Einstein Science Reporting for Kids
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31-Aug-2012

Contact: Lisa Merkl
lkmerkl@uh.edu
713-743-8192
University of Houston

UH joins Mars Curiosity excitement with revamped program

Deadline approaching to register for rover design, construction training



Courtesy of Texas Learning and Computation Center

HOUSTON, Aug. 31, 2012 Contributing to the excitement over NASA's Mars Curiosity Rover, the University of Houston (UH) is launching activities for its 11th annual Mars Rover Model Celebration. First up is the newly expanded two-day workshop for elementary and middle school teachers to prepare their students for competition.

Designed to prepare teachers for coaching their students through the planning and completion of operational rover models, the workshop will be spread out over two daylong Saturday seminars in September from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The basics of Mars science will be covered Sept. 15, and the Sept. 22 session will be split into two sections. The morning session will cover event and curriculum details, while the afternoon session will delve into instructing teachers on effective methods for teaching the engineering design process.

"Designed for Houston-area students in grades three through eight who are interested in science and engineering, this competition invites kids to design and construct a Mars rover model to carry out a specific science mission on the surface of the red planet," said physics professor and event founder Edgar Bering. "Thanks to a $414,000 grant from NASA, we have substantial improvements in the workshop content and curriculum materials this year. Each session offers six CPE credit hours, so we strongly encourage teachers to attend both of them to get the full benefit, as well as qualify their classes to participate in the formal evaluation research process made possible by the NASA grant."

Teachers have the option to attend one or both of the workshops and, upon completion, will be equipped to guide their students in building models during six-week classroom learning and homework projects. While walk-ins are welcome, participants who register by Sept. 6 will receive print and electronic copies of the curriculum and one solar model kit.

For registration information, visit http://marsrover.phys.uh.edu/workshop.php.

WHAT:
Mars Rover Model Celebration Teacher Workshop

WHEN:
9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 15
9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 22
(Registration deadline: Thursday, Sept. 6)

WHERE:
University of Houston
Phillip G. Hoffman Hall, Room 232
Off Cullen Boulevard, Entrance 14
Parking available in lot 15F

WHO: Instructed by Edgar Bering, UH professor of physics and electrical and computer engineering, for Houston-area elementary and middle school teachers

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