The Catholic University of America

 Space Imaging Technology to Study Earth and Sun (SITES)

SITES (Space Imaging Technology to study Earth and Sun) is supported by NASA Grant NNX10AC56G for The Catholic University of America. Dr. Ofman is the PI and Dr. Verner is the coordinator for this project. This project is a multi- component project that develops NASA educational resource materials and provides training for pre- and in-service elementary school teachers in STEM disciplines needed in Washington, DC area. 

We use a hands-on enquiry based setting, and extensive use of imagery from NASA space missions (SDO, SOHO (in collaboration with ESA), STEREO) to develop instructional physics based modules focusing on grades, K-8. Specifically, our objective is to design and use simple investigations that give students a foundation in the basic physical principles such as knowing how to measure, estimate, collect, organize and predict physical quantities and variables while use reading materials, vocabulary and lesson plans that are closely connected with NASA’s science objectives and science content.We also aim to adopt evidence-based practices and incorporate NASA scientific achievements into STEM undergraduate and teacher education.These goals and objectives are closely aligned with National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Standards and National Science Education Standards recommended by the National Academy of Sciences.
Teaching Materials

CUA pre-service teachers training has been provided during PHYS240 course (Sun and Earth: Concepts and Connections), also students used information from NASA websites for their children book projects. EDU 692 (Teaching Elementary & Middle School Science Utilizing NASA Research and Technology) is designed to provide elementary and middle school teachers with the lesson plans, children book stories, activities, vocabulary (all focuses in heliophysics) to broaden students’ skills in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). Our teachers-participants became familiar using Solar Education hands-on activities and solar images for education purposes in grades PK-8.

Additional Links
Below are more resources, not directly linked to the outreach program, but still used in broadening students' STEM skills.