Morongo School Teachers Spend Their Summer at NASA JPL

Morongo School teachers Morris Martinez (5th Grade) and Lindsay Rosenbaum (6th Grade) are spending their summer at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC) to improve science learning at Morongo School! 
 
Mr. Martinez and Ms. Rosenbaum were invited to participate in the NASA Vital Signs of the Planet professional development program for science educators, led by the Southern California Earthquake Center.  A total of 10 teacher fellows were invited to participate in the program. 
 
The program’s purpose is to improve student learning of STEM concepts (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) in middle school and high school through a research experience and curriculum development program for science educators.  The program provides teachers with authentic experiences in scientific inquiry, encourages instructional improvement in schools, and fosters deep engagement with local underserved communities.  
 
Mr. Martinez and Ms. Rosenbaum are participating in real earthquake science experiments!  They are conducting 5 days of GPS field research and will present their findings at the Annual Southern California Earthquake Center meeting in September and will be able to share their experiences and findings with Morongo students.  They are also working on developing classroom activities and curriculum materials to be bring the excitement of the NASA/ JPL InSight Mission to Mars to life in their classrooms and other Southern California classrooms, enhancing students’ understanding of earthquake science and solar system science concepts.  
 
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The Mars InSight (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) is a NASA Discovery Program mission that will investigate Mars below the surface – measuring seismology, temperature, and reflexes and investigating how the planet was formed.  For more information on the program, visit http://insight.jpl.nasa.gov/.  
 
For information on Morongo’s participation in the SCEC Quake Catcher Network citizen science program, see the Environmental Protection Department’s April 2014 Newsletter.