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Comets and Asteroids Educator Conference Details

Comets and Asteroids Educator Conference at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory
February 5, 2011
8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Recommended for Grades 5 - 8 Educators

Comets and Asteroids Educator Conference at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Join NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory Education Office for an education conference being held Feb. 5, 2011, near Pasadena, Calif. The conference will focus on comets, asteroids and protoplanets. These objects are the leftover building blocks of planets, which may have contributed water and organic material to ancient Earth, thus aiding the start of life. By observing these small bodies up close, scientists better understand the formation and evolution of our solar system and how life came to exist here on Earth.

This daylong conference will feature a series of presentations, as well as introduction to hands-on activities mainly targeted for grades 5-8. However, activities can be adapted for both lower and higher grade levels. Instructional materials and resources will be shared and hands-on activity materials will be provided.

This conference is open to all formal and informal educators interested in Earth and space science and exploration. Students in high school and college also may attend.

Pre-registration is required. Participants must register by Feb. 1, 2011. Walk-up registration will not be possible for this conference.

Sign Up

For registration questions, please call the JPL Education Office at 818-393-0561. For other questions, please call the JPL Educator Resource Center at 909-397-4420.

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+ Schedule

Dr. Paul Chodas Speaker # 1
8:00am - 8:45am PST
Dr. Paul Chodas, Near Earth Objects Program
Presentation: Small Bodies 101: Asteroids, Comets, Meteorites, and Protoplanets
Dr. Robert Mase

Speaker # 2
9:15am - 10:00am PST
Mr. Robert Mase, Dawn Project Manager
Presentation: Exploring Our Solar System’s Smaller Bodies
+ See Bio

Dr. Claudia Alexander

Speaker # 3
10:45am - 11:30am PST
Dr. Claudia Alexander, Rosetta Project Scientist
Presentation: Instruments, Chemistry, Minerals, and the Periodic Table
+ See Bio

Dr. Murthy Gudipati

Speaker # 3.5
10:45am - 11:30am PST
Dr. Murthy Gudipati, Principal scientist, JPL
+ See Bio

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Activity Resources
Additional Resources


+ Comet Mystery Box
+ Comet on a Stick
+ Modeling Asteroid Vesta
+ Vesta Flip Book


+ Extreme Navigation
+ Seeing in 3-D
+ Cooking Up a Kitchen Comet
+ The Hunt for the Missing Planet: In Search of...
+ Active Accretion
+ Where Are You? Scale Modeling of Vesta and Ceres


+ Comet Lingo Bingo
+ Comparing Comets
+ Interactions of Energy and Matter: CSI

+ Ion Propulsion
+ Find a Meteorite
+ Asteroid and Comet Encounter Timeline
+ Solar System Bead Activity
Mission Factsheets
+ Rosetta
+ Dawn
+ Stardust-NExT
+ Discovery
Mission Websites
+ Rosetta
+ Dawn
+ Stardust-NExT
+ Discovery

Conference Contacts

If you have any questions about registering for the Comets and Asteroids Educator Conference, educational activities, or would like to host an educator training in your area, please contact one of the following:

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Aimee Meyer
Stardust-NExT E/PO Office

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Whitney Cobb
McREL Activities Specialist

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JPL Education Office

Want to watch

Check your DLN Connection

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At least one week prior to the day of the event, please verify that you are able to receive video and audio through NASA's DLiNfo channel. If you can receive the current live feed, you should be able to watch our three speakers live on February 5. If you have any problems while testing in advance of the event, please contact Ota Lutz at 818.354.3056.

Host site(s):

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Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Nancy Schaff
Convergent Workshop at Cornell