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Report of the Pane' on Education and Society SUMMARY 213 5.1 INTRODUCTION 214 5.2 NATIONAL NEEDS 215 ATechnicallyTrained and Increasingly Diverse Workforce 215 A Scientifical Iy Literate Citizenry 21 7 The Need for Space Sciences 218 5.3 THE ROLE OF SOLAR AN D SPACE PHYSICS 218 A Motivator for the General Publ ic 218 Providing Educational Resources for K-1 6 Education 219 Providing Opportunities for Undergraduate Research 219 5.4 SOLAR AND SPACE PHYSICS IN COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES 219 Historical Background 219 Some Issues in Undergraduate and Graduate Science Education 220 5.5 K-1 2 SCI ENCE EDUCATION AN D PU BLIC OUTREACH 224 Science Education Reform, the National Standards, and Solar and Space Physics 224 NASA Education and Public Outreach and the Connection to NSF Education Initiatives Museums, the Web, Newspapers, and Other Outreach 230 5.6 ADDRESSING THE NEEDS: MAJOR RECOMMENDATIONS AND DISCUSSION 232 211
PANEL ON EDUCATION AND SOCIETY SUMMARY When considering the status and future of solar and space physics, we must also take into account the role of these disciplines in education at all levels. Solar and space physics is by no means unique in this all areas of science have a responsibility to contribute to educa- tion. This responsibility is part of a new post-Cold War social contract between science and society, and it represents a considerable change for scientific commu- nities that had not seen this broader responsibility as part of their core mission. In fact, in the past decade there has been a remarkable increase in educational activities by the solar and space physics community because of funding from the NSF and, especially, NASA, both of which have tried to involve the scientific com- munity in science education. However, efforts by the solar and space physics community to enhance science education do not take place in a vacuum. There is increasing recognition of our nation's need for a technically trained workforce and for a scientifically literate citizenry, and in particu- lar for professionals trained in solar and space physics who will be capable of leading our efforts to under- stand, monitor, and respond to changes in Earth's space environment. Meeting this broad educational challenge requires all scientific communities to examine how they can contribute to meeting national goals in precollege, undergraduate, and graduate science education. Large-scale efforts in K-12 science education reform have been and are being funded by the NSF. Moreover, there is a national movement to improve science educa- tion, the so-called "standards" movement, with which solar and space physics K-12 science education efforts must be aligned if we are to have an impact commensu- rate with the investment. Finally, there is a national need to recruit more students from populations that have historically not been a source of science students. His- pan ics, African-Americans, and Native Americans al I are becoming an increasing fraction of the undergraduate population, and we as a society need more of them to choose science careers. Several national reports call for larger numbers of graduates in science and engineering fields, as well as for increased science literacy among nonscience ma- jors. This requires changes in undergraduate science education. Solar and space physics can, and should, help improve general undergraduate science education, especially in gateway courses such as introductory phys- ics or general education courses such as introductory 213 astronomy. Moreover, by provid i ng u ndergraduates i n- creased opportu n ities to do mean i ngfu I and exciti ng re- search, solar and space physics can contribute to re- cruiting and retaining science and engineering majors. Solar and space physics also needs to recruit and retain excellent students for graduate study as well, since there is a need for more individuals with graduate science degrees in general, as well as a next generation of solar and space physicists, particularly as issues such as space weather become more i mportant to ou r society. Based on these considerations and on information gathered at several meetings with leaders in education, policy, and science, and with members of the solar and space physics community, the panel decided on four recommendations to help guide the community's next decade of education efforts. These recommendations, as well as the supporting arguments, are not necessarily unique to solar and space physics. In fact, much of what is contained in this document applies to other areas of science, since the problem that the panel is attempting to address here is systemic and of broad societal import. There are, of course, many areas of uniqueness, such as the tremendous effort made in the past decade by NASA's Office of Space Science (OSS) to significantly improve and expand the contribution of space science to general education. Where possible, the panel tries to point out the unique links to solar and space physics, or examples of how the community can contribute given its particular set of resources, one of the greatest being the enduring public fascination with space. Recommendation 1. A program of "bridged positions" should be established that provides partial salary sup- port, startup funding, and limited research support for four new faculty members per year for 5 years, yielding 20 new faculty lines in solar and space physics at U.S. universities over the next decade. This should be matched with an increased emphasis on solar and space physics research and hardware development at colleges and universities. It is at the college and university level that research and teaching in solar and space physics can have the greatest and most direct impact over the next decade. In order to both increase the awareness of the importance of Earth's space environment among the next generation of the nation's leaders and foster a stronger national cadre of young and expert solar and space scientists, the panel recommends the establishment of a program of "bridged positions" facu Ity positions that are partial Iy supported by outside agencies for 5 years as an incen-
214 five for colleges and universities to strengthen (or ini- tiate) programs in these fields. Moreover, agencies should seek ways to support the university research com- munity, particularly those groups that build hardware, so as to maintain a strong link between the academic community, education, and research. Recommendation 2. Federal agencies that fund solar and space physics should set aside funds to support undergraduate research in solar and space physics, ei- ther as a supplement to existing grants or as stand- alone programs. Involving undergraduates in research has proven to be a positive factor in enhancing recruitment and reten- tion of talented science students. Experiential educa- tion, which has its roots in the academic science labora- tory, is now recognized to play a critical role in the development of both student expertise and confidence in nearly all academic fields. Such research experiences are available in solar and space physics, and resources to i ncrease the abi I ity of facu Ity to provide research op- portunities for students are essential. Recommendation 3. Three resource development groups should be funded over the next decade to de- velop educational resources (especially at the under- graduate level) needed by the solar and space physics community, to disseminate those resources, and to pro- vide other services to the community. Solar and space physics research projects already provide numerous images and informal educational op- portunities for a wide audience in the media, in muse- ums, via the World Wide Web, and to some extent at the K-12 level. As they are relatively new fields, however, relatively few applications or examples from solar and space physics currently appear in textbooks or in supple- mentary materials, particularly at the undergraduate level. But with sufficient support the popular fascination with space can be used to facilitate a nationwide ad- vance in scientific literacy. Recommendation 4. Current K-12 education and pub- lic outreach (EPO) efforts should be continued. How- ever, there should be a careful evaluation of lessons learned over the past few years, particularly regarding the involvement of scientists in EPO activities, as well as increased coordination of NASA EPO efforts with other large projects in science education reform, espe- cially NSF initiatives. THE SUN TO THE EARTH AND BEYOND: PANEL REPORTS During the past few years NASA's OSS has begun to commit significant resources to education and public outreach. At the same time, efforts to revitalize and reform K-1 2 science education are wel I under way in several states, often with su pport from I arge federal pro- grams, and particularly those funded by NSF. As the NASA efforts mature, the panel encourages closer coop- eration and synergy with other existing programs. 5.1 INTRODUCTION The relationship between science and society and the role of the scientific establishment in science educa- tion have undergone considerable evolution over the past 50 years, with a contribution to science education now being viewed as an essential commitment for the nation's science community. That period was also a time of huge growth in and the coming of age for the solar and space physics community. In charting its course for the next decade, it is important that the solar and space physics community consider how it can participate ac- tively in education and outreach at all levels. After World War 11 the importance of science was clear to all, since scientific and technical advances had been crucial to victory. There was also a broadly shared feeling that by advancing science, society as a whole would prosper.This idea was atthe core of Vannevar Bush's seminal report ScienceThe Endless Frontier, which in essence laid out a social contract between science and society.4 Science in general, and physics in particular, would expand and prosper, and the result of all the basic research would be the security of the nation abroad and increasing prosperity at home. This pivotal document did mention education in Section 4.0, "Re- newal of Our Scientific Talent," although it did not call for the active involvement of the scientific research com- munity in science education beyond training graduate students. During the Cold War, and particularly after the launch of Sputnik on October 4, 1 957 an event that looms large in the history of space physics federal, state, and private support of basic research in universi- ties and colleges, industry, and national laboratories flourished. The launch of Sputnik also precipitated a ~Vannevar Bush. 1945. ScienceThe Endless Frontier, A Report to the President. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C.
