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NASA Crowns UW Science Educator Team as 'Top Stars'

June 21, 2010

A team of science educators from the University of Wyoming College of Education has been awarded the NASA Hubble Space Telescope 'Top Stars' award.

Stephanie Slater, assistant professor in elementary and early childhood education; Tim Slater, excellence in higher education endowed chair of science education; and Dan Lyons, Ph.D. student in science education, created an innovative set of learning materials that utilize NASA's online scientific database to engage undergraduate students in learning about clusters of billions of stars known as galaxies.

For a series of research-based lessons, they created an iconic Hubble image known as the Hubble Deep Field to engage and teach undergraduate future teachers in introductory astronomy survey courses. As part of the lessons, students generate their own research questions and investigate the characteristics and distribution of galaxies.

The thousands of stunning images captured by Hubble Space Telescope since its launch 20 years ago have made possible numerous breakthroughs in our understanding of the universe, and thanks to a recent servicing mission Hubble is expected to live on through at least 2014, Tim Slater says.

"The variety, creativity and high quality of these materials are excellent examples of how Hubble and its images have inspired the creation of effective and diverse education products for all grade levels," said Bonnie McClain, NASA Hubble Space Telescope Science Institute education plan co-leader.

All "Top Stars" award winner's curriculum materials can be found online here.

For more information, e-mail Tim Slater, tslater@uwyo.edu.

Photo:
NASA presented a "Top Stars" award to, from left, Tim Slater, Stephanie Slater and Dan Lyons.



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