Published: September 29, 2016
Mr. Palmer writes:
I gave a presentation on NITARP at the Minnesota Conference on Science Education in March. I shared stories and images of our awesome research experience with a crowd of interested colleagues. I also walked them through the application process and at least one attendee thought she would apply.
Throughout the spring I combined my NITARP experience with the Skynet Junior Scholars Program, and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey to establish an after school 4H club at Willmar Senior High that was focused on engaging our recent immigrant English Language Learners in STEM. The students in the class were a mixture of Somali, Karen, and Central American heritages. I helped them experience basic astronomical concepts such as the electromagnetic spectrum.
I have moved on to being a full time PhD student in STEM Education at the University of Minnesota. I am working on several research projects at all levels of K-12. Recently I introduced myself to Sarah Komperud, the Planetarium Educator for the Bell Museum of Natural History. We are hoping to pool resources, knowledge, and skills to establish an astronomy research outreach group for youth. I have to give credit to Luisa, Varoujan, and the entire NITARP team that inspired me to continue motivating youth into pursuing STEM studies.
Rick Sanchez and I will be presenting a session on NITARP at the NSTA regional conference in Minneapolis next month. I am still hoping to get a few more NITARPers from the upper midwest to join us.
Rick and I also had the privilege of participating in the SDSS Collaboration meeting in Madison, WI this past summer as part of their EPO program. That was another eye opening experience that helped generate more contacts in the astronomy world.