PANEL ON EDUCATION AND SOCIETY national effort to improve science education. Scientists, especially physicists, played a seminal role in science education reform in the 1960s and early 1970s, but it was not then widely believed that scientists and the scientific community should be involved in precollege science education reform.2 Solar and, especially, space physics were in their infancy in the 1 960s, and there is no record of solar and space physicists or their commu- nity being significantly involved in science education at that time. The end of the Cold War brought the recognition that the security and economic well-being of our nation are based on successful competition in the global economy, where tech nology, knowledge creation, and international cooperation are the engines of wealth. These issues were captured in the landmark book Science for All Americans, which laid out what a scien- tifically literate person should know and be able to do.3 However, numerous reports, such as the Third Inter- national Mathematics and Science Study, have demon- strated that our educational system has not yet met the goal of imparting to our students an adequate level of scientific literacy. With the growing importance of science education as a national priority, the scientific research community has been asked to play an important role in science education at all levels. The National Academy of Sci- ences and the American Association for the Advance- ment of Science have defined the features of a quality science education widely referred to as "standards- based" (see Box 5.1) in the reports Benchmarks for Science Literacy4 and National Science Education Stan- dards.5 The standards have received support from scien- tific societies, including the American Geophysical Union, the scientific society with which most space sci- entists are associated.6 It is now recognized that, in addi- tion to performing basic research, practitioners in all 2R.E. Lopez and T. Schultz. 2001. Two revolutions in K-8 science education, Physics Today, September, pp. 44-49. 3F. James Rutherford and Andrew Ahlgren. 1989. Science for A// Americans. American Association for the Advancement of Science, Project 2061. Oxford University Press, Cary, N.C. 4American Association for the Advancement of Science. 1993. Benchmarks for Science Literacy, Project 2061. Oxford University Press, Cary, N.C. 5 N RC. 1 995. National Science Education Standards. N ational Acad- emy Press, Washington, D.C. 6American Geophysical Union (AGU). 2001. Importance of the Earth and Space Sciences in Primary and Secondary Education: An Endorsement of the AAAS Benchmarks and NRC Standards. Adopted by AGU Council December 2001. Available online at <http:// www.agu.org/sci_soc/pol icy/earthspace_educ. htm 1>. 215 areas of science must contribute to the scientific literacy of the nation. Solar and space physics share the challenge of this new social contract between science and society. In fact, the solar and space physics community enjoys a natural advantage because of the keen interest in space shown by people of all ages. In recent years, in an attempt to use this advantage to help address national needs, significant resources have been invested in edu- cation and outreach programs by the agencies that fund solar and space physics research. These needs can be addressed at a wide range of scales, from the smal I scale of the individual scientist's contribution to the large scale of major agency-funded education and outreach projects (such as those associated with missions). The remainder of this report outlines those needs, reviews the current status of solar and space physics contributions to educa- tion and society, and presents recommendations for the futu ret 5.2 NATIONAL NEEDS A TECHNICALLY TRAINED AND INCREASINGLY DIVERSE WORKFORCE The United States is rapidly evolving into an econ- omy in which the creation of wealth is tied to the cre- ation and application of knowledge. In fact, the most dynamic sector of the U.S. economy in the past decade has been the technology sector. At the same time, it is increasingly difficult for technology companies to find, attract, and retai n tech n ical Iy proficient employees. Or- ganizations are taking steps to compete for technology talent and prepare for the long term. Companies have been developing internal and external resources to re- train and/or update the skills of current employees. They have also sol icited technical talent overseas, and have successfully sought increases in the limits on H1-B visas for technically proficient employees. Yet the kinds of skills (computers and programming, electronics, optics, data analysis, etc.) that students gain by engaging in solar and space physics research at both the undergradu- ate and graduate level are precisely the skills that em- ployers are seeking. Despite various efforts, the number of undergradu- ates majoring in science and engineering has declined during the past decade. Many students who have an interest in science are discouraged by their early experi-
216 THE SUN TO THE EARTH AND BEYOND: PANEL REPORTS One of the most significant developments in science education in recent years has been the emergence of science education standards at the national and state levels.The effort to establish science standards was spearheaded by scien- tific organizations, namely the National Research Council (NRC) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).The AAAS established Project 2061 to produce a series of documents, including Benchmarks for Science Literacy (1993),3 which outlines what students should be studying at various grade levels in order to achieve science literacy.The NRC then published the National Science Education Standards (1995),2 which outlines not only what students should know and be able to do (content standards), but also provides standards for teaching, assessment, schools, and systems. These documents, collectively known as the"standards,"form the basis of what is referred to as the standards-based movement, in which science education programs are aligned with the goals and methods set forth in the standards. States also have created individual state standards, which are often used as the basis for statewide testing of students. While many of the state standards are closely aligned with the national standards, some deviate significantly from the national recommendations. However, all state standards have been influenced by the national documents. In general,the standards call for a more active, participatory approach to science education.The NRC report states that ". . . science is something students do, not something that is done to them."This is very much in line with the results of cognitive research.3 Also implicit in the standards is the notion that reform is systemic;that it is necessary to take a global, systems view of science education if the promise of science literacy for all is to be achieved. ~ American Association for the Advancement of Science. 1 993. Benchmarks for Science Literacy, Project 2061. Oxford U Diversity Press, Cary, N.C. 2NRC. 1995. NationalScience Education Standards. National Academy Press,Washington, D.C. 3For example, NRC, 2000, How People Learn: Brain,Mind,Experience, andSchool, Expanded Edition, National Academy Press,Washington, D.C. ences i n i ntroductory science cl asses.7 Approxi mately 300,000 students take introductory physics courses each year. The topics taught in those classes (mechanics, elec- tricity, and magnetism) include topics that relate directly to many aspects of solar and space physics. However, traditional presentation of these subjects has not drawn on solar and space physics phenomena to provide a real-world context for the physics. Graduate enrollments in science and engineering decreased during the early 1 990s, but increased some- what toward the end of the decade. However, the Na- tional Science Foundation pointed out as follows: "With current retirement patterns, the total number of retire- ments among science and engineering degreed workers will dramatically increase over the next 10-15 years. This will be particularly true for Ph.D. holders because of the steepness of their age profile."8 The projections are that unless we significantly increase the numbers of science graduates, the shortfalls already experienced by industry will only worsen. 7E. Seymour and N.M. Hewitt. 1997. Talking About Leaving: Why Undergraduates Leave the Sciences. Westview Press, Boulder, Colo. ~National Science Board, National Science Foundation. 2000. Sci- ence and Engineering Indicators2000, NSB-00-1 . U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. When considering the need to increase enrollments in science we must also be concerned with the need to increase diversity in science. Total enrollments in all postsecondary education institutions rose from 10,985,000 in 1976 to 14,345,000 in 1997, and a dis- proportionate part of th is growth came from i ncreases i n minority groups going to college. While white, non- Hispanic enrollment went from 9,076,000 in 1976 to 10,161,000 in 1997, enrollments of Hispanics, African- Americans, and Native Americans went from 1,493,000 to 2,872,000.9 Given that an increasing fraction of students is com- ing from groups that historically have been underrepre- sensed in science, any attempt to increase the number of technically trained professionals must grapple with the issue of fostering greater diversity in science. This is especially true in states such as Texas and California, in which there will soon be no majority ethnic group. Recent diversity initiatives by NASA and the NSF have focused on using solar and space physics to enhance science education in minority-serving institutions and to recruit underrepresented students for science careers (see Box 5.2~. 9Nationa~ Center for Education Statistics. 2001. Digest of Education Statistics2000, NCES-2001-034. U.S. Department of Education, Washington, D.C.
PANEL ON EDUCATION AND SOCIETY 217 The need to increase diversity in science has become increasingly recognized as a priority for federal agencies.Those agencies responsible for solar and space physics are no exception, and NSF, NASA, and NOAA have in recent years launched diversity initiatives that use solar and space physics to attract students into science. In 1996, NSF held a workshop to examine the issue of diversity in the geosciences in order to make recommendations for a diversity strategy.This led to the creation of a Diversity Initiative program and grants to a variety of universities and organizations such the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science.While the NSF effort is aimed at increasing diversity in the geosciences broadly, it does include space physics,which is in the geosciences director- ate. At the same time NASA was developing a diversity strategy, and in the summer of 2000, OSS launched its Minority University Initiative (MUl).The MUI made funds available to minority-serving institutions for a wide range of programs, such as new space science courses and degree programs and public education and outreach efforts.While both efforts are in their early phases, both are quite promising and may soon serve as models for increasing diversity in solar and space physics. NOAA has also created a diversity initiative aimed at supporting NOAA-related science research,and it issued a request for proposals in 2002. Like the NASA initiative, the funds are targeted at minority-serving universities. If solar and space physics does not have a presence in such institutions,then it will not be able to contribute to diversity programs like those of NOAA and the NSF, which target a wide range of science disciplines. A SCIENTIFICALLY LITERATE CITIZENRY In addition to the need for technically trained pro- fessionals, there is also increasing recognition of the value of a scientifically literate citizenry. Making in- formed political and economic decisions, and even con- sumer choices, in a world permeated by science and technology requires increasingly knowledgeable citi- zens. Science for All Americans arrived at a consensus on scientific literacy by examining the technological society around us and determining what a scientifically literate citizen should know and be able to do.~° At the university level, introductory astronomy (As- tronomy 101) enrolls more students nationwide than any other science class for nonscience majors. Solar and space physics topics and resources have not been fully utilized in introductory astronomy, in part because of the relative youth of the field. However, as technology advances, so too must the knowledge base of our citi- zens. In the future it will become increasingly apparent that some knowledge of the space environment and how it can affect humans and our technology is part of sci- ence literacy. As another case in point, solar physics is likely to play an increasingly important role in debates about global cl i mate change. Education in science begins in elementary school, and for many of our nation's current and future leaders, OF. James Rutherford and Andrew Ahlgren. 1991. Science for A// Americans. Oxford University Press, NewYork, N.Y. it continues through the college and university level. As pointed out above, science literacy also must include some understanding of our society's current reliance on space-based monitoring and communications. In this area, solar and space physics can make substantial con- tributions. The well-known fascination that space explo- ration holds for most people provides one avenue for beginning to educate future citizens in a variety of sci- ence topics. The challenge is to find the points in the educational system where the resources and talents of the solar and space physics community can contribute most effectively to national goals. It is important to recognize the key role that under- graduate education plays in both educating citizens and preparing future teachers and scientists, including future solar and space physicists: "It is in college where future scientists and college faculty are recruited and prepared for graduate study; where our nation's elementary and secondary teachers, educators of America's youth, are equipped; and where tomorrow's leaders gain the back- ground with which to make critical decisions in a world permeated by vital issues of science and technology.'' Although undergraduate education has not histori- .. . . . .. . . cally been a focus in the solar and space physics com- munity, the panel believes that the community has much to offer in this area. Given the comments of many solar 11 Project Kaleidoscope. 1991. What Works: Building Natural Science Communities, Vol. 1. Project Kaleidoscope, Washington, D.C.
