education community."
Among the speakers were JPL Director Dr. Ed Stone; Dr. Robert Parker, manager of the NASA Management Office at JPL; Pomona Unified School District Superintendent Patrick D. Leier; and Nancy McCracken, president of the Pomona Unified School District Board of Education.
The center is a focal point for educators to become acquainted with NASA/JPL educational materials and resources. Special educator sessions will highlight JPL's electronic networking capabilities and classroom applications of NASA/JPL- produced educational materials. Goals also include becoming involved in collaborations and cooperative agreements with school districts, state education agencies, colleges and universities.
The Applied Technology Science Classroom, laid out in stations through which students rotate, integrates a wide variety of technologies into the science curriculum, including: - Mars table. This table allows students to experience the same processes that scientists and engineers at JPL use to explore and analyze the surface of Mars. It features a camera mounted on a coordinate system which simulates an orbiting satellite and takes digital images of the surface. - Electronic probe station. More than 20 digital probes measure and record data which can be analyzed and related to science concepts, such as temperature and pressure. Electronic probes mirror technologies on Earth-observing satellites and Mars missions. - Flight station. This simulation software station allows students to study the principles of physics involved with flight navigation and aeronautics.
The Applied Technology Science Classroom is designed to increase students' knowledge of technology and science by involving them in scientific investigations in an inquiry-based approach. It also serves as a model for educators on how to utilize computer and other technologies in the instructional process.
Connecting the center and the classroom is a large visitor center exhibiting spacecraft models, artifacts and information on the role of JPL in space exploration.
For further information, call (909) 397-4420.
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