School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics

Teacher Workshop sponsored by UTD, NASA, and the Texas Teacher Quality Grant focused on Space Sciences Education

Week-long teacher workshop explored the atmosphere and weather in space

RICHARDSON, Texas (October 6, 2005) – Eighteen local teachers participated in a week-long teacher workshop jointly sponsored by UTD, NASA, and the Texas Teacher Quality Grant to study space sciences. The workshop was held in conjunction with the Coupled Ion Neutral Dynamics Investigation (CINDI) space plasma instrument built at UTD scheduled to fly on a joint Air Force/NASA satellite next spring. The workshop was led by Dr. MaryUrquhart, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Science/Mathematics Education and Dr. Marc Hairston, a research scientist in the UTD William B. Hanson Center for Space Sciences.

Participants in the workshop explored layers of the atmosphere, learned about weather in space, built industrial strength rocket launchers and paper rockets, and more. Each of the eighteen teachers also had multiple opportunities to interact directly with other UTD space scientists involved with the CINDI mission. Tours of the facilities where CINDI was build were given by Dr. Greg Earle, a Co-Investigator on the $10 million CINDI project and Associate Professor of Physics. Copies of the newly released Cindi in Space comic book were also distributed to teachers at this workshop and two shorter workshops this fall.

More than 60 educators have participated so far in CINDI teacher workshops. Upcoming CINDI workshops will be held by Drs. Urquhart and Hairston at the annual state-wide Conference for the Advancement of Science Teaching this month and at the annual meeting of the National Science Teachers Association in Anaheim, CA in April.

The Air Force satellite that will carry CINDI into Earth orbit is scheduled for a launch in early 2006. The Spanish edition of CINDI in Space and the complete CINDI Educators Guide are scheduled for release, with free downloads, at prior to launch.

  • Updated: December 19, 2007