218 and space physicists during the preparation of this re- port, it also believes that the community will respond enthusiastically to a call for greater involvement in undergraduate education, for both science majors and . . nonsclence mayors. THE NEED FOR SPACE SCIENCES Stepping away from the larger issue of a technically trained workforce and general science literacy, there is also the need to ensure that there are sufficient technical professionals in solar and space physics to meet the growing national need to understand and monitor the space envi ran meet, wh ich is of critical i mportance to our nation's assets, both those in space and those on the ground. We are becoming increasingly dependent on orbiting satellites for applications such as communica- tion networks, global positioning for ship and airline navigation and for military operations, and monitoring the Earth system for climate change and weather fore- casting. Astronauts travel into space on a space shuttle and now permanently inhabit the International Space Station. As our dependence on space for economic and national security increases, so must our public aware- ness and understanding of the space environment grow. This includes our ability to monitor and predict condi- tions in space and to better characterize and understand possible space weather impacts both in space and on the ground. The near-Earth regions of space are driven by the Sun and vary from minute to minute and day to day within the 11-year cycle of solar activity. Like seasonal variations in the terrestrial weather, each stage of the solar cycle is characterized by its own set of conditions that affect different sectors of human and technological activity. During the period of minimum solar activity, effects such as spacecraft charging and the resultant abrupt electrical discharges due to energetic electrons can seriously damage our assets in space. During solar maxima severe disturbances degrade satellite power sys- tems, enhance the atmospheric drag on orbiting satel- lites, damage satellite instrumentation, disrupt electric power distribution on the ground, interfere with tele- commun ications, and pose radiation hazards to astro- nauts. U n I i ke terrestri al weather, wh ich is man itored rou- tinely at thousands of locations around the world, the conditions in space are monitored by only a handful of space- and grou nd-based faci I ities. Space weather fore- THE SUN TO THE EARTH AND BEYOND: PANEL REPORTS casters are required to specify and to predict conditions in space with very little guidance from actual measure- ments. Given this extreme undersampling of the diverse, coupled regions of space, extending all the way from the Sun to Earth, computer models that provide continu- ous quantitative assessment and prediction of the geospace envi ran ment are req u i red. Extensive scientific research, modeling, and moni- toring efforts directed at understanding the space envi- ronment have produced a broad spectrum of data and modeling resources. In the United States, various aspects of this effort have been funded by NASA, the National Science Fou ndation, NOAA, the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, and the Department of the Interior. An interagency effort has been initiated to fund research targeted specifically at understanding and pre- dicting the space environment. This initiative, the National Space Weather Program (NSWP), stems from the broad interest in space shared by commercial, edu- cational, and governmental organizations. A primary goal of the NSWP is to focus and to build on our existing resources to produce quantitative predictive models of the space environment. Research relevant to the NSWP also benefits from strong international collaboration among scientists and space weather forecast centers. Space weather man itori ng and pred iction wi 11 be an area of growth in the future, and the community must make certain that professionals are being trained in the field. As discussed below, there is reason to be con- cerned about the status of solar and space physics in colleges and universities, where students are recruited and trained, and about means for increasing diversity in solar and space physics, since the field has not tradition- al Iy had a presence i n mi nority-servi ng i Institutions. 5.3 THE ROLE OF SOLAR AND SPACE PHYSICS A MOTIVATOR FOR THE GENERAL PUBLIC Our society maintains an abiding interest in space science and exploration. Built upon decades of thrilling exploration of near-Earth space and the solar system, public interest in events or activities associated with space continues at a high level. Indeed, solar and space physics is one of the few areas of scientific research that combines the rigors of science with awesome and inspi- rational natural phenomena (aurorae, sunspots, eclipses)
PANEL ON EDUCATION AND SOCIETY that can sometimes be viewed directly by people on Earth. It is no wonder, therefore, that the public's fasci- nation with solar and space physics has continued. Over the past decade, the solar and space physics community has become more aware of the importance of sharing the excitement of space science research with the public. Numerous scientists have participated in ef- forts to bring solar and space physics to the public through various venues and media. Solar and space phys- ics has in recent years been highlighted by the IMAXfilm SolarMax and museu m exh i bits I i ke E/e ctric Space. Su n- Earth Day 2002 al lowed solar and space physicists across the country to engage in a variety of public outreach events. And recurring news stories, such as the attention paid to the January 1997 magnetic storm or the erupting prominence photographed by SOHO on July 1, 2002, testify to ongoing public interest in the field. Bringing the wonder of science to the public is an important part of the solar and space community's contribution to society. PROVIDING EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES FOR K-16 EDUCATION Solar and space physics must also address scientific literacy through formal science education. Teachers need the active involvement of the scientific community to support high-quality science education. They also need contact with the current science in order to com- municate relevance to their students. Solar and space physics can provide an exciting context for science edu- cation. And while precollege science education is very important, the community must think beyond K-12, which is what most scientists think of when speaking of "education." Specifically, solar and space physics can contribute substantially to undergraduate education by provid i ng the context for i Instructional programs i n many different disciplines. PROVIDING OPPORTUNITIES FOR UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH Undergraduate research experiences are widely rec- ognized as having a significant impact on the recruit- ment and retention of science and engineering majors. The solar and space physics community never viewed u ndergraduate research as a priority, i n part because the community has been historically more involved in gov- ernment laboratories and research centers. Yet many re- search topics in solar and space physics are quite ame- nable to undergraduate participation, and the lure of space research is strong for many students. 219 5.4 SOLAR AND SPACE PHYSICS IN COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES HISTORICAL BACKGROUND Solar and space physics may be described either as a collection of interdisciplinary fields or as parts of a newly emerging discipline. Although historical records reveal curiosity about the Sun and the heavens in many societies, their scientific study has emerged only since the dawn of the space age, when satellites and rocket- borne probes could observe beyond the confines of Earth's atmosphere. Recognition of the importance of solar and space physics is increasing but is still limited. In a sense, the study of space has come full circle. In ancient Egypt, the need to predict the date of the annual flood of the Nile River, which brought the annual supply of precious wa- ter for the land's crops, led Egyptian astronomer-priests to study the skies to find a way to give advance warning of the water's arrival. Their search was successful; they learned to associate the rising of the Nile with the time each year when the star Sirius first appeared in the east- ern sky. Now, 4,000 years later, with our technological society increasingly affected by streams of particles and radiation from the Sun, we again must study what is "above" us in order to protect and benefit our society. Space physics has roots in several different scien- tific fields. These include geophysics (from the study of Earth's magnetic field, the upper atmosphere and iono- sphere, and the aurora), elementary particle and cosmic ray physics (from the study of energetic particles and radiation originating beyond Earth), electrical engineer- ing (from the study of radio emissions and propagation above Earth's surface), and, of course, astronomy (the study of the Sun, planets, asteroids, and other solid bodies; the solar wind and interplanetary medium; and the heliosphere and its interaction with local interstellar gas). The discipline of solar physics is similarly young, having come out of the larger field of astronomy. Ad- vances in instrumentation made possible detai led study of the physics of our nearest star. Those studies have led, among other things, to the recent discovery of neu- trino flavor oscillation. The increasing recognition that Earth and all other objects in the solar system are bathed in the solar wind (essentially an extension of the Sun's atmosphere) and that dynamical and at times explosive processes originate on and/or inside the Sun has fueled
220 The fields of solar physics and space physics are now closely coupled. Research satellites and ground- based instruments monitor the complex trail of varia- tions in solar energy from their origin within the Sun, outward through the corona and solar wind, past the inner planets and Earth, outward throughout the solar system. The solar system has become a natural labora- tory for understanding a number of fundamental astro- physical processes. Furthermore, beyond the long-range benefits of th is fu ndamental research, su bstanti al i nter- est is directed toward understanding the impact of these highly variable processes on Earth's increasingly tech- nological society. Many of the programs in solar and space physics at U.S. universities and colleges were founded with sub- stantial external support from NASA and other federal agencies. NASA even built space science centers on many university campuses in the 1 960s. Over the past two decades, however, solar and space physics has ex- perienced decreasing visibility and support on univer- sity campuses despite still-ample funding for specific research projects. The long development time lines for missions have also had a negative impact on graduate education. In part because of their relatively short history, and in part because of the great commercial interest in other h igh-tech areas i n the past two decades, solar and space physics as disciplines now have little visibility in either the K-12 educational system or higher education. Graduate education in solar or space physics is scat- tered among a variety of departments, variously within physics, geophysics, astronomy, and electrical engineer- ing programs. These disciplines have no presence in any department at a number of major universities. At the undergraduate level, only a handful of institutions offer specific courses, much less minors or majors in these areas. For example, a survey of solar physics groups as identified by the Solar Physics Division of the American Astronomical Society reveals that of the 37 institutions that host solar physics groups, only 13 have groups of three or more solar physicists. Only one solar physicist is found at 15 of these institutions. Space phys- ics has a similar, less-than-robust presence in universi- ties. Such an absence from the academic world ensures that students will have little exposure to solar and space physics and that the community will not be able to contribute as well as it could to the national needs dis- cussed at the outset of this report. Moreover, the rise of separate, narrowly focused scientific journals and sci- entific societies for solar and space physics, typical signs THE SUN TO THE EARTH AND BEYOND: PANEL REPORTS of a field's maturity, have ironically also led to a loss of interaction between the fields and the wider communi- ties of physicists, astronomers/astrophysicists, and engi- neers. Thus, faculty at colleges and universities do not even realize that they could establish an effort in solar and space physics and that faculty in these areas could be a significant asset to the educational aims of the i Institution. To be sure, introductory college-level astronomy textbooks now often i ncl ude material on the sol ar wi nd, the aurora, and the ionosphere. Similarly, many intro- ductory college-level physics textbooks make reference to the occurrence of fundamental electromagnetic inter- actions in space, though such references are cursory. In addition, although textbooks in electrical engineering have for many years discussed the impact of the iono- sphere and its variations on the propagation of radio waves, more comprehensive treatment is now required. Our society's accelerating use of satellite-based com- munications systems in both low Earth orbit and high geosynchronous orbit have led to a significant emphasis within the communications industry on space-based communications and hence to a need for understanding the environment in which these systems function. In the past decades, the importance of solar and space physics within our nation's system of higher edu- cation has grown, not shrunk. Continued support from NASA, NSF, and other interested federal agencies is needed to sustain the vitality and, especially, the visibil- ity of this field on our campuses. This is especially true for minority-serving institutions that historically have not been part of the solar and space physics enterprise. The field has much to offer such institutions in terms of out- standing opportunities for students and the excitement that space science generates. SOME ISSUES IN UNDERGRADUATE AND GRADUATE SCIENCE EDUCATION Access to undergraduate education has grown ex- plosively in the past 50 years, and access to at least introductory col lege-level science courses has increased at a nearly comparable rate. However, the fraction of undergraduates completing majors in science, math- ematics, or engineering has not at all kept pace. Increas- ingly, positions in our graduate schools of science and engineering, as well as in our industries and research laboratories, are being filled by students from other na- tions, if they are being filled at all. When in addition one considers the ongoing shortage of K-12 teachers with a science background and the large number of current
PANEL ON EDUCATION AND SOCIETY science teachers scheduled to retire in the next decade, one cannot but recognize that a renewed focus on un- dergraduate science education is long overdue. Today there are fewer physics majors in the United States than at any time in the past 40 years. At the same time, there is a larger pool of high school students study- ing physics than ever before, and the total number of bachelor's degrees awarded in the United States has gone up. During the mid-1950s, 10 of every 1,000 bachelor's degrees awarded in the United States were in physics, whereas today the number is only 3 of every 1,000. The decline is not unique to physics in relative or absolute terms. In 1998, engineering departments reported that they awarded their lowest number of bach- elor's degrees in 17 years. Similarly, the bachelor's degree class in computer science in 1997 was the small- est in 1 1 years.4 2 Overal 1, the number of engineering bachelor's degrees granted decreased by 16 percent from 1 983 to 1 996.4 3 Just as retention is an issue for undergraduate phys- ics and other science programs, recruitment is an issue for graduate programs. The number of first-year gradu- ate students in physics and astronomy is roughly the same this year as it was in the late 1 970s, but the propor- tion who graduated from U.S. and non-U.S. undergradu- ate programs has changed dramatical Iy. In the late 1970s, more than 2,200 came from U.S. colleges and universities, while about 800 came from foreign institu- tions. In 2000 fewer than 1,500 came from U.S. colleges and universities and slightly more from foreign institu- tions. Low graduate enrollments lead to further erosion of undergraduate programs in some departments, be- cause many universities rely on ever-scarcer graduate teaching assistants to direct laboratory and tutorial ses- sions. Recent moves to offer more generous graduate stipends and fellowships do not address the larger prob- lem of there being simply too few students who have maintained an interest in advanced scientific research through their undergraduate years. Investing additional funds only at the graduate level will not adequately ad- dress the shortage of graduate students, because in many cases decisions to not continue in a scientific field are made long before specific graduate school offers are under consideration. 42Kate Kirby, Roman Czujiko, and Patrick Mu~vey. 2001. The phys- ics job market: From bear to bull in a decade. Physics Today, April, Vol. 54, p. 40. 43National Science Board, National Science Foundation. 2000. Sci- ence and Engineering Indicators. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 221 Other panels, including the Boyer Commission on Educating Undergraduates, and a recent study by the National Research Council44 have discussed these is- sues. For example, although descriptive astronomy courses continue to play a vital role in imparting general science I iteracy to undergraduates nationwide, there is evidence that many introductory undergraduate science courses, especially introductory physics, continue to present a daunting and often unattractive perspective on science.4 5 Clearly, there is a strong national interest in revers- ing these trends. And fortunately, there are success sto- ries in recruiting and retaining students. One bright spot of undergraduate science education undergraduate re- search is a proven success in motivating and retaining students in science. For example, University of Texas system science and engineering students involved in the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, a pro- gram funded by the NSF that supports undergraduate research, have a 90 percent graduation/retention rate. Solar and space physics can actually be quite amenable to undergraduate research. For example, undergradu- ates are quite capable of assisting in software develop- ment and data analysis for current and past spacecraft or ground-based data sets. Below the panel suggests several steps that can be taken by the community to increase the extent of such research in solar and space physics and thus contribute to a critical national goal. Undergraduate Research The Boyer Commission on Educating Undergradu- ates has identified a major reason for the crisis in under- graduate science education as a destructive lack of con nection at many col loges and u n iversities between undergraduate study and the creation of future research faculty.46 In many universities undergraduates are iso- lated from the challenge and excitement their professors find in research. Howeverwell presented undergraduate courses may be, they do not and essentially cannot expose students to the character of the research world. Indeed, ". . . many studies have shown that the under- graduate programs most successfu I at product ng scien- 44National Research Council. 2001. Physics in a New Era. National Academy Press, Wash i ngton, D.C. ~ 5E. Seymour and N.M. Hewitt. ~ 997. Talking About [caving: Why Undergraduates [cave the Sciences. Westview Press, Boulder, Colo. 46The Boyer Commission on Educating Undergraduates in the Re- search Community. 1998. Reinventing Undergraduate Education: A B/ueprint forAmerica's Research Universities. State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, N.Y.
