“Geology of the Moon” Online Course for K-12 Teachers

The NASA Lunar Science Institute is sponsoring Montana State University’s “Geology of the Moon” online course for K-12 Teachers

The NASA Lunar Science Institute is sponsoring an online lunar geology course at MSU for K-12 teachers. The course, Geology of the Moon (ERTH 591-50), offers three MSU graduate credits in earth science.

The online course is offered each Fall and includes guest lunar scientists from the NLSI as well as the lunar science community at large. It is taught by Dr. Cassandra Runyon, who teaches at both MSU and the College of Charleston. Donna Governor, a high school science teacher, is also part of the instructional team, helping participating teachers better incorporate the science concepts into their classrooms.

This course is designed for educators who want to understand more about the Moon and its history and relationship to Earth. Participants will explore theories for the Moon’s formation and the geologic processes that have helped it to evolve: differentiation, volcanism, impact cratering, space weathering and more. Topics also include investigating the Moon’s orbital characteristics (e.g., revolution, rotation, phases and eclipses) and current and upcoming missions to the Moon. During this course participants interactively participate through a combination of presentations, assigned readings, on-line discussions, and dynamic activities that may be used in the classroom. Curriculum content is based on National Science Education Standards.

This three credit course is part of MSU’s National Teachers Enhancement Network (NTEN), which offers online science courses for teachers.

To register, visit http://eu.montana.edu/nten and click on “Current Courses.” Enrollment is limited.

Journey through the Universe:

The NASA Lunar Science Institute is partnering with the Journey through the Universe team for an annual two-week EPO program.

The NLSI’s involvement in classrooms, public venues, and teacher professional development extends into the communities throughout the country with the help of the “Journey through the Universe” program.

Journey through the Universe is a national science education initiative that engages entire communities—students, teachers, families, and the public—using education in the Earth and space sciences and space exploration to inspire and educate. Journey through the Universe is a program of the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education, which facilitates Journey events in ten communities across the country.

One of the Journey instantiations is conducted by the Gemini Observatory. Gemini’s Journey program, now in its seventh year, serves the community in and around Hilo, Hawaii. Key partners in Gemini’s Journey program include the various observatories operating on Mauna Kea, the Hawaii State Department of Education, the University of Hawaii, the Imiloa Astronomy Center, and the NASA Lunar Science Institute (NLSI).

Hilo, Hawaii is one of the ten communities around the nation that are designated Journey through the Universe sites. Astronomy associated scientists and professionals have a deep desire to participate with Hilo schools, as do the local educators and students. Journey through the Universe Week is a solution that brings the two together, and:
• Raises awareness of science in classrooms.
• Helps students meet the Hawaiian Content and Performance Standards and national standards.
• Taps into the Hilo community’s resources.
• Improves teaching staff in content fields.
• Educates parents and the community in the space science enterprise.

This Journey program typically runs in February-March and features a Family Science Day public event at Imiloa Astronomy Center, Family Science Night at the University of Hawaii Hilo, an astronomer workshop, a teacher workshop, and a master teacher training session.

Through audience participation, the family science events provide a family learning experience in exciting human space flight, with Earth and space science subjects that are connected to the curriculum.

K-12 Education Modules training is provided during the educator workshops. These Modules include content overviews; inquiry-based, hands-on activities; assessment rubrics, and resource listings.

The heart of the program is a full week in which 48 astronomy educators (lunar scientists, astronomers and observatory engineers) are sent into classrooms to explain to over 8,000 K-12 students how they are exploring the universe. Classroom visits by these astronomy educators are designed to provide students with standards-based science content, allow students to personally interact with scientists and engineers, and inspire students to further their education in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

NLSI’s participation in Hawaii’s Journey through the Universe program provides students and the public with a new understanding of recent, current, and future NASA lunar exploration. It also introduces them lunar-related educational resources available to classrooms and families. The NLSI team leverages the Journey experience to engage the Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems, the Imiloa Astronomy Center, and Astronaut Ellison S. Onizuka Space Center with NLSI lunar E/PO programs including International Observe the Moon Night and Exploration Uplink. It also provides an opportunity to recruit University of Hawaii students and local amateur astronomers to join NASA’s Lunar Meteoroid Impact Observation Program and participate in lunar research that will support the science of NASA’s upcoming Lunar Atmosphere and dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) mission.

