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After the Event


From: "Eric Albone" <>
To: <>, "Joseph C Kolecki" <>
Subject: Re: Thanks from us all
Date: Sun, 29 Jul 2001 02:30:18 +0100
Revisiting Lawrence's email (above) the one word I really do question is "potential" in the context of viewing themselves as potential scientists... they are scientists, nothing potential about it. It is I think an extremely important point.
Could I also add here what a tremendous benefit it was to us to have Lawrence in our team, and publicly thank and congratulate him for all he did and achieved. We are immensely grateful to him. It would have been a really good team anyway, but with him as part of it, it went beyond all our expectations.

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At 05:24 PM 07/29/2001 -0400, you ( wrote:
Dear Joe,
Tim, at Bath, has started work on the web site, this end. LOTS more to come.
You may NOT recognise one of the team. (NO Lone Ranger Mask!....)
However, it's at:
Please circulate as you will.
The students will be contributing their Report asap.
Do you, or others, wish to make a comment or two for the web site by way of evaluation? We would be delighted to post it--though you have sent us some inspiring stuff already, which might, subject to your approval, be edited for the web?
If any of the planning notes, e-mails, etc. are useful for your own site, please use them as you will: we have complete confidence in your expertise and integrity.
Many thanks again for what has been the realisation of a personal dream about using the web, e-mail and video-conferencing as a suite of interactive ICT tools for learning. I am still "on a high". The problem is creating still better projects for the future. But I am working on this already.
Am packing for Bulgaria now, to talk about the Lone Ranger.....
(And DON'T think that I am joking!)
Our love and thanks, once again, to you all,

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iii. (a.)
Date: Mon, 30 Jul 2001 10:59:05 -0400
To: Carsten Riedel
From: Joseph C Kolecki <>
Subject: Re: THANK YOU !
Hi, Carsten,
We could not agree with you more! The week was wonderful, and the students exceeded our expectations by leaps and bounds! We saw some very talented and aggressive scientists emerge from an initial group of fairly shy young people. And, yes, we came very close to the edge of our current knowledge.
I'm curious: What were the expectations you referred to which were not met? We could learn a great deal by better understanding what your "theory predicted," and how reality diverged! :-)
Finally, the Cattermole model: No, the impact theory is not specifically part of the Cattermole model as far as I can ascertain. (Please correct me if I am mistaken here--I have only a cursory acquaintance with Cattermole's work at present!)
Cattermole speaks of closely linked geological events shaping the northern planes of Mars. In the sense of closely linked events, our thesis DOES parallel his thinking. I originally picked up the impact idea from some folks at the Pathfinder Mission Center in Pasadena, CA, while spending the first 18 days after the landing there, working around the clock and barely even realizing how tired I (we) were. I forget who mentioned it. I liked the idea because I enjoy connections. The impact idea connects a lot of major features on Mars, and, whether it is eventually borne out as true or not, it is VERY useful for students to "cut their teeth" in terms of seeing connections and deeper underlying realities rather than just collections of disparate events. I think that every serious student of science needs to learn this style of thinking. The universe, after all, is a system of interconnected relationships (especially if we truly believe in our quantum mechanics), and the scientist must, ultimately, learn to think in terms of such relationships...
YIKES!!! More pontification...SORRY!!!
Anyway, we are deeply honored to have been part of your week with Japan 2001. And we expect that our personal highs will last quite a while yet!!! I know that I speak for all of us on this end!
Best regards,

iii. (b.)
Date: Mon, 30 Jul 2001 10:59:05 -0400
To: Carsten Riedel
From: Ruth A Petersen
Subject: Re: THANK YOU !
Carsten and Stu
What a truly remarkable experience! I watched the videotapes at home again this weekend. As a non-scientist, I was awestruck. Joe is still on "Cloud 9"!
I was so interested to learn that you were surprised with the end results--that they were not what you expected. Kids can amaze and astound when given a "real world" challenge of this type with the support they need to "take it and run with it"! It was obvious how much they respected you and Stu and your knowledge of the subject because they kept saying they would take what Joe threw at them and discuss things with their Bristol friends.
And thank you for taking what we "threw" at you and weaving it into an investigation on the cutting edge of science. You are to be congratulated! Can't wait to see the final report!