222 fists are those that include research and publication in refereed journals.... Students who have the opportu- nity for research complete their science programs in greater numbers than those who do not."47 Although undergraduate research involvement may have been overlooked at many universities, those de- partments at which it is prominent have frequently re- ported steady or i ncreased en ro I I meets i n recent years. A survey of the undergraduate enrollment trends in 750 U.S. physics programs from 1990 to 1997 indicated that those departments with increasing numbers of graduates had taken steps in at least one of the following areas: instituting double majors or programs linking to engi- neering degrees; increasing opportunities for student re- search; doing more student mentoring; and offering prac- tical career skills. The panel thus believes that one significant step that the United States can take to in- crease the number of college and university students in science majors is to expand opportunities for under- graduate research experiences (see Figure 5.11. On-campus undergraduate research and off-campus research i nternsh i ps are val ued not on Iy because of the hands-on experience they provide. They also offer students the opportunity to work in a team or group environment, make decisions that affect the success or failure of the project, and feel the responsibility and satisfaction of being creative. Employers and graduate schools like to see this kind of experience in appli- cants.4 9 Recent studies continue to show the high correla- tion between undergraduate research experience and continuing on to scientific careers. A recent survey by the American Institute of Physics indicated that under- graduate research is already nearly universal among those heading for graduate work in physics (90 percent), whether as part of a senior thesis project, participation i n a facu Ity-d i rected research project, or i n a coopera- tive work arrangement with an outside employer. Such research experience was also quite common among those heading for graduate study in other fields (70 per- cent) or going directly into the workforce (63 percent), but was less prevalent (45 percent) among those going into high school teaching. The report noted that the last- 47Robert Gavin. 2000. The role of research at undergraduate institu- tions: Why is it necessary to defend it? Chapter 1 in Academic Exce/- lence: The Role of Research in the Physica/ Sciences at Undergraduate Institutions, M.P. Doyle, ed. Research Corporation, Tucson, Ariz. Robert Ehrlich. 1999. The Physics Teacher 3, 142. 49Barrett Ripin. 2001. Preparing physicists for life's work, Physics Today,April,p.47. THE SUN TO THE EARTH AND BEYOND: PANEL REPORTS FIGURE 5.1 Andy Sackreiter, an Augsburg College undergradu- ate, installing a magnetometer in the Canadian Arctic. Courtesy of Mark Engebretson, Augsburg College. mentioned percentage was "doubly unfortunate, first because such teachers will have a responsibility to in- troduce their own future students to a hands-on labora- tory experience, and second, because such teachers typical Iy have I ittle opportunity to work in physics re- search after completing their undergraduate studies."20 Although research efforts in solar and space physics at American colleges and universities typically involve faculty, full-time research associates, and graduate stu- dents, they are not limited to those levels. Solar and space physics also provides attractive research projects for undergraduates in a variety of related disciplines, including electrical and mechanical engineering, com- puter science, and business. Opportunities can originate from diverse projects: the design and execution of a sounding rocket payload, the utilization of sophisticated computer systems, the management and operation of a small satellite program, or the design and verification of high-technology instrumentation. Much of the analysis of data obtained by high-tech instruments, as well as by research satellites, is also appropriate for undergraduate involvement. Waves and wave propagation are central topics in the undergraduate curriculum, as are electro- magnetic fields, charged particles, and particle distribu- 20Michael Neuschatz, Patrick J. Mulvey, and Starr Nicholson. l 999. Physics end astronomy Senior Report: Class of 1998, American Insti- tute of Physics (AIP) Report R-211.30. AIP Statistical Research Center, College Park, Md., December.
PANEL ON EDUCATION AND SOCIETY tions. The time scales of these projects make it possible for undergraduates to participate in meaningful ways, and by so doing they not only learn about research but also develop their computer skills, learn about instru- ment development and testing, and gain practical expe- rience they can apply to their subsequent course work. Undergraduate research in solar and space physics provides benefits to students regard less of whether they continue their studies in one of these areas. First, be- cause of the fundamental interconnection of al I physical sciences, many of the concepts and techniques intro- duced in one research field will be applicable in others. Second, science education research has shown that higher-level learning is enhanced when students obtain research experience in more than one field. Indeed, many individuals currently active in solar and space physics began their research careers as undergraduates, often in other fields. For these reasons, the geosciences directorate of the NSF, which includes space physics, has called for additional resources to be made available to undergraduate institutions to support research activi- ties.24 Solar and space physics should take advantage of such i n iti atives to expand u ndergrad u ate partici pati on in research. The panel commends the NSF's Research Experi- ences for U ndergraduates (REU) program, wh ich pro- vides support for undergraduate research involvement both with i n exist) ng research grants to facu Ity and i n stand-alone (mainly summer) programs. NSF's Research at Undergraduate Institutions program and the earlier Keck Geology Consortium have also provided excellent funding opportunities nationwide, and locally supported undergraduate research programs have continued at scattered institutions nationwide, not all of them wealthy or prestigious. There are other effective federal programs for the support of undergraduate research, such as the Department of Education's McNair Scholars Program (which is not limited to the natural sciences) and the Significant Opportunities in Atmospheric Sciences pro- gram at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, which has had considerable success in exposing stu- dents from underrepresented groups to the geosciences (including, on occasion, solar and space physics). Grass- roots efforts, such as the Council on Undergraduate Research and Project Kaleidoscope of the Independent Colleges Office, have also succeeded in focusing atten- tion on, and supporting, undergraduate research programs. 24 National Science Foundation (NSF). 1997. Geoscience Education: A Recommended Strategy, NSF 97-171. Arlington, Va.: NSF. 223 Although there are some discipline-specific summer programs for selected undergraduates at individual NASA centers, as well as several state-level space grant programs funded ultimately by NASA that support un- dergraduate research by students at their home colleges and universities, such activity does not appear to be an explicit part of NASA's educational strategy. The panel recommends that NASA provide specific funding for undergraduate research as part of proposals for both instrument development and data analysis, as it does now for other types of educational and public outreach activities, perhaps fol lowing the model of current NSF grants, or possibly even via a system of block grants. NASA may also want to consider other funding models, including those listed above, that target specific popula- tions of students but not specific categories of colleges or universities. That is, such support for undergraduate research should focus not only on large institutions, but also on small ones, minority institutions, and those serv- ing minorities in regions where there are no historically minority institutions. The panel also recommends that programs to support undergraduate research include in- dividual young scientists just beginning their faculty ca- reers as well as active groups and individuals already active in research. One common objection to a greater emphasis on undergraduate research is that faculty time is already stretched thin among courses, advising, and, possibly, research. Undergraduate involvement in research can be promoted by funding for faculty for this purpose. Some smaller departments, despite their relative success in educating undergraduate physics students, already have difficulty offering their students more than a mini- mal set of advanced courses. One solution might be to develop consortia or partnerships between educational institutions to extend the offerings of intermediate and advanced courses for physics and astronomy majors. Such an approach would have both economic and ped- agogical advantages: economic in that costs could be shared, and pedagogical in that small departments could offer a greater variety of advanced courses to their stu- dents and faculty would have more time to lead under- graduates in research. As a side benefit, such partner- ships can emphasize the cooperative nature of science and engineering as faculty members themselves serve as models for the ability to work collaboratively with oth- ers in their field. A related means of improving the undergraduate education of physics majors is to provide a set of short, targeted summer schools to introduce students to the research enterprise and the complex, cooperative na-
224 ture of scientific research. One notable example is the Polar Aeronomy and Radio Science school at the Uni- versity of Alaska, Fairbanks, which includes graduate students and some undergraduates in a 2-week late summer program combining focused classroom sessions with immersion experiences in large laboratories. Simi- lar programs, perhaps purely for undergraduates, could be targeted at those who have completed their sopho- more or even thei r fresh man year. Instructional Materials for Undergraduate Education The community of solar and space physicists is pre- sented with several educational opportunities. The public's fascination with outer space (part of its fascina- tion with the larger field of astronomy) provides an av- enue to achieve the broad goal of science literacy. There is, as well, a practical need to promote understanding of the science of the space environment as an integral part of global science and technology. The solar and space physics community must ensure that the next generation of scientists, engineers, and civic and corporate leaders have a working knowledge of Earth's space environ- ment. All students in technical majors study physics. In addition, approximately 10 percent of all college stu- dents take introductory astronomy,22 and it is often their last experience with formal science education. This juncture presents an excellent opportunity for solar and space physics to contribute to general science educa- tion and to increase knowledge of the space environ- ment. Instructional materials can be developed that use solar and space physics as a context. In the case of astronomy courses, the connection is natural. In the case of introductory physics courses, phenomena drawn from solar and space physics can be used to illustrate basic concepts. Many connections can be made between so- lar and space physics and topics in mechanics or elec- tricity and magnetism. However, to contribute in this way, the solar and space physics community needs to develop and disseminate teaching resources and have a greater presence in college and universities. Some Issues in Graduate Science Education The solar and space physics community has the obligation to train the next generation of solar and space 22National Research Council. 2001. Astronomy and Astrophysics in the New Mi//ennium. National Academy Press, Washington, D.C. THE SUN TO THE EARTH AND BEYOND: PANEL REPORTS physicists. Some of the problems outl i ned earl ier that have led to smaller numbers of adequately trained or inspired bachelor's-level graduates feeding into gradu- ate programs must be addressed at the undergraduate level or even earlier. Other problems facing the commu- nity, however, must be addressed at the graduate level. For example, the shrinking number of graduate programs and the shrinking size of existing groups in solar and space physics at universities in the United States make it difficult to cover the breadth of the field in graduate cou rses. Another issue in training graduate students is the increasing need for students trained in hardware and instrumentation. The large number of instrumentation programs at NASA centers and other government labs exacerbates this widely recognized problem. A special effort should be made to maintain and enlarge univer- sity groups that specialize in ground-based or space- based instrumentation and also to provide funding opportunities for graduate students being trained in in- strumentation. By making it a priority to maintain uni- versity hardware groups, or even to help seed new ones, agencies will be able to preserve a critical link between research and education. Moreover, agencies should give particular consideration to establishing and supporting such a group or groups at minority-serving institutions. By creating the conditions that would allow research groups at such institutions to thrive, agencies with an interest in solar and space physics will also help to in- crease diversity in science. 5.5 K-1 2 SCIENCE EDUCATION AND PUBLIC OUTREACH SCIENCE EDUCATION REFORM,THE NATIONAL STANDARDS, AND SOLAR AND SPACE PHYSICS The National Science Education Standards23 pro- vide guidance on specific content understandings and process skills that students should achieve by certain grade levels. These standards allow using solar and space physics basic content and research to enrich stu- dent learning. Solar and space physics is rich in fascinat- 23National Research Council, National Committee on Science Edu- cation Standards and Assessment. 1996. National Science Education Standards. National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.
