On April 12, 2002, with the help of our interpreter, David
Ulbrich, Lawrence Williams (Director of Studies, Holy Cross
School, UK) and I co-presented at the Poskole 2002 Conference
in Lazne Sedmihorky, Czech Republic. Poskole, which began in
1997, is a seminar about computers in school and is sponsored
by Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic.
Lawrence began the 90-minute presentation with an introduction
to the many uses of technology tools by the Holy Cross School,
primarily in drama, art, and music and, more recently, science.
I introduced the Glenn Learning Technologies Project (LTP),
which includes the Beginner's Guide to Aeronautics and NASA
Virtual Visits. (Ruth's
PowerPoint presentation) We then paused for questions on
the participation of NASA scientists in NASA Virtual Visits
and on how teachers in the Czech Republic can become involved.
Lawrence continued the presentation by challenging the audience
to explain NASA's involvement with Holy Cross. Our first collaboration
was one in which videoconferencing connected Holy Cross science
students to NASA scientists/researchers. Through additional
e-mail correspondence following this connection, Lawrence recognized
the Glenn LTP commitment to real world science exploration,
which is shared by Dr. Eric Albone, Director of the Clifton
Scientific Trust. Dr. Albone was the organizer of the Japan
2001 Science, Creativity and the Young Mind Workshop held at
Bristol University, UK, July 22-27, 2001. Lawrence saw collaboration
between NASA and one of the teams at the Workshop as the perfect
opportunity to beta test his new ICT Learning Model (http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/K-12/MarsV/appD.htm).
Joe Kolecki, physicist and Mars Pathfinder scientist, suggested
a comparison of Mars' and Earth's volcanoes as a topic, which
was endorsed and supported by the Earth Science Department at
I completed the presentation by sharing the NASA website developed
by Steven Gutierrez to highlight the entire process (http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/K-12/MarsV/index.htm),
which is the final step of Lawrence's Learning Model. In order
to see the site in greater detail, I was asked to continue the
presentation in the afternoon for 20 additional minutes. The
audience was especially interested in IP videoconferencing and
the commitment of NASA scientists to our project. My presentation
was dedicated to Joe Kolecki and Eric Albone who were invited
to the Conference but were unable to attend.
I believe that the presentation at Poskole 2002 will lead to
additional collaborations with eastern Europe. Dr. Miroslava
(Mirka) Cernochova (Dept. of Information Technology, Faculty
of Education, Charles University) was the organizer of the conference
and would like to work with us in two ways: pre-service teacher
training and e-mail connections between NASA scientists and
children hospitalized in the Czech Republic. Lawrence and I
had a discussion with a Czech technology coordinator about possibly
scheduling a videoconferencing connection including NASA, Czech
students, UK students from Holy Cross School, and U.S. students.
Dr. Bozena (Boba) Mannova (Department of Computer Science and
Engineering, Czech Technical University in Prague), who was
Co-European Woman of the Year in 2001, is also very interested
in working with us. Dr. Mannova has strong ties to the U.S.
She earned a PhD from M.I.T., and her son (MD) is currently
living in Tennessee completing his residency. In addition, as
a result of our participation in the Japan 2001 Science, Creativity
and the Young Mind Workshop, I have been invited to attend and
submit proposals to present at conferences in Spain and Cyprus.
For additional information, I may be contacted at Ruth.Petersen@grc.nasa.gov
presentation at Poskole Conference (Czech Republic)
here to download power point file)