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Date: Mon, 30 Jul 2001 10:24:30 -0400
From: Joseph C Kolecki <>
Subject: Re: Aftermath
Cc: Ruth A Petersen <>
Dear Lawrence,
First of all, our congratulations on a magnificent piece of work! You and your team have certainly made history. Our hopes are extremely high for future successes as well. Next, Yes you may edit and post any and/or all of the material in my correspondence with you. And finally, we are extremely enthusiastic about joining forces with you again in the future.
Best wishes, and Godspeed!

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At 02:33 PM 07/30/2001 -0400, you (Ruth A Petersen) wrote:
Thought you'd like to see this postscript to a message I got from Lawrence:
"PS The Space Science group all went off with the salutation "Godspeed" burned into their psyche. There was even talk of putting this on a group T-shirt....."

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Date: Mon, 30 Jul 2001 15:25:22 -0400
To: Ruth A Petersen <>
From: Joseph C Kolecki <>
Subject: Re: Godspeed
Heyyyyyyyyy!!! OK!!!!!!!!!!

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At 05:03 PM 08/02/2001 +0100, you Adriano Silva wrote:
This is Adriano from the space science team and it's just to tell you that my form is on its way. I also heard that you wanted our contribution to your website? I would love to be involved but how could we do it?
Do you have any other developments on those theories?
Is there any mission on its way to Mars right now? Thanks.

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From: Joseph C Kolecki <>
To: Adriano Silva
Subject: Re: hi
Date: Thu, 02 Aug 2001 12:35:45 -0400
Hello, Adriano,
It is good to hear from you! Anything you wish to contribute to our website will be most welcome! Please e-mail me or Ruth (
We are putting together all of our notes and e-mails from before, during, and immediately after our week with you. I have 31 pages of e-mail correspondence with Lawrence, Carsten, Eric, and the rest of you - and that is only on the science and philosophy we shared!!! Ruth Petersen is going to compile a similar collection on all of the Learning Technology that we used in making the video and audio links. WOW!!! What a week!!!
You ask about the impact theory. Theories may take the better part of a lifetime to advance and establish. The impact theory is only one of several competing theories about Mars that will be gone over and torn apart and reassembled over the years to come. There is a lot of spacecraft data still required to write a consistent "aerology" ["geology," only "Geos" = Earth, "Areos" = Mars] of Mars. But it will come. The most exciting part is that you and your associates from Bristol may all become part of the experience. There are plenty of opportunities for young scientists such as you to "hop aboard" and invest your careers in studying Mars, or any other parts of the solar system or the cosmos for that matter. There is also a crying need for teachers to guide other young people along the way to such careers.
What do YOU want to do with your experience and your future, Adriano? I think that this is one of the most important questions for you to be considering right now. There is another question that is similar: Perhaps people have already asked you, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" This question is most unfair because it implies that you are less than you could be right now. I prefer the question: "WHO ARE YOU?" Think about this one for a while, Adriano. It is the most difficult question that any of us has to answer. It is also the most important. It is difficult because the answer grows and changes with you as YOU grow and change. It is important because, like a diamond in the rough, you are all that you are ever going to be RIGHT NOW. The diamond can be can you. But, by the wrong moves, the diamond can also be ruined...and so can you.
I always begin to think about this question by going outside, alone, and saying to myself, "I'm here, right now. And here are all these trees [or buildings, or people, or what have you]. What am I feeling? What am I thinking? If I could have whatever I wanted right now, what would it be?" And I go on to realize that I have both the freedom and the God-given power to be all that I can be--all that I can dream or imagine--provided that I am willing to take the risk of stepping out and TRYING.
It takes work to accomplish dreams, Adriano; and it takes perseverance. But work and perseverance are what separate true genius from dull mediocrity. Each person you have ever met and ever will meet has the potential to excel--the genius to excel--if he or she wishes. I have even met mentally challenged people who have developed a wonderful skill for social interaction. They are some of the most endearing people I will ever hope to meet! Theirs is the genius for overcoming an immense handicap and reaching out to other people for all their worth.
We saw genius at your Bristol workshop, too. We were quite taken by what your group was able to accomplish in four or five days! Like diamonds in the rough, each of you requires time and polishing. But that is true of any of us, at any age. The next step is entirely yours. What will it be?
We have high hopes and expectations for all of you!!!
Now for Mars: At present, the Odyssey 2001 is en-route to Mars. Here is a www-site where you can read about it:
Please keep writing. I would like very much to hear from you again, soon!
In the meantime, best wishes,

