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Since Spaceward bound Mojave 2007, our science programs at the Fresno county Office of Education Court and Community Schools have developed and strengthened. One of our areas of focus is providing field experience and authentic science opportunities for the at-risk students we serve. Upon return from the Mojave in 2007, we worked with our first group of students in the yard of the Fresno County Juvenile Justice Campus teaching students how to collect plant specimens and conduct soil transects. Our students’ first real field experience took place at a location along the San Joaquin River (www.scoutisland.com ). This experience took the students’ biology and geology knowledge to a higher level and demonstrated the tremendous benefits of this type of experience for students and staff.
Last school year was very exciting. Not only did we take more of our students to Scout Island for biology and geology experiences, Fresno County Office of Education Court Schools applied for a microgravity opportunity aboard NASA’s C9. This opportunity and resultant research conducted by our students led to the Court Schools’ first entrance into the Central California’s Math and Science Fair. Their efforts produced an amazing showing that lead to an honourable mention.
“Swinging for the Fence”
“The Future of Plants is up in the Air”
Continued joint collaboration
with Spaceward bound researchers and teachers have been very important
in creating successful science and math experiences for our students.
Since the 2007 Mojave expedition, I have had the opportunity to present
on Spaceward bound research and curricular connections at the Space
Explores Educators Conference in Houston Texas. (http://www.spacecenter.org/TeachersSEEC.html ).
Renowned cave researcher J Judson Wynne (http://jjudsonwynne.blogspot.com/ )
and Spaceward bound and / Network of Educator Astronaut Teacher (NEAT)
Dan Wray (http://quest.nasa.gov/projects/spacewardbound/mojave2007/bios/wray.html )
have provided excellent experience, expertise, and guidance when
developing curriculum and presentations. The photographs below were
taken during a Mojave expedition lead by Judson Wynne in 2009
The 2009-2010 school year is going to be a great year. Over 25 field experience trips are planned covering over 200 high-risk youth within Fresno County. These trips and experiences are only possible with the continued support and collaborative efforts of Spaceward Bound, the Network of Educator Astronaut Teachers (NEAT), NASA personal, Fresno County Office of Education, and The Fresno County Probation Office. I am extremely grateful for all of their hard work and dedication and look forward to our continued projects.
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