PANEL ON EDUCATION AND SOCIETY ing examples of applied science that can satisfy content standards set for physical science, life science, Earth and space science, and the history of science and bring learning to life for students. Similarly, the standards stress the importance of students gaining an understanding of systems, cycles, and scales all richly exemplified in this field of research. School systems around the country are working to align their science education programs with standards, be they the national standards or (more likely) state stan- dards. For solar and space physics to play a role in science education it is necessary that our science con- tent support system goals. Unfortunately, neither the National Science Education Standards nor state stan- dards explicitly include much of solar and space phys- ics. This does not, however, mean the solar and space physics community cannot contribute to general sci- ence education in schools. When considering content issues, it just has to find the connections. In some cases, the connections between solar and space physics research and the National Science Educa- tion Standards are explicit. For example, through the standards for Earth and space science, high school stu- dents are expected to learn that the Sun is a star and to understand how the solar system evolved, and how the Sun will evolve with time. They are not expected to gain an understand) ng of the magnetospheres of the planets and how they behave. However, through standards iden- tified for the physical sciences, we can, for example, use Earth's magnetic field as an example of a planetary-scale magnet. As magnetic lines of force are explored in satis- faction of the physical science standards, Earth's inter- esting magnetic field geometry can be introduced, lead- ing to interesting questions that can then be connected to the overarching concepts of coupled systems, scale, and the history of science. In summary, although the standards do not specifi- cally call for some topics that are central to solar and space physics (for example, the plasma state of matter is not mentioned), their focus on broad scientific knowl- edge yields many opportunities for the community to contribute. Many current education efforts in the com- munity, including the NASA Office of Space Science program, have a component that supports standards- based instruction. Magnetism, electricity, and the nature of the solar system are topics that every student is expected to mas- ter. Col laboration between the NASA-funded Sun-Earth Connections Education Forum and the Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley produced The Pea/ Reasons for the Seasons, a middle-school curriculum package that 225 teaches about seasons and the phases of the Moon. This excellent product is now in use by many school systems around the country, since all state middle-school stan- dards include the solar system. Materials produced by the I mager for Magnetopause-to-Au rora G lobal Experi- ment (IMAGE) education and public outreach project have also been developed with standards in mind. As more mission EPO projects and individual solar and space physics scientists become aware of the need to carefully align their products with various standards, we can expect that the solar and space physics community will have an increasing impact in schools. It must also be remembered that science is more than content. The standards point out that teachers need opportunities to understand how scientists think and approach problems. By providing teachers with oppor- tunities to build long-term relationships with solar and space physicists, the community can contribute signifi- cantly to their professional development. Individual sci- entists can make a tremendous contribution by volun- teering their time to work with a single teacher or group of teachers.24 And, on a larger scale, professional devel- opment programs for teachers set up by the solar and space physics community should take advantage of the research base25 on how best to incorporate scientists into school programs. NASA EDUCATION AND PUBLIC OUTREACH AND THE CONNECTION TO NSF EDUCATION INITIATIVES The current EPO activities of the solar and space physics community are driven heavily by NASA policies and funding. NASA has always made a point of commu- nicating the U.S. effort in space to the public as a means of securing public support for the space program. Thus, much of the NASA effort in the past was directed essen- tially to public relations as opposed to serious contribu- tions to science education. However, in the mid-1 990s, the Office of Space Science initiated an ambitious pro- gram to mobilize space science in support of science education. The NASA/OSS plan called for the creation of a set of "forums" and "brokers." Together, the forums and brokers constitute the "support network." The forums 24National Research Council. 1996. The Role of Scientists in the Professiona/ Development of Science Teachers. National Academy Press, Washington, D.C. 25See, for example, S. Loucks-Horsley, P.W. Hewson, N. Love, and K.E. Stiles, 1998, Designing Professiona/ Development for Teachers of Science and Mathematics, Corwin Press, Thousand Oaks, Calif.
226 TABLE 5.1 Forums THE SUN TO THE EARTH AND BEYOND: PANEL REPORTS TABLE 5.2 Brokersa Organization Topic Space Telescope Science Institute Astronomical Searches for Origins Goddard Space Flight Center and Berkeley Space Science Laboratory Jet Propulsion Laboratory Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Sun-Earth Connection Solar System Exploration Structure and Evolution of the Universe were to take the results of space science research and translate them into materials and resources useful to educators. They were discipl i ne-based, with one forum for each of the four science themes in OSS (see Table 5.1), and they were awarded without competition. The brokers were to facilitate relationships between scien- tists and educators, using the products of the forums. As a result, they are geographically based (see Table 5.2 and Figure 5.21. In contrast to the forums, there was an open competition for the brokers. In 2001 the brokers were recomputed, leading to the set of brokers listed in Table 5.2. This network has had several successes, such as funding workshops for scientists, making deeper con- nections with minority professional societies, support- i ng innovative projects in the i nformal real m, and pro- ducing quality educational products. A recent evaluation based on extensive interviews with a wide range of OSS EPO providers, customers, and others documents areas where real progress has been made.26 The support network has established strong working relationships with informal science cen- ters around the country, leading to the development of successful programs and museum exhibits. It has also produced instructional materials that incorporate recog- nition of national standards, and it is attempting to re- view the quality of existing space science educational materials. Along these lines the support network has developed a Space Science Education Resource Direc- tory that allows educators to browse a wide range of electronic resources. In general, NASA education efforts 26S.B. Cohen and J. Gutbezal. 2001. Office of Space Science, Educa- tion, and Public Outreach January 2000-May 2001 Fina/ Report. NASA, Washington, D.C. Available online at <http://spacescience.nasa.gov/ education/resou rces/eval uation/i ndex. htm>. Organization Region Lunar and Planetary Institute Southwest and Southern Plains Southeast Regional Clearinghouse South and Southeast Center for Educational Technologies Mid-Atlantic region New England Space Science New England Initiative in Education DePaul University Upper Midwest Space Science Institute West and Northern Plains Space Science Network Northwest Northwest aAs of June 2002. are improving because of the increasing sophistication of people involved in the EPO efforts of the Space Sci- ence Enterprise and the Earth Science Enterprise. At the same time, there are some issues that clearly have to be addressed. In particular, current efforts by the support network to engage the scientific community need to be expanded. The active participation by scien- tists in science education in schools is viewed by many as crucial to the long-term improvement of science edu- cation.27 The OSS evaluation report points out that the culture of science continues to impede the involvement of scientists in EPO activities and that more needs to be done to bridge the gap between science and science education. The workshops for scientists on science edu- cation developed by the Space Science Institute (one of the brokers) are a good start, but the problem of how to effectively engage scientists and their institutions in sci- ence education is still an open issue. Other activities can also bring scientists and educa- tors together, building trust and forming the basis for long-term partnerships.28 For example, regional plan- ning meetings sponsored by the support network could 27See, for example, NSF, 1997, Foundations: The Cha//enge and Promise of Science Education Reform, NSF 97-76. NSF, Arlington, Va.; NRC, 2000, Inquiry and the Nationa/ Science Education Standards: A Guide for Teaching and Learning, National Academy Press, Washing- ton, D.C.; R.E. Lopez and T. Schultz, 2001, Two revolutions in K-8 science education, Physics Today, September, pp. 44-49. 28NRC, 1997, Science for A// Children, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.; NRC, 1996, The Role of Scientists in the Profes- siona/ Development of Science Teachers, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.
