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DoDEA Pacific Public Affairs

May 10, 2004 — Scientists Dr. Michael Klein from NASA/JPL and Dr. David Jauncey from the Australia Telescope National Facility(ATNF) participated in the GAVRT (Goldstone Apple Valley Radio Telescope) teacher training conducted overseas at the DoDDS Pacific Director's Office, Torii Station, Okinawa, Japan. Both scientists held interactive discussions with DoDDS Pacific teachers highlighting the real science connections to curriculum and online sessions involving DoDEA students.

Both Dr. Klein and Dr. Jauncey are passionately interested in demonstrating that fundamental scientific research can be done in the classroom. Students participating in the GAVRT Project are making discoveries. Their research has already been published in the world's prestigious scientific journals such as Nature. GAVRT gives direct access to a large radio telescope in order to perform legitimate scientific inquiry in real time. The students involved in the data collection are filling a unique role in astronomy.

The GAVRT Project provides DoDDS students with the opportunity to command the radio telescope, use computers to record radio waves, and analyze data from across the solar system and the universe. The training is familiarizing teachers with the new Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) science standards, while the GAVRT Project is supporting classroom teachers in planning thematic/interdisciplinary units of study. Employing GAVRT as a supplemental resource, the teachers have an authentic context for teaching and learning.

DoDEA students get to use one of the world's large 34-m radio telescopes to address questions of fundamental science, such as measuring the dynamic conditions of the radiation environment surrounding Jupiter, through which future explorations of the Jovian system must pass. Students are using the GAVRT antenna to measure the radio emission from black holes out to the edge of the known universe.