Free NASA Training for Wisconsin Public Library Staff

The Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) is hosting a free, NASA-supported workshop, “Explore: Life on Mars?” on April 3–4, 2012, at the University of Wisconsin Geology Museum in Madison. The “Explore” program is designed to help you bring earth and space science to your communities through fun and engaging hands-on activities. For more information about the program, please visit LPI’s website.

“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 youth ages eight to thirteen 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 “Explore: Life on Mars?” educational resources and materials have been developed with careful consideration for use with 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.

The workshop is free. A $150 stipend is available for twenty-five participants and will be offered on a first-come, first-accepted basis. Note: The first twenty-five 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. LPI does not have restrictions on how the stipend is used once it is received by the workshop participant.

Public library staff that provide, or plan to provide, programs for eight- to thirteen-year-olds in Wisconsin are invited to apply. Space is limited to thirty participants, chosen on a first-come, first-accepted basis. Apply by Wednesday, February 22, 2012. Download an invitation to the workshop for further details.

The workshop will begin at 9 a.m. and continue until 5 p.m. each day, 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.

We look forward to investigating Mars and the possibility of life beyond Earth with you!