PANEL ON EDUCATION AND SOCIETY .; I. ~ FO:~s IBM h] ~ ·,, As:~OP4~ . ~~R - A~ 1~^ P~ STACY ATE ~ ~ ~ AS CS ~ SPAr~E TE;LESCQ~E ~~£ -ME . - (i;~:GTURE: A~.O EVOLUT[~-~3 OP ~rHE AWES ('~!) ~ S;~Or~N AST~;~:~L O~SE~.~:~Y -a SO.L:~R SYSTEM EXPLORATION (~S;~;' JET P~O Lo LO 9~,~~ fE^~3 f:;~13Op (~) A ~~ DOE FS Inch-] ~ REEFER ~ ~~VE:~-1E;~Y OF-- c;:~f ]~.F2~.lA AT -ELSE 227 'it' fig FIO ~ ~ R:/ ~~c 1 ~ 1 TATO.R ~ - NESSIE 5. - TED FOR ~:~AL: FLIES (~) - ~~E~ 0~IV~:i:~: (~) - LO AND -ETUDE t~:TETUTE~ t L.~.~) - ~.~W ALLA SPACE CLIME i~11~E 1 ~~ ~ ~ ~.~:'E ~ - ~io~:~5iT ~oN^L (::~RE~E i< - ~ip^C::~ SCIENCE ANTE (~) - ~PAC:E SCIENCE: OWNS OTHER (~} FIGURE 5.2 Geographical distribution of brokers and locations of forums. Courtesy of NASA Office of Space Science Education and Public Outreach. develop a local set of clearly defined activities that would require limited time commitments by scientists, such as reviewing instructional materials for scientific accuracy. Such activities do not require scientists to be- come education experts but do allow valuable scientific i n put i nto the ed ucation process. Another issue that should be considered is the need to better connect the solar and space physics EPO effort to other large-scale education efforts. There has been little connection between the NASA support network (or other solar and space physics education projects) and the NSF systemic initiatives (as reported to this panel by NSF program officers). Currently, hundreds of school systems are engaging in systemic change, as described in Science for all Children.29 Many of these school sys- tems have received local systemic change grants from the NSF or are involved with the various NSF state, urban, or rural systemic initiatives (see Box 5.3~. These efforts in systemic change are much broader than the relatively narrow focus of the solar and space physics community. Yet new NSF programs, such as Math and Science Partnerships and Centers for Learning and Teaching, are major initiatives with which the de- velo~inu solar and space physics education infrastruc- ~ L) ~ 29NRC. 1997. Science for A// Children. National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.
228 THE SUN TO THE EARTH AND BEYOND: PANEL REPORTS The premise of systemic reform is that the system as a whole must be examined and addressed in order to achieve a lasting change in science education. Systemic reform, in turn, has been the driver of some of the biggest education initiatives undertaken by the National Science Foundation.While many people argue about the term "systemic reform,"the consensus is that true systemic reform impacts every student and teacher in a school system. In 1 991,the NSF launched a new set of programs:the State, Rural,and Urban Systemic Initiatives (referred to as SSI, RSI, and USI, respectively). These provided large blocks of funds to the appropriate entities (depending on the program) to undertake major reform efforts in K-12 science and mathematics education.The reform efforts varied considerably, but many have had lasting effects, creating infrastructure that could benefit solar and space physics efforts in science educa- tion.3 Another NSF effort was the local systemic change (LSC) program. LSC programs received large grants from the NSF to pay the professional development costs of introducing standards-based instructional materials, with the rest of the expenses to be paid for by the school districts. Many LSC programs utilized a well-documented model for systemic reform described in the NRC publication Science forAII Children.2 Such projects created districtwide science programs that could be valuable partners for solar and space physics efforts. The newest initiatives in large-scale science and mathematics reform are the NSF-funded Centers for Teaching and Learning and the Math and Science Partnerships.These large collaborations represent additional opportunities for the solar and space physics community to provide resources and expertise for science education throughout the country. In fact, NSF's request for proposals for the Math and Science Partnerships emphasizes that mathematicians, scientists, and engineers accept vital roles in this effort to impact the teacher workforce and to work with teachers and administrators to substantially improve student achievement. As with the previous systemic reform efforts, these programs will create infrastructure that can be used by the solar and space physics community, which should make an effort to connect its large projects (like mission EPO efforts) to broader efforts, as well as help to encourage and connect individual solar and space physicists who want to participate in these new programs. NEW. Clune. 1999. Toward a Theory of Systemic Reform: The Case of Nine NSF Statewide Systemic Initiatives. National Institute for Science Education, Madison, wisC. 2NRC. 1997.ScienceforAIIChildren. National Academy Press,Washington,D.C. ture should collaborate. The support network and mis- sion EPO projects should contact these new centers and develop collaborations with them. In fact, the newly established Math and Science Partnerships program at the NSF specifically calls for involving science faculty in K-12 science education. The support network should make contact with groups preparing such proposals and offer them solar and space physics resources and expertise. Another area of EPO support is smal I grants or supplements to individual investigators. These educa- tion supplements give individual scientists the resources to get involved in local educational activities. However, many scientists do not have contacts in the education and outreach arena, and many who would like to be- come more involved in education are not certain how to go about it. Also, the proposal process and evaluation requirements represent significant obstacles for scien- tists who are not education experts. These issues were clearly identified in the OSS evaluation report. The NASA EPO program should encourage NASA- funded scientists to participate in existing education and public outreach programs. Further, such participation should not be limited to sharing details of specific re- search programs. As discussed in Box 5.4, there are many valuable educational programs in which a PI could be involved as a participant, but not necessarily in an oversight capacity. An excellent example of an existing program is Project Astro, which was developed by the Astronomi- Cal Society of the Pacific with a start-up grant from NSF. The purpose of the program is to pair astronomers and teachers at a number of sites around the country. These sites require a modest level of funding to support a part- time coordinator and materials for workshops to train the astronomer and teacher partners. While the NSF provided start-up funds for Project Astro, at present all Project Astro sites must secure their own funding. Fund- ing sources now include private donations, grants from
PANEL ON EDUCATION AND SOCIETY 229 The solar and space physics community can interact with, and support, the science education community on many levels. At the large-scale end of the spectrum are the big-mission education and public outreach efforts, NASA,s Office of Space Science support network of forums and brokers, and National Science Foundation-funded projects like the Centers for Learning and Teaching and the Math and Science Partnerships.These projects can have the greatest impact by aligning themselves to national and state standards and producing resources that can be widely disseminated and used by others. At the other end of the spectrum, small-scale efforts, often by individual scientists, also can be very valuable. Individual scientist-teacher partnerships can result in very rich experiences for both sides, and the nationally recognized Project Astro has made such individual partnerships the foundation of its effort. Better support is needed, though, for individual scientists who want to contribute but don't know where to begin. Principal investigators who are applying for education supplements should be able to choose from a menu of ready-made items complete with how-to information. Another important point to consider is that some scientists who become involved in small-scale efforts may decide to make a career change and become educators, thus bringing to the profession a solid understanding of the science. Providing scientists with the opportunity to make local contributions to education will help to renew talent within the solar and space physics community as well as provide real support to teachers and students across the country. education/outreach programs in NSF or NASA, or state education funds. Contributing a small amount of funding to solar and space physicists to be used for the en rich ment of thei r own communities is an excellent way to encourage participation in and success of such programs. The supplemental funding could be administered in much the same way as the NSF's successful REU program, where a simple letter to the program officer specifies the way the money will be spent, and the decision to fund the request is made by the program officer. The intent of the forum/broker structure of the OSS education program was to provide a connections ser- vice, with forums connecting science to educational re- sou rces and brokers con necti ng those resou rces and i n- dividual scientists to schools, with funding from small EPO grants. However, the structure has been less than ideal owing to confusion about roles and appropriate activities. The end result, then, is that the EPO supple- ments are typically small and not highly leveraged a prime goal of the overall program. Through larger EPO proposal opportunities ($100,000 to $200,000 per year) smaller than mission scale but larger than re- search grant supplements a more efficient, integrated, and leveraged suite of activities could be developed that takes advantage of the EPO expertise that exists in a number of locations across the country. Over the past decade, the OSS took a major step forward when it allocated significant resources to be used for public outreach and education. By providing budgets that amount to 1 or 2 percent of total funding for mission proposals, OSS has shown a tangible com- mitment to the importance of supporting highly lever- aged science education and literacy. Several of these mission-related EPO efforts, among them the ISTP and IMAGE efforts, have had considerable success. And in general there has been a good degree of interaction between the support network and the mission EPO ef- forts; they really can be viewed as complementary parts of the overall NASA EPO effort (see Box 5.5~. Support for NASA EPO efforts should be continued and at the same time improved. One area of improve- ment could be the forum and broker structure. As men- tioned above, the structure in place has led to confusion about roles both within the OSS education program and with other wel l-developed educational networks i n the space sciences (for example, the NASA Space Grant pro- gram). The success of the current approach varies widely across the country, depending on the activity of the re- gional brokers and proximity to forums. The panel rec- ommends an open review of this structure, from which lessons can be learned that will lead to an improved education program for OSS. The last area of NASA EPO the panel wishes to address is a new initiative begun in 2000 within OSS- the Minority University Initiative (MUI). This program solicited a broad range of proposals from minority- serving universities to expand space science education