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Comments from Participants

Joe Kolecki

Science is the process of studying the world at large and forming valid questions. Facts are the natural endpoints of this process, and are always subject to modification as scientific questioning (a.k.a., scientific inquiry) proceeds. Taken by themselves, facts are relatively dull little objects, usually required to be memorized at school and regurgitated on exams, then promptly, and with more than a modicum of relief, forgotten. They ARE important--let there be NO doubt whatever; but they are hardly a proper end for science or philosophy or, perhaps, modern education...
A valid question is a question with sufficient definition that the means to obtaining its answer are implicit in its own structure. A valid question can lead to an experimental investigation, or a brilliant new inroad in theoretical understanding. One of the classic theoretical questions of the 20th century was asked by Albert Einstein: "What happens if I run abreast a light pulse?" Relativity and all of its ramifications (still being worked out even to this day!) followed.
Facts enter into the process of scientific/philosophical inquiry as data, which clear up certain ambiguous issues and raise others that, likely, had not been apparent previously. As such, facts are essential to inquiry, much as a pole is to a pole-vaulter; and knowledge of basic facts in any given discipline is essential to carrying on useful work in that discipline. But the formation of valid questions is the real heart of investigative thinking--the key word, here, being, "Thinking."
It is not easy to teach thinking in school, let alone to measure the progress students are making in it via tests and examinations. A knowledge of facts and associated problem solving skills is much more amenable to present day education/educational metrics. Perhaps for this reason, education is badly in need of reform today. The information age has provided so many new facts, that time barely allows for their proper assimilation, let alone the luxury of sitting down and thinking about them. I believe that this is the very point on which the Japan 2001 workshop departed, and why it was such a great success.
Permit me, now, to reflect on our group--the Space Science Team. We set our group the goal of developing questions that might lead to future spacecraft/lander instrument suites for investigating the great volcanoes on Mars. The students realized, from the very outset, that answers to their questions were probably NOT going to be readily in hand. THEY would have to draw up the pertinent questions AND the means of identifying and obtaining the necessary information to acquire the answers to those questions. As such, the students were immediately placed into a real-life situation in which original thinking was paramount, and in which the necessary known facts, required to accomplish that thinking, were readily available from the experts in the U.K. and the U.S. (Scientists typically use a combination of library and person-to-person communication to acquire the facts they need. The telephone and the card catalog may be the most essential research tools of all!)
The students had to sift through what was important in their thinking and what was not. It is easy to over-specify a problem if the thinking is not sufficiently carried through. The result is usually a dead-end path in research... They also had to deal with and communicate across the boundaries of language, culture, and discipline (scientist vs. non-scientist; planetologist vs. volcanologist, etc.), all of which are and will remain a real part of science both now and in the future.
Thus, their overall scientific experience was wonderfully enriched by a diverse "people contact," providing opportunities for a lively exchange of ideas, the development of new social skills, and the making of new friends and liaisons. From all of this, they have learned, I hope, that science is NOT merely a sterile enterprise carried out in a jar: it is a very human activity, full of joy and sorrow, success and failure, open roads and dead ends, and, most of all, PEOPLE, PEOPLE, PEOPLE, with all of the nuances that people bring.
Our students developed rapidly in their time at Bristol. We were very taken with this development--I daresay, almost to the point of tears at times--tears of happiness! Thomas Edison once said that genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration. Our young people were certainly inspired--thanks to the wonderful experiences provided for them at Bristol! They were also hard workers, as is evidenced by the quality of their work. As a planetary physicist at NASA, I would be proud to have any or all of them working at my side. They help to prove, as much as anybody can prove, that genius is not so rare a commodity as we might sometimes believe. Genius exists wherever people exist, and wherever an environment is present in which they are at liberty to think and to relate.
And so, in closing: Bravo to the students and to our colleagues in the U.K. We are proud to have been part of the Japan 2001 Workshop!!!