Educator Of the Moon, On the Moon, From the Moon Institutes:


1 and 2-day educator institutes / year
Grades 6 – 12
Integrate existing and new curricula
Modified Sally Ride Educator Institute
Understand basics of Earth-Moon system and lunar science (tie back to 10 Q’s)
Become familiar w/ lunar missions
Collectively develop a lunar lesson plan that includes some form of lunar data and/or imagery
Yr1- Brown, Yr2 – UCSD, Yr3 – CofC, Yr4 – MIT

Sally Ride Festivals:


With a minimum of 2 festivals each year, the Sally Ride Festivals offer Lunar science workshops for middle school girls with hands-on science, exhibits, key not speakers, and 1 weekend day at a college campus and/or NASA Center (eg. Cal-Tech, NASA Ames, MIT, CofC, ASU, etc). These festivals include a 90-minute lunar science workshop for attending teachers and informal science leaders.

The Unknown Moon:


“Scientific and Exploration Potential of the Lunar Poles” team at the Applied Physics Laboratory is developing high school teacher workshops, programs to mentor undergraduates, middle school summer camps, K-12 curriculum, and more. The teachers’ workshops are offered in collaboration with the “Center for Lunar Science and Exploration” team at the Lunar Planetary Institute. The workshop, a 35-hour, 5 day workshop, investigating the Moon is held at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, in Maryland

The workshop will:

• Provide numerous hands-on, standards-aligned classroom resources that allow teachers to bridge content from the Moon to the Earth and address Maryland Science Core Learning Goals in Skills and Processes (CLG 1), Earth/Space Science (CLG 2), Chemistry (CLG 4) and Physics (CLG 5)
• Provide tools to address student misconceptions
• Incorporate authentic inquiry experiences for your students
• Provide the opportunity to interact with lunar scientists
• Offer certification to bring lunar samples into your classroom
• Include a lunar viewing evening with the local astronomical society

Topics include:

• The lunar polar environment
• Water at the lunar poles
• Working in the lunar environment
• Robotic exploration of the Moon
• Human missions to the Moon
• Spectrometry
• Formation of the Moon
• Geology of the Moon
• Moon phases and eclipse
Institute registration is free, and includes lunches. Participants receive Maryland Professional Development credits and out-of-state participants receive a certificate of completion. Numerous classroom resources and make-and-take activities will be provided.
For further information, visit http://www.lpi.usra.edu/education/workshops/unknownMoon/index.shtml

Lunar Extreme Program:


NLSI’s Dynamic Response of the Environment At the Moon (DREAM) team is educating high school students and teachers about its science goals in order to prepare them for participation and interaction with DREAM scientists at a Lunar Extreme Workshop (LEW). Each week, teacher/student teams are provided with resources and activities pertaining to DREAM’s science goals. Students are encouraged to read and study the resources on their own and then to meet with their teacher and other team members at least once a week for teacher-led activities that reinforce concepts from their reading. Teams have the flexibility to meet after school or whenever and where ever they wish. At least once or twice per month, students have the opportunity to meet and hear from DREAM scientists, who put the student’s new understanding in context.

During the workshops, teams will interact with DREAM scientists, observe the process of science in action, and learn more about NASA careers and opportunities. The direct interaction with scientists, both prior to and at a LEW, will hopefully inspire these students to enter the science, engineering, or NASA workforce.

SSERVI Science Teams

  • Model Helps Search for Moon Dust Fountains


    NLSI’s DREAM team modelers help search for Moon dust fountains In exploration, sometimes you find more than what you’re looking for, including things that shouldn’t be there. As the Apollo 17 astronauts orbited over the night side of the moon, with the sun just beneath the horizon right before orbital “sunrise,” Eugene Cernan prepared to make observations of sunlight scattered by the sun’s thin outer atmosphere and interplanetary dust from comets and collisions between asteroids.

Inspiration Room

NLSI Inspiration Room