Virtual Missions and Exoplanets (vMAX): Part 1 - Curriculum Overview
Tuesday 06/21/2016
4:00 pm ET
FREE 1-hour Webinar
Educators in Grades 6-12

The NASA Educator Professional Development Collaborative 
at Texas State University is proud to host: 

Virtual Missions and Exoplanets (vMAX): A 2-part series of webinars for Grades 6 – 12

vMAX Curriculum Overview (Part 1)
News of the discovery of exoplanetary systems continues to pop up in the media.  What are exoplanets?  Why are so many being discovered?  Are any similar to Earth?  vMAX, developed through a NASA-funded grant, provides middle school students with hands-on, interactive, and virtual world experiences that use NASA data to guide students’ exploration of the mysteries of exoplanetary systems. 

Originally planned as a one-week summer camp, the vMAX Curriculum is flexible and easily modified for both formal and informal educational settings. 

The first webinar introduces educators to the vMAX Curriculum – online resources include an Educators’ Implementation Guide and Student Resources, both organized within two LiveBinders, online resources.  Placed in the roles of scientists and engineers, students learn through hands-on activities and as avatars within a virtual world.

***For a complete introduction and understanding of the vMAX resources, educators should plan to participate in BOTH the vMAX Curriculum Overview (Part 1) and vMAX Technical Overview (Part 2).

Marilé Colón Robles is the Educator Professional Development Specialist at NASA Langley Research Center and serves the states of Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, North Carolina and South Carolina. She creates and teaches professional development workshops for pre-service and in-service teachers as well as informal educators all over the country, delivering these opportunities in both English and Spanish and is part of the Students’ Cloud Observations On-Line (S’COOL) team delivering professional development on clouds and climate. Marilé began her career with NASA in 2010 as an Informal Educator where she curated and developed content for the Hispanic Education Initiative’s bilingual website, organized and hosted teacher professional development workshops, museum events, and STEM summer camps. She has also developed interactive STEM games and taught virtual lessons in Spanish to K-12 classrooms all over the country through NASA’s Digital Learning Network. Prior to joining NASA, Marilé was a graduate research assistant examining interactions between clouds and aerosols and their impact on Earth’s energy balance while earning her graduate degree in Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Sharon Bowers is a STEM Education Specialist and the Associate Director for the Center for Integrative STEM Education at the National Institute of Aerospace. In this role she is the coordinator for McDaniel College’s Elementary STEM Instructional Leadership Program, teaches graduate STEM classes, develops resources and manages NASA engineering challenges within virtual world settings, and develops and provides STEM education professional development. She recently earned her doctorate in Integrative STEM Education from Virginia Tech focusing on STEM education and elementary teachers.

Lindsay Bartholomew (Frost Museum of Science): Lindsay Bartholomew is Science Curator at the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science. She holds Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Physics and Astronomy, and has 14 years experience in both formal and informal education. She currently develops content, programs, and exhibitions for the new Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science facility. Ms. Bartholomew has also managed several federal grant projects, including those from NASA and the US Department of State, focusing on using technology and real-world experiences to engage students in STEM content and related careers. She is currently Co-PI of the vMAX project.