Ruth Petersen

During four videoconferencing connections between Joe Kolecki and the Space Science team, we witnessed real world science education at its finest. Progressing from an introduction to volcanoes through three videoconferences and hours of studying images and maps with their Bristol University team leaders, the six young scientists developed a final presentation to Joe on what they learned, their still unanswered questions, and suggestions for further investigations. Special guests from NASA and the Center of Science and Industry (COSI) in Toledo, Ohio, all felt the excitement of the real life scientific investigation and were amazed at the students' initiative and hard work. The model demonstrates effective collaboration among diverse cultures, as well as the effective use of technology (ISDN videoconferencing, e-mail, data sharing, and the Internet) in the educational setting. More importantly, it demonstrates that, given an exciting challenge and necessary resources, young people will far exceed everyone's expectations!

Eric Albone

The outcome from the Japan 2001 Workshop will reverberate very widely. The event has just finished and everyone is absolutely thrilled. It is a tremendous exercise in teamwork, which is building so many new bridges. I am very closely aware of the remarkable work that was achieved by the Space Science team, but in addition to that virtually every one of the other nine teams (save one) has achieved absolutely outstanding success at all levels. It is a real vindication of faith.

See UK-Japan Young Scientists Working Together (Appendix A)

Lawrence Williams

One of the aims of the Workshops, here at Bristol University, was to give a combined group of sixty young people, from across Japan and from the United Kingdom, a new view of themselves as potential scientists, and an ambition to succeed at the highest level. I am struggling to find words to express our gratitude to you and your team for your help in this venture.
Our particular group, in Space Science, at the Department of Earth Sciences, has had the most wonderful week, and I truly believe that the students' lives have been transformed by it. You have some evidence of this already in the e-mail that we sent just after the final presentation session.
The support you have given, the personal words of encouragement, and that rare combination of warmth and professional rigor which we now see as the hallmark of you and your team, have given these youngsters a new sense of confidence and pride, both in themselves and in their achievements. You will have felt this as the conferences unfolded. I am grateful to you for lending us the legendary NASA name, proud of what we have achieved together, and joyful at the success of the students. "Thank you" does not even come close to it.
Today, Friday, our group has a public presentation to give, to the other nine groups and to many visitors, using PowerPoint, and will later word-process a full written Report, which of course we will send you.
Eric and I have only recently joined forces, and would both be delighted to work with you on future projects: we are hoping that this is just the beginning of many exciting ways of using the new technologies to advance the cause of science education, and to inspire young people.
I believe that during this week we have together taken another useful step.

Carsten Riedel

I think last week was a brilliant week, the Japanese and English kids were really enthusiastic and I am surprised which results we got in the end. It was a really dynamic process going on there and so it was no wonder we did not obtain the results we wanted (expected). It was unforeseeable like research should be. Especially breaking the language barriers between German-English-Japanese and scientist-not scientist was really worth an experience. And it was funny. So I want to say:
Thanks, Eric, for organizing such a thing. I think it is brilliant idea to do such summer schools...
Thanks, Ruth, for organizing the video-link and sending the valuable e-mail information. Without them it would have been much harder to start off...
Thanks, Joe, for the impact volcano model. Is that actually the Cattermole model? I enjoyed the discussions via videonet. In the end I had the impression, we were heading towards the edge of science and there were questions to raise that have not been addressed before. Once upon a time when there is a slot in my timetable I will think about it again. The truth is out there even though we will never find it...
And thanks Lawrence for the sparkling liquids, the video conferencing and the support especially in conveying theatrical presentation ideas and English language to the Japanese.

