Friday, February 3, 2012

Space the Final Frontier - Join Us

From Tessa Michaelson Schmidt , Wisconsin's very own, brand new Youth and Special Services Consultant:
I would like to share with you a special opportunity for professional development.  An Explore workshop focusing on “Life on Mars?” will be held at the UW Geology Museum on April 3-4, 2012.  This workshop has potential to connect to space-themed programs for SLP and/or STEM initiatives in your community.

This workshop is geared toward Wisconsin public library staff that provide, or plan to provide, programs for 8-13-year-olds.  Space is limited to 30 participants and will be conducted on a first-come-first-accepted basis. Please see the message below  for more information.  Applicants should contact Eve Halligan with any questions <> .  Applications are due by February 22
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My name is Eve Halligan, and I am a member of the Lunar and Planetary Institute’s Education and Public Outreach team.  I am contacting you today with details for an upcoming Explore workshop.

We are excited to extend an invitation for you to participate in a free NASA-supported workshop, Explore: Life on Mars?, April 3-4, 2012 at the University of Wisconsin Geology Museum in Madison, WI!  The Explore program is designed to help you bring earth and space science to your communities through fun and engaging hands-on activities.  Details for this opportunity may be found in the attached invitation.

If you are interested in taking part in this exciting opportunity, please follow the directions in the invitation and complete the online registration form by February 22, 2012.  Space is limited, and will be restricted to 30 participants that will be selected on a first-come-first-accepted basis from the registrations received, and the first 25 participants accepted will receive a $150 stipend following the workshop.  Registrants will be notified by email whether they have been selected or placed on a waiting list within three business days by Explore program staff.

Thank you for your consideration.  Good luck and we hope to see you in April!

                  Eve Halligan & the Explore! Program Staff


Education DepartmentLunar and Planetary Institute
3600 Bay Area Boulevard
Houston, TX  77058-1113 <>

Explore: Life on Mars? will acquaint you with NASA’s investigations in the scientific field of astrobiology, where scientists are searching for indications that Mars may be able to — or has been able to — support life. Discover the current scientific understanding of Mars and what it takes for life to exist beyond our home planet. Scientists and educators from the NASA Astrobiology Institute and the Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) will share space science information, resources, hands-on activities, and demonstrations developed specifically for you to integrate into your programs with children and youth ages 8 to 13 and their families. Network with Wisconsin library colleagues and discuss ways to incorporate the activities into your programs — perhaps including an event to celebrate the landing of NASA’s Curiosity rover on the surface of Mars on August 6, 2012!

The Life on Mars? educational resources and materials have been developed with careful consideration for use in serving girls, a traditionally underserved audience in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Strategies for supporting girls in science will be presented and generated during workshop discussions. Applicants will be asked to indicate current involvement in providing programming for girls and their interest in doing so in the future. Ideas generated during the workshop might include partnerships with Girls Scouts, father/daughter programs, lock-ins for girls, and more! Applicants who currently seek to provide access to science for girls — or are interested in doing so in the future — are especially encouraged to apply!

Public library staff that provide, or plan to provide, programs for 8-13-year-olds in Wisconsin are invited to apply. Space is limited to 30 participants and will be conducted on a first-come-first-accepted basis.

The workshop is free. A $150 stipend is available for 25 participants and will be offered on a first-come-first-accepted basis. Note: The first 25 accepted applicants will receive a stipend request form via email, which must be submitted by the deadline provided in order to receive the stipend. Stipends will be paid out following the workshop and the participant’s confirmed attendance. The LPI does not have restrictions on how the stipend is used once it is received by the workshop participant.

 Space is limited! Apply by Wednesday, February 22, 2012 at

The workshop will begin at 9:00 a.m. and continue until 5:00 p.m. each day on April 3 and 4, 2012. Light breakfasts, lunches, and afternoon snacks will be provided. Hotel suggestions, logistical information, and a tentative agenda will be supplied shortly after you register; participants are responsible for travel, housing, and dinner costs and arrangements.

During the workshop you will:
☼ Learn about Mars and the possibility of life beyond our home planet from University of Wisconsin (UW) astrobiologists and LPI scientists
☼ Have the opportunity to interact directly with these scientists
☼ Network with Wisconsin library colleagues
☼ Undertake hands-on activities designed specifically for children and youth ages 8 to 13 in the out-of-classroom learning environment
☼ Receive science education materials, e.g., activity plans, science presentations, and resources like NASA educational posters, website links, etc.
☼ Explore strategies and best practices for reaching girls and other underserved audiences
☼ Brainstorm how to best engage and excite children about science
☼ Become part of the Explore online community, which has over 600 members
☼ Be served breakfast and lunch and lots of chocolate!

Learn more about our eight additional Explore Earth and space science topics (Mars: Inside and Out!, Jupiter’s Family Secrets, Explore! Ice Worlds!, Health in Space, To the Moon and Beyond!, Beyond Earth, Marvel Moon, and Comets) at our website, Each of these topics offers complementary hands-on activities, facilitator background information, and resources. Visit our active online community through the website’s discussion boards. To learn more about the science of astrobiology, visit
We look forward to investigating Mars and the possibility of life beyond Earth with you!

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