Below is the text of the cover letter that went out to teachers in Washington and Idaho regarding the Field Trip and Workshop.
Mars K-12 Education Program Department of Geology, Box 871404 ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY TEMPE, ARIZONA 85287-1404 USA (602) 965-1790; FAX (602) 965-1787 internet: email@example.com February 1995
Dear Washington or Idaho Educator,
On July 4, 1997, NASA's Mars Pathfinder spacecraft will touch down on the Red Planet at the mouth of a giant flood channel, Ares Valles. This new Mars mission presents exciting possibilities for enhancing K-12 science education for a generation too young to remember the two Viking landings of 1976. In September 1995, you have a unique chance to meet and interact with Mars Pathfinder engineers and Mars science specialists who are coming to Washington for a field trip and science workshop.
Ares Valles appears to be analogous to the Channeled Scablands of eastern Washington. The Scablands resulted from the catastrophic release of water from Pleistocene Lake Missoula. Ares Valles likewise appears to result from catastrophic flooding, and the landing site is probably located on a sedimentary deposit resulting from the floods.
An education grant from NASA has been made available to allow the participation of approximately 10 K-12 educators from the states of Washington and Idaho on a field trip led by Victor Baker of the University of Arizona, a world-renowned expert on catastrophic flood channels. The field trip will include overflights of the Scablands to view the landforms from the air, followed by a ground trip to specific sites of relevance to predicting the characteristics of the Mars Pathfinder landing site in Ares Valles. The field trip is being convened by Ken Edgett and Jim Rice, Mars scientists at Arizona State University, with assistance from Jo Dodds of the Idaho Science Teachers Association.
The field trip will take place September 24-27, 1995, and will be based out of Spokane and Moses Lake, Washington. The purpose of this trip is to bring together K-12 educators from Washington and Idaho plus Mars Pathfinder scientists and engineers and provide a forum for direct interaction between the two groups. Following the field trip, educators will be expected to share the experience with students, parents, and teachers, in their community, and report back to the conveners on the follow-up activities in mid-October. Summaries prepared by the teachers will be included in a technical report to be published by the Lunar and Planetary Institute.
The field trip is followed by a two-day scientific workshop in Spokane. The subject of the workshop is the nature of the Ares Valles landing site. The workshop will be attended by Mars scientists from around the world, many of whom will not be on the field trip beforehand. If there is sufficient interest, following the September 28-29 workshop there may be a field trip to the Lake Missoula flood break-out areas east of Spokane on Saturday, September 30th. Educators are invited and encouraged to stay for the entire week, but only the September 24-27 field trip will be subsidized by NASA for educators. The enclosed documents provide further information about the field trip, workshop, and Mars Pathfinder mission.
The NASA education grant covers the air flights over the Channeled Scablands plus ground transport (vans or bus). Educators who participate will pay a package fee that covers food and lodging for the duration of the trip. We presently estimate a fee of about $325, which will include lodging on 9/24, 9/25, and 9/26, plus meals/snacks from the evening orientation (snacks) on 9/24 through lunch on 9/27. The exact cost of this package will be available in the second announcement, which will be mailed in mid-April. For teachers selected to attend the field trip, a deposit of $50 will be due at the Lunar and Planetary Institute on June 16, 1995. Educators are encouraged to seek Eisenhower funds or other grants to help them cover the fees.
Approximately 10 teachers and 5 runners-up will be notified in mid-to-late April that they have been selected to go on the field trip. The exact number will depend upon how many people can be accommodated by the overflights and buses (to be determined). Applications will be evaluated by K.S. Edgett, J. Dodds, and J.W. Rice. Selection will be based on the creativity and educational merit of the teacher's proposal to share the field trip experience with students, parents, and other teachers in that person's community. Our goal is to have the field trip attendee go back to their home town and immediately share with others what the field trip was like, what it was about, etc. We encourage teachers to consider ideas such as holding a town hall meeting, a science fair, a field trip, or perhaps design hands-on activities, among other ideas, for conveying the field trip experience to others.
Selection will also be based on stated ability to cover the cost of the NASA field trip, and the desire of the field trip conveners to find a geographic balance between participants from Washington and Idaho. Only teachers from these two states may apply. Teacher teams are discouraged, and spouses and/or children will not be allowed to participate (remember, slots are limited). Teachers not selected will be notified by late April, all applicants who complied with the ground rules will receive a package of materials about the Mars Pathfinder and Mars Global Surveyor missions from the Mars Global Surveyor Thermal Emission Spectrometer team at Arizona State University.
a We hope that the interaction developed between the teachers, scientists, and engineers on this trip will continue long after the event has ended. Mars Pathfinder will land a year and a half later. Examples of the kind of interaction that might continue after the field trip include setting up a forum for exchange of teaching ideas and Mars information on the Internet, and invitation to future Mars Pathfinder educational events.
Please share this letter with your K-12 teaching colleagues in Idaho and Washington. Please fill out the enclosed Teacher Application form and attach your plan (on school letterhead, one page, double-spaced). Please mail or fax the application to K.S. Edgett no later than March 31, 1995. This deadline is firm.
a Sincerely, Dr. Kenneth S. Edgett Director, Arizona Mars K-12 Education Program
Questions should be directed to: Kenneth S. Edgett and/or James W. Rice, Jr.; Department of Geology, Box 871404; Arizona State University; Tempe, AZ 85287-1404; Phone: (602) 965-0204; fax: (602) 965-1787; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or Jo Dodds; Idaho Science Teachers Association; O'Leary Jr. High School; 2350 Elizabeth Rd.; Twin Falls, ID 83301; Phone: (208) 733-2155; E-mail: email@example.com
-------------------cut----------------------------- K-12 Teacher Application Mars Pathfinder Landing Site Workshop II and Accompanying Field Trips September 24-30, 1995 Spokane, Washington Please attach a description of your plan to share the field trip experience with students, teachers, and parents in your community upon return to your school in early October. The description should be no more than 1 page, double-spaced, on School Letterhead. Your plan will be the primary consideration used to select K-12 educator participants for the field trip. Approximately 10 people plus 5 runners-up will be selected. RETURN BY MARCH 31, 1995, NO EXCEPTIONS Name Best Mailing Address Phone (w) (h) Fax ___ I have access to a modem at my school. ___ I have access to the Internet Internet E-mail Address __ I am applying to attend the Field Trip (Sept. 24-27), my plan is attached. __ I have the means or will seek funding to cover the necessary fees and expenses and provide these no later than the deadlines (June 16 - deposit; September 1 - balance of fees). You cannot attend the following unless you were also on the Sept. 24-27 Field Trip: __ I plan to also attend the Mars Pathfinder Landing Site II Workshop (Sept. 28-29). __ I would like to attend the Field Trip to the Missoula Lake Break-Out (Sept. 30). In September 1995, I intend to be teaching at the following School: Address Grade(s) Specialt(y/ies) Return by March 31, 1995, to K.S. Edgett, Mars Pathfinder Field Trip, Department of Geology, Box 871404, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona 85287-1404; phone 602-965-0204; fax 602-965-1787. Deadline is FIRM and FINAL. ---- ---------------------------- ----