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Day 3
June 23, 2006

By Koby Van Beest
June 23, Friday:
Our start was earlier today with everybody in camp. After breakfast, the scientists gathered their teacher assistants together and we all went back to the area of the rock garden to gather more samples. As we were up in the field, several ideas came up that led to several new experiments. One had us gathering samples and readings from a rock outwash both next to and underneath large boulders. This took a lot of time and everybody available pitched in.

While we were over in the wash, Penny Boston, one of the other lead scientists from the US, started jumping around and shouting… She had found a bowl-like depression in one of the lager boulders. The area around where water clearly had collected, was stained with what she identified as manganese waste product of living organisms. A second mini-pothole was located a bit later, and we thought of an experiment to hydrate these bowls and take life readings before and after the watering. It was certainly energizing to see the “real” scientists get as excited about this work as we teachers.

Again, we got back to the station long after noon. After eating a bit the teachers all gathered again for an exchange of scientific interests and ideas. We continued the sharing, by exchanging gifts from our home states with the Chileans. Lots of laughs and great feelings later it was again starting to get dark and a barbeque was being started to feed us.
As dinner was cooking there were two shows out in the drive of the station. Brian held the attention of about two dozen of us with a top-notch astronomy lecture. Armed with a laser pointer and telescope, he showed us the high points in the southern sky—from the southern cross to several nebulas, one in an area called the Magellanic cloud. Oohs and ahhs were flying. Out fifty meters or so a smaller group gathered around Jacek’s computer looking at pictures being taken by John. Lots of good stuff…it was hard to pull away for dinner, but even scientists get hungry.

As the night turned cooler the Chilean and American teachers played some cards and told a few jokes. Finally, it got cool enough to either force folks around the fire or send them to their sleeping bags. It was a long day…

This opportunity is brought to you
in partnership with
Mars Society,
NASA Explorer Schools,
Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS),
National Society of Black Engineers - Space Special Interest Group (NSBE - Space),
Space Generation.


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Editor: Linda Conrad
NASA Official: Liza Coe
Last Updated: April 2007
Teachers Contact: Liza Coe