Self Directed Short Course

The Center for Ribosomal Origins and Evolution, along with the Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing (CEISMC), Distance Learning and Professional Education (DLPE) unit, and ORBIT Education, Inc (OEI), a NASA–themed educational service provider are partners at Georgia Tech to bring Astrobiology content to teachers through the new NASA Electronic Professional Development Network (ePDN) located at Georgia Tech (Figure 1).

The astrobiology resources section of the ePDN provide a web-based tool to provide teaching resources, electronic materials, video, and other materials relevant to the education objectives of the NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI). The ePDN will also promote updating and contextualization of existing NASA curriculum materials to encourage problem-based inquiry learning. One chapter in the Astrobiology course will highlight our Astrobiology summer enrichment program for high school students, including a curriculum aligned with learning objectives based on National Science Education Standards, faculty presentations, and techniques used throughout the camp at Georgia Tech. Additional educational information created by other NASA NAI teams will be added to the resources section of the course to foster the inclusion of Astrobiology instruction and activities in K-12 science classrooms.