230 THE SUN TO THE EARTH AND BEYOND: PANEL REPORTS The International Solar-Terrestrial Physics (ISTP) program was for many years the flagship effort of the solar and space physics community. ISTP also had a very successful education and public outreach (EPO) program,and it took advantage of space weather events like the January 1997 magnetic storm to get the message out to the public. A key aspect of this success was that ISTP involved communications professionals at the core of its EPO effort.This led, for example,to an increasing number of press conferences at American Geophysical Union meetings. Numerous products like the Dynamic Sun CD were produced utilizing ISTP images from SOHO and Polar. ISTP in collaboration with the Space Science Institute (in Boulder,Colorado) even produced a small traveling museum exhibit,the Space Weather Center,about the space environment. But resources are not useful if they do not get into the hands of teachers. The ISTP program ran several teacher workshops,basing the activities on an understanding of the nature of good professional development,3 and teachers responded very positively to the workshops, which provided them with materials and strategies that they could actually use in their classrooms. ~ Described in S. Loucks-Horsley, P. Hewson, N. Love, and K. Stiles, 1998, Designing Professional Development for Teachers of Science and Mathematics, Corwin Press, Thousand Oaks, Calif. and outreach in traditionally underserved communities. The kinds of projects funded range from professional development for teachers in space science topics, un- dergraduate research programs, and even the creation of new space science degree programs. As described in the introduction to this report, Hispanics, African-Ameri- cans, and Native Americans will provide the greatest growth in college enrollments (as well as the greatest growth in the general population), and it is imperative that increasing numbers of students from these groups . . go Into science. While it is too early to tell what the impact of this program will be, NASA's OSS should be commended for launching it. This targeted initiative promises to identify effective mechanisms for diversifying the space science enterprise, as well as to directly impact those participat- ing in the program. Many aspects of the OSS initiative served as a model for a similar diversity initiative in the Geosciences Directorate of the NSF. While the geo- sciences are broader than solar and space physics, the solar and space physics community should take advan- tage of this opportunity to partner with the NSF to in- crease diversity in the field. To its credit, the support network has also been pro- active in building contacts with minority professional societies like the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science. And there are new collaborations between the support network and MUI programs, such as a multifaceted set of activi- ties in El Paso, Texas, to take advantage of the presence of the Space Weather Center at the Insights El Paso Sci- ence Museum. That partnership includes the Sun-Earth Connection Education Forum, the Space Science Insti- tute broker, I Insights, and the MU I project at the U n iver- sity of Texas at El Paso. The panel strongly encourages the support network to continue to find ways to partner with the MUI projects. It also urges the solar and space physics programs at NSF to support similar initiatives to broaden participation in solar and space physics. MUSEUMS,THE WEB, NEWSPAPERS, AND OTHER OUTREACH Solar and space physics events and discoveries lend themselves exceptionally well to use of the news media to educate the public and disseminate information (see Box 5.61. Television news is one of the most important avenues of communication for the average American. It demands video action segments, not just commentary and still photos. NASA-related missions yield action se- quences of solar phenomena as natural by-products of scientific investigations. NASA has done a commend- able job of rendering products such as time sequence "movies" collected by instruments on the SOHO and TRACE spacecraft into forms suitable for television broadcasts. These sequences appear regularly on TV news programs produced both by the networks and by local news stations. Animation sequences derived from space physics modeling computations, which show the response of the terrestrial magnetosphere to solar-gener- ated interplanetary disturbances, can also have a strong impact, although they are still less available. Visualiza-
PANEL ON EDUCATION AND SOCIETY 231 An important aspect of improving science education is improving public awareness of and appreciation for current science exploration via the popular media and informal education. Solar physics has gained widespread attention in the popular media over the past 6 years through publicized science results, and through efforts of the scientific community to communicate to the public. Solar physics is well suited to television, print, and Web media because of the striking visual appeal of the data and the visibility of the target. However, successful public outreach through the media requires coordinated activity. Even though organizations such as NSF and NASA have very capable press offices, press officers themselves are not in a good position to identify the newest results, and individual scientists in turn are typically not good at identifying which stories will easily capture the public eye. NAS~s Office of Space Science now funds a scientist at the 25 percent level as a press liaison who surveys current developments in solar and heliospheric physics and identifies interesting new results for press attention; this approach has yielded significant media coverage, and it has enhanced public awareness of solar physics phenomena. Education programs (both formal and informal) have been shown to be successful when properly executed and coordinated with other aspects of a large program. The Yohkoh Public Outreach Project (YPOP) was funded for several years at the one-full-time-equivalent level and developed a superiorWeb site,a set of teacher workshops,and lesson plans for use in the classroom. The Web site includes accessible images, student activities, and a guestbook that closes the feedback loop and allows fine-tuning of the site.The YPOP Web site (at http://www.montana.edu/YPOP) is widely used for K-12 homework, as an extracurricular resource, and as a home-schooling aid.Two important lessons demonstrated by YPOP's success are that verification and feedback are essential to the success of outreach projects, and that significant outreach projects require significant resources.YPOP achieved substantial leveraging of existing resources and was also very well funded compared with many NASA mission-level education and public outreach projects. Moreover, the resources developed continue to have an impact even though the project is completed. tions produced from data gathered on space physics missions such as Polar and IMAGE vividly illustrate the impact of space physics phenomena on the terrestrial envi ran meet. The dramatic effects of space physics phenomena on Earth and on artificial systems ensure that news of space physics appears regularly in the mass media, help- ing to teach the public about the importance of basic research on the Earth-Sun system in which we live. Ob- vious examples are the storm of January 10-11, 1997, during which Telstar 401 was lost (this event received considerable press coverage); the May 1998 failure of the Galaxy 4 satellite during a magnetic storm, when personal pagers became inoperative over much of North America; the brilliant aurora that extended to the southern states in March 2001, since which time inhab- itants of that latitude have never again seen such an aurora; and the often-cited failure of the HydroQuebec electrical power grid during the geomagnetic storm of March 1 989. Pioneering investigations in the basic physics of Earth's magnetic and ionospheric environment are funded by NSF, which should develop a cost-effective capability for bringing news including video visualiza- tions of its accomplishments in this area to the news media and the public. Currently the news media turn almost automatically to NASA for information and illus- trations when solar events occur, thanks to the agency's work in developing and distributing imagery from recent Sun-watching spacecraft. Yet some of the most advanced imagery of the Sun is regularly obtained at NSF- sponsored observatories, where new technology such as adaptive optics is being introduced. And many com- puter visualizations of the space environment (such as the movies of the magnetosphere responding to the Janu- ary 1997 coronal mass ejection, which were shown on CN N and CBS) have been produced at NSF-funded supercomputing centers. NSF needs to capitalize on its achievements in this area by developing techniques to more rapidly disseminate suitable illustrations from its national observatories and grantees to the news media. The success of recent projects, such as NSF-funded museum exhibits like Electric Space and the Space Weather Center (which were also supported by NASA
232 and other groups), demonstrates that the public finds such science compelling. The panel encourages the NSF science programs engaged in solar and space physics to broaden thei r ties to the NSF education programs, espe- cially informal science and teacher enhancement. In fact, such recommendations have come from within the NSF itself.30 Efforts in this direction should generate sup- port for joint projects that bring the results of scientific research to the public that pays for the research. The exceptional portrayals of solar and space phys- ics phenomena in the recent IMAX film SolarMax make clear how much can be done for public information and education through the IMAX medium. The funding agen- cies should carefully follow trends in the IMAX industry, where digital IMAX is expected to be introduced and to sharply reduce production costs, just as the number of IMAX-capable theaters in science museums and other venues expands worldwide. The subject matter of solar and space physics lends itself well to this medium. A total eclipse of the Sun is one of the most dramatic phenomena in nature. Such eclipses were once seen only by the fortunate few who lived along the paths of totality or could afford to travel to suitable viewing places. Now, satellite television and Internet Webcasts make an eclipse readily accessible once a year or so to audiences worldwide. Science museums, agencies, and amateur astronomy organizations actively use these events to introduce scientific research to students and the general public. Often, hundreds of school children convene in a museum, while thousands of others watch on computer screens in their schools as the eclipse phe- nomenon unfolds. The agencies should examine how they can bring these programs to an even greater pro- portion of the school age population, including students in communities that lack modern museum facilities. Over the past 10 years, scientists with a particular interest in science education and literacy efforts have made significant contributions to outreach ventures aimed at the general publ ic. Through musuem exhibits such as Electric Space and kiosks at the Houston Mu- seum of Science, hundreds of thousands of people have had the opportunity to explore the role of plasmas in the space environment and the beautiful phenomena they display in the upper atmosphere. Through the Windows to the U n iverse Web site, m i 11 ions of users 70 percent of them precollege students have explored the Earth and space sciences in directed study as well as individu- 30NSF. 1997. Geoscience Education:A RecommendedStrategy, NSF 97-1 71 . NSF, Arl ington, Va. THE SUN TO THE EARTH AND BEYOND: PANEL REPORTS ally. At the Adler Planetarium in Chicago space scien- tists have contributed to a Sun-Earth Connections sky show and provided scientific animations to kiosks in public galleries. These informal science education ef- forts should continue to be supported (see Box 5.7~. 5.6 ADDRESSING THE NEEDS: MAJOR RECOMMENDATIONS AND DISCUSSION Throughout this report, the panel has highlighted a number of issues that it considers to be important. Hav- ing considered the various priorities involved, it has developed a set of critical recommendations for the next decade. Implementing the panel's recommendations wi 11 require that approximately $23.5 million be spent over the next decade, with no more than $3.3 million to be spent in any given year. The panel considers this to be a relatively modest investment in the future health of solar and space physics. It is confident that the recommenda- tions outlined below, if implemented, will have a very significant effect not only on the field but also on the science education i Infrastructure at al I levels. Recommendation 1. A program of "bridged positions" should be established that provides partial salary sup- port, startup funding, and limited research support for four new faculty members per year for 5 years, yielding 20 new faculty lines in solar and space physics at U.S. universities over the next decade. This should be matched with an increased emphasis on solar and space physics research and hardware development at colleges and universities. Despite the natural interest that students have in space, solar and space physics cannot fulfill its poten- tial to contribute to national educational goals unless the field is more widely represented in colleges and universities. It is essential that the long-term trend of fewer solar and space physics faculty at universities be reversed and that smaller institutions, or institutions that serve populations that are underrepresented in science, have access to faculty who can inspire and motivate students. The panel therefore calls for the creation of a set of "bridged positions," where agencies will provide partial support for new faculty lines at academic institu- tions.
