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Meaningful experiences in science education: Engaging the space researcher in a cultural transformation to greater science literacyThe visceral appeal of space science and exploration is a very powerful emotional connection to a very large and diverse collection of people, most of whom have little or no perspective about what it means to do science and engineering. Therein lies the potential of space for a substantially enhanced positive impact on culture through education. This essay suggests that through engaging more of the space research and development community in enabling unique and 'meaningful educational experiences' for educators and students at the pre-collegiate levels, space science and exploration can amplify its positive feedback on society and act as an important medium for cultural transformation to greater science literacy. I discuss the impact of space achievements on people and define what is meant by a 'meaningful educational experience,' all of which points to the need for educators and students to be closer to the practice of real science. I offer descriptions of two nascent science education programs associated with NASA which have the needed characteristics for providing meaningful experiences that can cultivate greater science literacy. Expansion of these efforts and others like it will be needed to have the desired impact on culture, but I suggest that the potential for the needed resources is there in the scientific research communities. A society in which more people appreciate and understand science and science methods would be especially conducive to human progress in space and on Earth.
Document ID
19950047884
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Authors
Morrow, Cherilynn A. (NASA Headquarters Washington, DC United States)
Date Acquired
August 16, 2013
Publication Date
November 1, 1993
Publication Information
Publication: British Interplanetary Society, Journal
Volume: 46
Issue: 11
ISSN: 0007-094X
Subject Category
SPACE SCIENCES (GENERAL)
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Other