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Feb
22
2016

Reflections on the Creation of a Heliophysics Community of Practice

Posted by Andi Nelson
Andi Nelson

[This is one of a series of blog posts about our six-year involvement leading the NASA Heliophysics Science Education and Public Outreach Forum.]

Since January 2012, a group of science educators, NASA mission scientists and education specialists have met monthly online to discuss current heliophysics research and share educational resources and best practices to incorporate into their classrooms.

Originally, this group began as a group of twelve middle and high-school science educators recruited to participate as Lead Teachers to establish a Heliophysics Community of Practice (HCoP). These teachers were previous participants in existing NASA SMD E/PO Heliophysics teacher professional development programs, such as the Heliophysics Educator Ambassadors (HEA), the Geomagnetic Event Observation Network by Students (GEONS), THEMIS professional development programs and Van Allen Probes workshops.

Several participants had kept in touch with each other informally, continuing the supportive relationships they had formed during their educator programs. Using multi-mission funding and efforts, NASA E/PO educator coordinators were able to establish a more formal opportunity for these educators to meaningfully engage with others and support them in continuing to teach heliophysics in their existing classrooms.

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Tags: best practices community of practice educators heliophysics NASA science teachers
Categories: categoryIn-Focus categoryHelio Forum



Jan
26
2016

Reflections on Evaluating the Work of NASA SMD Education Professionals

Posted by Hilarie Davis
Hilarie Davis

[This is one of a series of  blog posts about our six-year involvement leading the NASA Heliophysics Science Education and Public Outreach Forum. ]

Evaluation for the NASA Science Mission Directorate Heliophysics Forum focused on the three main goals: 1) Engage and develop the education and public outreach (EPO) community,  2) Analyze heliophysics EPO products and projects, and 3) Coordinate communication about EPO work. Through multiple evaluation activities over multiple years, we found the Forum was able to support the EPO community with professional development, an online community of practice, collaborative projects, and a database of resources. Community members became more engaged over time with each other and with the forum’s activities. They asked for, and received professional development on topics such as social media, scientist engagement, misconceptions, evaluation, NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards), product review, 508 compliance (accessibility), and storytelling.  They met monthly online, and yearly face-to-face, and collaborative projects grew out of that to co-host events, develop new initiatives, and share audiences.

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Tags: community of practice educators evaluation NASA NASA Wavelength outreach professional development
Categories: categoryIn-Focus categoryHelio Forum



Dec
18
2015

Teacher Professional Development—What Do Teachers Want and Need from NASA?

Posted by Ruth Paglierani
Ruth Paglierani

[This is one of a series of blog posts about our six-year involvement leading the NASA Heliophysics Science Education and Public Outreach Forum. ]

three people outdoors holding up circuit boards and smiling

We often ask ourselves, “What do educators really want when it comes to their own professional development (PD)?” In order to get beyond what we think they want, the NASA SMD K-12 working group carried out a national survey of over 1,000 formal and informal educators in the summer of 2012. We sent out our survey through NASA and national education networks so we could get a sense of:

  1. Who was using NASA resources
  2. What educators were looking for when using NASA resources
  3. What attracted them to NASA workshops and other educational opportunities

Here is a summary of what we heard back… It's well worth a read if you are thinking about creating professional development opportunities for educators in your area!

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Tags: educators NASA professional development teachers
Categories: categoryHelio Forum


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