PoSSUM Science Education Courses

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Want to be a PoSSUM Instructor? The PoSSUM Science Education Program qualifies PoSSUM graduates to be PoSSUM Academy instructors and qualifies one to be a spacesuit and simulator technician. The PoSSUM Science Education program also provides a focused education on the art of citizen-science and provides opportunities for graduates to work with astronauts and artists to explore new ways to enable science communication through diversity of artistic interpretation.

What we do

Provide Aeronomy and Bioastronautics Education to the Interested Public

PoSSUM Academy is held at the Space Foundation each Summer. Supported by PoSSUM Science Education graduates, PoSSUM Academy uses next-generation astronautics to educate the general public about the science of aeronomy and bioastronautics. Most people know little of our upper atmosphere, noctilucent clouds, or even the science of aeronomy, yet this science deals with the most sensitive part of our planet and one of the best locations to study the effects of a changing climate. PoSSUM Academy and the Space Foundation are on a mission to change this.

 

PoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut Candidate Akram Abdelatif (credit: Ross Lockwood)

Inspire High-School and Undergraduate Students towards STEM Careers

PoSSUM Academy serves to inspire advanced high-school and undergraduate students to pursue STEM careers through the excitement that can be generated through citizen-science astronautics! PoSSUM believes that by planting a dream that everyone will soon have the opportunity to go to space, students will be inspired to study the science and technology that will be essential to meeting the challenges of the 21st century: understanding our climate, developing sustainable technologies, and colonizing our solar system.

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PoSSUM Science Education Courses

EDU 101: Citizen Science Research Methods
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EDU 101 covers best practices for citizen science research with Project PoSSUM and Project OTTER. Included are an introduction to citizen science, human subject research, basic research design, research ethics, data collection, analysis, presentation and publication. The course teaches candidates how to structure research projects: from experimental design, to determining sample types and sizes, to qualitative and quantitative methods.

EDU 102: Spacesuit and Simulator Technician Qualification Course
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EDU 102 qualifies the candidate to serve as a PoSSUM Spacesuit Technician using Final Frontier Intra-Vehicular Activity (IVA) Spacesuits and as a PoSSUM Simulator Technician and pilot in support of PoSSUM research and educational activities. All applicants must be approved by Final Frontier Design. Held at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, candidates are instructed in safe donning, doffing, and operational procedures of spacesuits and then evaluated with current PoSSUM Academy students. Graduates are qualified as Certified PoSSUM Spacesuit/Simulator Technicians and may be employed to support all PoSSUM Academy courses.

EDU 103: PoSSUM Educator Qualification Program
Dr. Jason Reimuller instructs PoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut Candidates (credit: Ross Lockwood)

EDU 103 qualifies a PoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut candidate to administer the PoSSUM Academy curriculum at the Space Foundation World Headquarters in Colorado Springs, CO. Candidates are evaluated in atmospheric science, aeronomy, remote sensing, aerospace physiology, life support systems, PoSSUM instrumentation, atmospheric scattering, science education, and solar mechanics. Courses are delivered virtually and evaluations are performed during a course at Embry-Riddle. This class is restricted to PoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut Candidates. (photo credit: Ross Lockwood)

EDU 104: Sci-Arts and Science Communication
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In collaboration with SciArt Exchange, PoSSUM is including STEAM (Science-Technology-Engineering- Art-Math) engagement training coincident with April PoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut classes. Students will receive information about the principles of using art to engage about space and apply learned principles in a hands-on activity to produce a space artwork enabling science education. The best artwork of any media format will be included in the SciArt Events planned for the last day.

Course Curriculum and Schedule

EDU 101: Citizen Science Research Methods

Course Description:

This course covers best practices for citizen science research with Project PoSSUM and Project OTTER. Included are an introduction to citizen science, human subject research, basic research design, research ethics, data collection, analysis, and presentation/publication. Candidates will also learn about assumptions and observations; error, uncertainty, precision and accuracy in data collection; how to take good field notes, test hypotheses, choose the right tools for the research, and how to analyze and interpret data. The course also focuses on research methods, teaching candidates how to structure research projects: from experimental design, to determining sample types and sizes, to qualitative and quantitative methods.

Course Objectives:

The purpose of this course is to give students a foundation to do their own research, complimentary to the citizen-science activities of Project PoSSUM and OTTER. Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Conduct citizen science research
  2. Conduct human subject research, as certified by CITI Program (citiprogram.org)
  3. Design a study protocol with aims, methodologies, study population, research team
  4. Create an IRB submission and informed consent document, for human subjects research
  5. Develop a study database containing data collection forms, using REDCap
  6. Collect and analyze data, and generate summary statistics, figures, and tables
  7. Describe the basics of research presentation and publication
  8. Develop an independent research project

Syllabus:

Week 1: Introduction to Citizen Science

Week 2: Human Subjects Research

Week 3: Instrumentation

Week 4: Protocol development

Week 5: IRB and informed consent

Week 6: Data collection strategy

Week 7: Data analysis

Week 8: Post-study activities, presentation, publication

Week 9-10: Student presentations

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Next Class: July 16 – Aug 31, 2018, student presentations following research projects.

Location: Virtual

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: S. Ritter

Cost: $850

EDU 102: Spacesuit and Simulator Technician Qualification Course
EDU 102 qualifies the candidate to serve as a PoSSUM Spacesuit and Simulator Technician using Final Frontier Intra-Vehicular Activity (IVA) Spacesuits in support of PoSSUM research and educational activities. All applicants must be approved by Final Frontier Design. This four-day course is held at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University where candidates are instructed in safe donning, doffing, and operational procedures and then evaluated with current PoSSUM Academy students. This course also qualifies the candidate to pilot the PoSSUM simulator through suborbital noctilucent cloud tomography missions. Graduates are qualified as Certified PoSSUM Spacesuit and Simulator Technicians and may be employed to support all PoSSUM Academy courses.
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Costs and Prerequisites:
Next Course: 6-8 April, 2019
Location: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, FL.
Prerequisites: PoSSUM Scientist Astronaut Program or Advanced PoSSUM Academy
Instructors: N. Moiseev (or delegate), C. Nguyen
Cost: $1800
EDU 103: PoSSUM Educator Qualification Program

EDU 103 qualifies a PoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut candidate to administer the PoSSUM Academy curriculum at the Space Foundation World Headquarters in Colorado Springs, CO or other locations. Candidates are evaluated in atmospheric science, aeronomy, remote sensing, aerospace physiology, life support systems, PoSSUM instrumentation, atmospheric scattering, science education, and solar mechanics. Courses are delivered virtually and evaluations are performed during a course at Embry-Riddle. This class is restricted to PoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut Candidates.

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Costs and Prerequisites:

Next Class: 3 April to 26 May, 2019

Location: Virtual

Prerequisites: PoSSUM Scientist Astronaut Program

Instructors: Dr. Jason Reimuller, Dr. Erik Seedhouse

Cost: $1800 (Available only for PoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut Program graduates)

EDU 104: Sci-Arts and Science Communication

Course Description: In collaboration with SciArt Exchange, PoSSUM is including STEAM (Science-Technology-Engineering- Art-Math) engagement training coincident with April PoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut classes. Students will receive information about the principles of using art to engage about space and apply learned principles in a hands-on activity to produce a space artwork enabling science education. The best artwork of any media format will be included in the SciArt Events planned for the last day.

Next Class: October 5-7, 2018

Location: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, FL.

Instructors: J. McPhee

Cost: $325