See My impressions of the Japan 2001 Science, Creativity and the Young Mind Workshop Space Science Team by Carsten Riedel (Appendix C)

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Lee Parsons

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who take their time out of important work, thank you very much. I would especially like to thank Joe at NASA for his time in working with us here, and I would like to thank Eric for running this course and Lawrence for helping the course. May special thanks go to Stu and Carsten here at Bristol University, for they have helped me and inspired me a lot. Please forgive me as I do not (know) or have forgotten people's surnames.
Thank you once again.

Hello Joe,
It is Lee here again. I would just like to say a big thanks to all those at NASA who helped make this experience helpful. I have truly enjoyed the study that we have done together, and I hope that we can stay in contact.
I feel as though my eyes have been opened up to a whole new world that is the world of Mars, and would like to study it further...but I would need to ask of some help from you and whoever else can provide help. I would like to be especially kept up to date with the discoveries about Mars, if that would be possible with you folks over there at NASA.
I feel as though I have fallen in love with the Planet; it has so many wondrous features, and I know that we here have really only touched the tip of the iceberg.
I would also like to thank you personally, Joe, for the things that you said about a career in science. I felt that it was very inspiring, and I will definitely pursue a career in the field of science, even if it means that I have to take it up as a hobby as a result of me being rejected from university.
Well, thank you for such a great time, may I take this opportunity to wish you Godspeed with the project on Mars, and I hope to hear from you soon.
Lee Parsons.

Rania Kashi

Hi Joe,
Rania here, I'd like to tell you how immensely grateful I am to you and your team. You have been truly inspirational in your motivation and encouragement. This workshop has given me an idea of what higher education and a career in science would be like, and I will go back to school full of anticipation of such a path. I am now very excited about what the future holds and what I, and my new friends in Bristol, can go on to achieve.
I hope to keep in touch with you and will most definitely research further into this field.
Many thanks once again.

Adriano Silva

Dr. Joe,
I'm absolutely delighted to tell you that I'm glad to have taken part in this project. I guess we have showed to the world that it is possible and beneficial to share new information and work together. An unforgettable experience, a successful mission itself. Please send my acknowledgements to all our colleagues that took part at NASA. Thanks again and hopefully we will continue to keep in touch. GODSPEED.

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Lawrence Williams' Presentation

Click here for Lawrence Williams' Power Point presentation to the British Council.
(click here to download power point file)

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Dear Ruth,

Thank you for sending me the URL of the magnificent "Japan2001 Science, Creativity, and the Young Mind" web site. This is the fulfilment of a personal vision about the creative use of ICT for learning, and is clearly a landmark in education on a number of different levels, not least as an inspiring learning resource, in itself, for teachers across the world. Congratulations on creating such an excellent, multinational, educational web site.

I wish to record my sincerest thanks to you, Ruth, for having faith in the project, and for gathering together such an effective team.Your understanding both of my own work in the creative use of ICT tools, and of the scientific potential of the project, was equally, and vitally, important. Your willingness, too, to support the planning and the implementation of the event, was an essential ingredient in its success. Though your name appears infrequently in the documentation on the site, your active and enthusiastic support was crucial to the success of the week. Thank you.

I wish, also, to record my thanks to Joe, for his careful and detailed planning of the scientific content, together with the Bristol team, and for his inspirational teaching throughout the project. His warmth and enthusiasm come across through the many email exchanges posted on the site, and I am convinced that the lives of the Space Science Team were transformed by the event. They took enormous steps in their learning, thanks to his kind and generous teaching.

Finally, I send my thanks to Steven for developing an extremely complex, but clearly navigable web site, which allows teachers the opportunity to chart the development of the many ideas at student and at tutor levels. The layout is clear, and given the enormous volume of material involved, this is a masterly outcome. No educational web site known to me records so much detail about the day-to-day development of an international information exchange.

It is more than the culmination of an event: it is important marker for the future.

With warmest regards and thanks to you all,



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Ruth's PowerPoint presentation at Poskole Conference (Czech Republic)
click here to download power point file)

Click here for pictures and more information about the Poskole Conference.

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