December 26, 2008

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Lunar Education

image by Chang’e-1 image from CLEP

Boxing Day - the day after Christmas - is the day in England for giving gifts, especially to less fortunate members of society. I want to widen the practice by making information available to those who are less fortunate only in their lack of knowledge about lunar education. Today there is a new page on the Lunar Wiki devoted to two aspects of lunar education. First, is the beginnings of a list and description of universities, in America and around the world, that offer undergraduate and graduate education to help prepare the next generation of lunar explorers. This list came into existence following a discussion among lunar scientists about where students should go to college to learn about the Moon. Apparently there is no collected information for this specialized, but growing discipline - now there is. The second aspect of lunar education focuses on the needs of elementary and secondary school teachers who want to know which lunar educational activities are good. Teachers are busy and need specific recommendations about the quality of educational materials - many existing ones are inaccurate or nearly trivial. The worldwide need for education about the Moon at all levels is indicated by the fact that spacecraft from Japan, China and India are already orbiting the Moon, and America's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (isn't it rather late for reconnaissance of the moon?) will join them soon. Yet there are only a small number of trained lunar scientists and engineers in these countries - certainly not as many as will be needed by the many nations planning more ambitious missions over the next decades. I invite people with relevant information about lunar education opportunities at both the college and K-12 levels to share it here. The next generation, and its teachers, need our help.

Chuck Wood

Technical Details
This image shows the dark pyroclastic deposits just west of Sulpicius Gallus (bottom right) and Menelaus (out of image to right). It appears that the image has been strongly compressed, reducing tonal gradations.

Related Links
Rükl plate 23

Yesterday's LPOD: Dove of Peace

Tomorrow's LPOD: Happy Birthday Johannes


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