1996 Summer Internships an Even Bigger Success

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NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Intern: Jessica Thomas

Research Focus: Multi-Ring Impact Basins on Mars

Research Project: The Geodynamics Branch conducts research into the nature, dynamics and evolution of the solid earth and planets using space techniques and remote sensing data. Gravity, magnetic, topographic, geodetic, image and other data are used to constrain models of: tectonic plate motion, properties of the earth's interior, dynamics of the solid and fluid earth, solid body contributions to global change, and the formation, evolution and current state of planetary surfaces. Jessica focused on compiling evidence for multi-ring impact basins in the Daedalia region of Mars. Multi-ring impact basins are formed when any large object, such as a meteorite or small asteroid hits the surface of the planet. When the object hits, the intense heat and energy causes the surface to respond as water does when a pebble hits its surface and rings are formed. By using controlled photomosaics from the Viking Orbiter to pick out these concentric structures, it was possible to map differences in terrain on Mar's surface.

Web Page Link: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Geodynamics Branch

Maryland Biological Stream Survey

Intern: William Carter

Research Focus: Maryland Biological Stream Survey

Research Project: The Maryland Department of Natural Resources Monitoring and Non-Tidal Assessment Division (MANTA) is responsible for determining the status and trends of aquatic resources in Maryland. As part of this mission, MANTA is conducting a multi-disciplinary, statewide ecological survey of streams and rivers. The survey incorporates state-of-the-art sampling and analytical methodologies as well as a probability-based sampling design. Bill spent the summer with a team of scientists carrying out stream sampling relative to the eighteen major drainage basins of the state. The data that he helped collect is now being analyzed and results will be available through the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

Web Page Link: MD Department of Natural Resources

Assateague Island National Seashore

Intern: Chris Allen

Research Focus: Children's Learning: Educational Programs of the National Park Service

Research Project: Assateague Island is a 37-mile long barrier island. The facility is a part of the National Park system. Its main functions are to protect the island's natural resources and to allow the public access to the resources. The facility is strongly involved in educating the public about our nation's natural resources so that people will be inspired to adopt a stewardship relationship with the environment. Chris worked with two programs: the "Bay Discovery Program" which stresses the importance of the salt marsh and some of its plants and animals and the "Canoe Trip" which incorporates natural and human history in the study of the salt marsh. She then surveyed the program's nine to thirteen year old participants to better understand how children learn science. In the future she can take this knowledge to her own classroom.

Web Page Link: Assateague Island National Seashore

University of Maryland School of Medicine Aquatic Pathiobiology Center

Intern: Jennifer Jones

Research Focus: Excretion of Gentamicin in Toadfish and Goldfish

Research Project: The laboratories of the University of Maryland Medical Center are located on the campus of the University of Maryland at Baltimore in downtown Baltimore. The campus includes the Schools of Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy as well as part of the University of Maryland Graduate School, Baltimore. The laboratories provide up-to-date facilities for state-of-the-art research, with most being related directly to biological health science. Jennifer measured residual Gentamicin levels in Toadfish and goldfish blood to help better understand excretion in fish. She found that "research can be fun and 'learning by doing' is a true phenomenon." She also "plans to let her students do their own scientific research in the classroom so they will have hands-on opportunities and they will be motivated because their findings will have a purpose."

Web Page Link: University of Maryland School of Medicine

University of Maryland School of Medicine Department of Pathology

Intern: Autumn Moore

Research Focus: Development of a Chaper on Birth Control and Contraceptive Methodologies as Part of An Interactive Computer-Based Education Module on HIV and AIDS

Research Project: Autumn spent the summer working at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in the Department of Pathology. She helped develop a dynamic, computer-based outreach module entitled "LifeChoice" designed to empower young people to make educated decisions regarding their daily health, sexuality, and potential risks involving HIV and AIDS. Using the UMAB Health Science Library, the Internet, various interviews, and private and public organizations to obtain information, she wrote a chapter on birth control at a fifth grade reading level. The chapter included graphics and interactivity. Autumn thoroughily enjoyed the summer and was quickly "adopted into the lab family."

Web Page Link: University of Maryland School of Medicine

Discovery Creek Children's Museum of Washington

Interns: Joanne DiPaula and Joni Jacobs

Research Focus: Correlation Between Anxiety and Past Experiences and Environmental Education Through Summer Nature Camp

Research Project: Discovery Creek Children's Museum of Washington is the newest children's museum in Washington, offering interdisciplinary environmental programming and outdoor nature experiences to students, educators and families. The Discovery Creek learning experience begins within the walls of Washington's only remaining one-room schoolhouse, and extends to a spectacular twelve acre wilderness complete with centuries-old trees, native wildlife, and a stream with waterfalls. Joanne and Joni assisted the museum's director of education with the development of the museum's interdisciplinary environmental education curriculum for children and teachers. The curriculum was tested on a diverse audience of children in a nature camp setting. The programs were designed to integrate all school subject areas and featured live wildlife such as snakes and owls, hands-on activities, art projects, natural artifacts and outdoor exploration of Discovery Creek's natural environment. One topic that Joanne studied was the relationship between childrens' past experiences with animals in natural habitats and the anxiety that the children bring to a situation. After her study Joanne conluded that a child's anxiety decreases when opportunities to see, touch, and hold animals in a natural environment increase. Joni studied the effectiveness of outdoor education activities in environmental education. She concluded that children can greatly benefit from activities that allow them to explore and investigate which in turn helps them retain information and make meaningful connections in their everyday lives.

The Maryland Governor's Academy

Intern: Mary Hanna

Research Focus: Integrating Technology in the Classroom

Research Project: The Governor's Academy for Mathematics, Science and Technology is a program for K-12 teachers. Its goals are: to promote teaching across content areas, to increase the level of expertise in mathematics and science content among teachers in elementary schools, to explore the implications of current trends in mathematics and science education, to increase teacher awareness of the relevance of science and mathematics to real life situations and careers, to devlop instructional plans that incorporate ideas and information from the Governor's Academy into the science and mathematics curricula, to provide experiences with instructional strategies that promote mathematics and science, and to create a network of teachers committed to promoting excellence in science and mathematics education throughout Maryland. Last summer Mary developed and answered two research questions: how does the Governor's Academy help keep teachers current with new technology and how has the Academy changed to meet those needs? To answer the questions Mary researched the history of the Governor's Academy and surveyed the teachers who participated in the 1996 program. She concluded that the Academy is continually updating in order to provide the teachers with the practical knowledge that they need to integrate technology into their classrooms.

The Living Classroom

Intern: Robyne Finney

Research Focus: The Renaissance Summer Program

Research Project: The Renaissance Program is a collaboration between the Living Classroom Foundation and the Office of Title I, Baltimore County Public Schools. The academic summer program that has been created blends alternative and traditional teaching approaches designed to enhance students' problem solving skills. Robyne helped develop cross-discipline activities that focus on applying concepts and skills to real world knowledge. Activities included outings on a skipjack, a trek on a 100 acre llama farm, and sessions at the Maritime Institute. She observed that the program had a positive effect on students' development and retention skills.

This project is funded by a redeployment grant from the University of Maryland System and the National Science Foundation: DUE # 9255745