Mars Base Eagle: Integrating students, teachers and families in the engineering process of building NASA-themed STEM museum displays: an installation and pilot project for U.S. science museums.
Wings of Eagles Discovery Center will work with Board of Cooperative Educational Services Schuyler-Steuben-Chemung- Tioga-Allegany, Elmira City School District (ECSD), Cornell University, Ithaca College, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, NASA Kennedy and Johnson Space Centers to create a Martian Base exhibit, associated NASA STEM curriculum and educator professional development pilot program linking the museum to local underserved classrooms through novel and existing NASA-STEM Mars-themed curriculum. The targeted audience is grades K-12 low-income and minority students from the Elmira City underserved school district (61% economically disadvantaged), their teachers, families and the general public, The Mars Base Eagle exhibit will establish a permanent museum installation from which STEM programming (formal and informal) will be launched. The interactive display will feature real-word data and inquiry challenges to demonstrate real world STEM applications including NASA-Mars transport vehicle design concepts, Mars Base design concepts, microgravity and possible effects on the human body of traveling to Mars, transport vehicle designs, agricultural methods and types of food crops being planned for a Mars Base. The proposal seeks to create a formal NASA STEM education link between the museum and local school district curricula . The proposed pilot PD workshop series will result in 3 case-study, place-based Mars lesson plans to be integrated and piloted in 10 classrooms in the ECSD with emphasis on NASA STEM and Place-Based aspects of the approach to provide a novel approach to addressing barriers in the school districts underserved population in taking STEM coursework. Undergraduate interns from a Historically Black College and University (1890/HBCU, University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES)) will be trained as docents.