PANEL ON EDUCATION AND SOCIETY 233 Formal Education Materials XSPACE UCLA http://www-ssc.igpp.ucla.ed u/ssc/software/xspace.html SOHO Lesson Plans http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/explore/lessons/ Standford Solar Activities http://solar-center.stanford.ed u/activities.html MlT's Teal Project http://web.mit.ed u/jbelcher/www/anim.html List of OnLine Texts http://www.oulu.fi/~spaceweb/lib/education.html Public Outreach Sites The Lion Roars http://science.nasa.gov/ssl/pad/sppb/index_Ed u.html Our Dynamic Sun http://www-istp.gsfc.nasa.gov/exhibit/dynamic.html From Stonehenge to Satellites http://www-istp.gsfc.nasa.gov/exhibit/stonehenge.html Living in the Atmosphere of the Sun http://www-istp.gsfc.nasa.gov/exhibit/main.html Space Update http://earth.rice.ed u/connected/space_weather.html Space Weather Center http://www.spacescience.org/SWOP/Exhibits/Mini_Exhibit/ Windows on the Universe http://www.windows.ucar.edu/spaceweather/ Mission to Geospace http://www-istp.gsfc.nasa.gov/istp/outreach/ Today's Space Weather http://www.spaceweather.com/ A n im a tio n s/M o vies/A pp le ts Polar Aurora http://www.gsfc.nasa.gov/topstory/2001 1 025aurora.html Comet H itting the Su n http://www.gsfc.nasa.gov/gsfc/spacesci/pictu res/soho/pl u ngefasts.mov MlT's Teal Project http://web.mit.ed u/jbelcher/www/anim.html Collections of Links Space Weather Resou rces http://space.rice.ed u/lSTP/ Glossary of Terms http://www-ssg.sr.unh.edu/index.html List of Ed ucational Resou rces http://www.ou I u.fi/~spaceweb/lib/ed ucation.html The panel believes that support for these positions needs to provide 5 years of half-time salary, a small annual research support fund for travel and undergradu- ate researchers, and access to NASA and/or NSF project resources (such as guest investigator status on a mis- sion). The academic institution would provide the re- maining salary, and the agreement would be outlined in a memorandum of understanding. The 5-year time scale would take the individual to tenure, which the panel believes is crucial, so a 3-year program would not be effective. It is important that these bridged positions not be restricted to particular types of colleges or universities. Either they should be open to both graduate and under- graduate institutions, public and private, minority- serving and otherwise, or a set number of positions should be allocated to each kind of institution. They should not be restricted to, say, increasing the size of already large programs or to starting programs at institu- tions where no solar and space physics programs cur- rently exist. In fact, because solar and space physics is becoming a distributed enterprise, with many investiga- tors having access to facilities and laboratories (space- craft data sets, etc.), solar and space physics research programs can produce world-class results without the need for enormous local investments to build laborato- ries. Accordingly, the science might be very appealing to smaller institutions, especially those serving minority populations. In addition, federal agencies should prepare to allo- cate a greater fraction of solar and space physics re- sources to colleges and universities. They should help
234 support new university-based groups by offering more opportunities for break-in projects such as rocket and balloon projects, which lower the barrier for participa- tion. They should ensure that university groups are ma- jor participants in ground-based instrument projects, with responsibi I ities for some aspects of the hardware (perhaps subsystems). Only in this way will the decline in university-based groups (especially hardware groups) be arrested. It is expected that the new bridged faculty positions will gain broadervisibilityforsolar end space physics in introductory courses for all students (as well as for sci- ence majors) and will bring more opportunities for un- dergraduate research, which wi 11 increase Merest in sci- entific careers and boost the number of undergraduate science majors. Examples of such positions actually ex- ist: At Utah State University and Montana State Univer- sity, federal funds have been leveraged to create new tenure-track positions; the Thomas Jefferson Accelerator Facility, facing a similar issue in experimental nuclear physics, created a formal set of bridged positions that have proved attractive to many universities. Recommendation 2. Federal agencies that fund solar and space physics should set aside funds to support undergraduate research in solar and space physics, either as a supplement to existing grants or as stand- alone programs. The natural corollary to an increased presence in colleges and universities is an increase in the support provided to undergraduate research. A $5,000 grant can support an undergraduate for a summer or give partial support over the enti re school year. The panel Cal Is for $200,000 per year to be set aside to support under- graduate students. The 40 students supported would become a valuable source of graduate students. Over a 1 0-year period, as many as 400 future technical profes- sionals could be fostered. Often such funds can gener- ate additional matching funds from institutions that, when they gain external support, come to recognize the val ue of u ndergraduate research and support it with thei r own funds. Recommendation 3. Three resource development groups should be funded over the next decade to de- velop educational resources (especially at the under- graduate level) needed by the solar and space physics community, to disseminate those resources, and to pro- vide other services to the community. THE SUN TO THE EARTH AND BEYOND: PANEL REPORTS Solar and space physics provides many opportuni- ties for the demonstration and application of fundamen- tal physical processes like electromagnetic radiation, charged particle motion, electromagnetic induction, and wave propagation. But expansion of the field into edu- cation will require innovative approaches. The general interest in space missions al lows I inking solar and space physics phenomena to the underlying physics, much of which is a component of curriculum standards (see Box 5.8~. Advances in information technology provide op- portunities to develop learning tools that combine data, images, animations, and interactive applets. Such tools not only bring the subject alive but also make learning an active experience for students, and using them in mission EPO activities would enhance their impact. The decline in science education, particularly at the undergraduate level and in physics, is well documented. Solar and space physics could play an important role in revitalizing physics and astronomy education, particu- larly at college, by using people's natural interest in space to reach a wide range of students. Two arenas where SSP could have a national impact are introduc- tory physics (a requirement for many majors) and intro- ductory astronomy (one of the most popular general education courses for nonscience majors). If we wish to improve introductory physics and as- tronomy courses that reach large numbers of students, we must have high-quality instruction materials that show how basic physics and astronomy are applied to concepts from space physics. Funding groups to collect, develop, and adapt materials for a national audience would enhance the availability and effectiveness of these materials nationwide. I Introductory astronomy i n particu- lar cou Id benefit from the avai labi I ity of these materials since only 20 percent of those teaching Astronomy 101 have an astronomy degree, and most do not consider themselves astronomers.34 Such faculty already are us- ing materials developed by others. The panel has focused on these two introductory college courses to maximize the national impact. Nev- ertheless, similar tools could be usefully adapted either for more advanced undergraduate courses (e.g., physics for majors) or for high school. For example, materials developed for introductory astronomy for nonscientists are often appropriate for science-gifted middle school- 34A. Fraknoi. ~ 996. Astronomy Education: Current Developments, Future Coordination. Astronomical Society of the Pacific Conference Series, Volt. 89, J. Percy, ed. Astronomical Society of the Pacific, San Francisco, Ca~if.
PANEL ON EDUCATION AND SOCIETY 235 Introductory Physics Magnetic and electric fields Charged-particle motions, currents Plasmas Atomic physics: ionization, excitation, radiation, recombination Introductory Astronomy The Sun and stars (interior, atmosphere, corona, solar wind) Planetary magnetic fields (implications for interiors, surfaces, and atmospheres) Terrestrial space weather ers. Furthermore, with a little repackaging, Web-based material developed for formal classes can be valuable in informal education arenas (e.g., lifelong learning via the Web, museums, and planetariums). For such tools to be of educational value, however, space scientists will need to team with experienced educators to ensure that the tools are effective and aligned with appropriate curricu- lum standards. At the graduate level, solar and space physics is taught at only a dozen universities, and often course- work covers only part of the field. Advances in informa- tion technology could allow distance learning to link students and postdoctoral students to the expertise that resides at different universities. Courses could be offered by distance learning (either over the academic year or during the summer), with several faculty from a variety of institutions, and would allow small research groups (or start-up programs with bridged positions) to offer solar and space physics courses to their students. To achieve the above goals, the panel calls for the establishment of two or three competitively funded re- source development groups (RDGs), the exact size and structure of which remain to be defined. (To have a substantial impact they probably shou Id be much larger than typical single-investigator research grants.)The RDGs would develop instructional materials, do research on teaching and learning (including guiding graduate stu- dents to space science education research), and dis- seminate teaching resources. In this sense what is envis- aged is similar to recent NSF Centers for Learning and Teaching. The RDGs also would develop and provide services to the solar and space physics community (such as workshops on a variety of subjects, special summer graduate and undergraduate schools in the field, and coordination/development of shared academic-year graduate and undergraduate courses) and could provide professional development for scientists i evolved i n edu- cation issues at all levels. It is expected that the RDGs would be funded at approximately $500,000 per year. Recommendation 4. Current K-12 education and pub- lic outreach (EPO) efforts should be continued. How- ever, there should be a careful evaluation of lessons learned over the past few years, particularly regarding the involvement of scientists in EPO activities, as well as increased coordination of NASA EPO efforts with other large projects in science education reform, espe- cially NSF initiatives. Although considerable progress has been made as a result of solar and space physics K-12 education and outreach efforts, aspects of the current system at times prove unwieldy. The panel believes this is the inevitable result of embarking on a new venture. It commends the agencies, particularly NASA OSS, for their commitment to education and outreach and the institutionalization of EPO efforts as part of the mission of science. Given the experience of the past few years, the agencies, princi- pally NASA OSS, should be able to evaluate the impact of solar and space physics on science education and identify successes and barriers in the quest for a mean- ingful contribution. Those lessons learned should be widely disseminated, and all evaluation reports should continue to be made public, perhaps with better infor- mation on thei r avai I abi I ity. It seems quite clear that improvements can be made in some areas. First, engaging the scientific community in science education continues to be difficult. Much of
236 this difficulty stems from the nature of science and from a reward system that discourages scientists from partici- pating in EPO activities. The NASA EPO initiative has made strides toward countering this trend, but more needs to be done. Additional mechanisms should be developed that allow scientists to contribute to science education without becoming science education experts themselves. Examples of proven activities that indi- viduals can conduct should be developed, along with mechanisms that can better I ink scientists to thei r local science education community. The connection between NASA EPO efforts and NSF-funded efforts directed to systemic change could also be strengthened. Projects such as the National Sci- ence Resources Center LASER initiative and the work of Project Impact in New England have essentially no con- nection to the solar and space physics infrastructure. NASA EPO efforts seem largely unknown to most sys- temic reform projects in the country, although there are notable exceptions. In June 2002, NASA's Support Net- work project held a very successful education confer- ence in Chicago; nonetheless, that conference was not attended by leaders of the major NSF-funded science education efforts. Urban, rural, and local and state systemic change initiatives represent a tremendous opportunity to lever- age resources. If NASA EPO efforts connect with a single, moderate-size project with 1 00 middle-school science teachers serving 15,000 students, and that project incor- porates solar and space physics content and the appro- THE SUN TO THE EARTH AND BEYOND: PANEL REPORTS priate professional development into the core of instruc- tion, the impact will be enormous relative to the invest- ment. Building links to such efforts does not require additional funds, but it does take a commitment to reach out beyond solar and space physics to the general sci- ence education community, especially to leverage NSF efforts, where hundreds of millions of dollars are being i Invested. New initiatives from the NSF, particularly the Cen- ters for Learning and Teaching and the Math and Sci- ence Partnerships, should provide fertile soil for NASA's Support Network and other solar and space physics EPO projects. These new initiatives will be looking for part- ners. The Support Network and other EPO projects have created excellent resources that can prove very valuable to such initiatives. Moreover, the evaluation of the im- pact of the Support Network and the lessons learned should also prove extremely valuable to others who are trying to engage diverse scientific communities in sup- port of science education. Finally, the panel commends efforts by NASA, NSF, and NOAA to increase diversity in solar and space physics. While this is not strictly a K-12 issue, leadership in this area has emerged from the K-12 education and outreach effort. The panel urges that activities such as the NASA Minority University Initiative and the NSF Diversity in Geosciences program continue to be funded, and that those projects that succeed in engaging students in the solar and space physics enterprise be replicated in other communities.