Einstein Science Reporting for Kids
[ E-mail ]
16-Sep-2013

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

Molding young minds for Mars research goal of UH workshop

Teacher training held Sept. 21 and 28 for 12th Annual Mars Rover Celebration



This is one of last year's Mars rover models created by students with the help of their teachers.
Courtesy of the University of Houston

This year marks the 12th anniversary of the Mars Rover Model Celebration and Exhibition at the University of Houston (UH). On Sept. 21 and 28, UH will host workshops to prepare teachers for coaching their students through the planning and completion of operational rover models. These Saturday seminars run 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. While walk-ins are welcome, advance registration is encouraged.

The basics of Mars science will be covered in the first workshop. The second workshop's morning session will cover details of the celebration, newly revised curriculum materials and proven methodologies for supervising the projects. The afternoon session will cover effective methods for teaching the engineering design process. Each of the two Saturday workshops offers six CPE credit hours.

"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 that has led to substantial improvements in workshop content and curriculum materials, we strongly encourage teachers to attend both workshops. Those who wish to have their classes participate in the formal evaluation research process must attend both days."

The workshops will train teachers to guide their students in building models during six weeks of classroom and homework projects. Those participating in the workshop will receive print and electronic copies of the curriculum and one solar model kit.

This competition is part of the education and public outreach component of the World Space Congress, made up of the world's space community, to chart new directions for humanity's future in space. The citywide finals will be held Jan. 25, 2014, in the Shamrock Ballroom of the Hilton UH.

For registration information, visit http://marsrover.phys.uh.edu/workshop.php. For additional questions, contact Bering at ebering@mail.uh.edu.

WHAT: Mars Rover Model Celebration Teacher Workshop

WHEN: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 21
9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 28

WHERE: University of Houston
Kiva, Farish Hall
Parking available in lot 15F off Cullen Boulevard

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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