Re: PTK Open House & 96/97 Wrap-up

From: Sandy Dueck 2nd account <>
Subject: Re: PTK Open House & 96/97 Wrap-up
Date: Mon, 2 Jun 1997 13:18:37 -0700 (PDT)

I enjoyed and appreciated hearing about your kids' responses to the three
questions you posed. I was especially interested in the first question as
I spent significant time getting Mars folks to write bios and journals
about themselves. As I begin yet another push to get new names and faces
on "The Team" page, I will use your kids' quotes to inspire potential

Have a great summer!

On Sun, 25 May 1997, Tim McCollum wrote:

> Hi Fellow PTK'ers,
>         Two more weeks and it's summer vacation......yea!  
>         Hope your 96/97 PTK involvement has been an enjoyable, rewarding
> and positive experience for both you and your students.  I'm looking very
> forward to the continuation of LFM in the fall and focusing on the tropical
> rain forest in the spring. As classroom teachers collaborating with the PTK
> initiative we certainly aim to model the goal of being lifelong learners.
>         On Monday evening, May 12th, we held a Passport to Knowledge Open
> House.  During the event, students and parents drove our Lego Dacta rover -
> M.A.R.I.O ( Manually Activated Rover for Investigation and
> Observation.....named by the kids! ), shared their own contributions to the
> LFM and LFAII web sites, and were treated to a wonderful slide presentation
> on Antarctica by a husband/wife team of retired professors from our local
> university.  The couple had been to the Palmer Station area two years ago
> and their program related very well to our LFAII experience. 
>         Now that the PTK initiatives for this school year are winding down,
> I'd like to offer some words of insight ( and humor ). In attempting to
> gather some narrative feedback from my students ( 190 - 7th & 8th graders
> ), I asked three questions. Perhaps some of their responses could be of use
> in planning your next PTK involvement.
> 1. Both LFM and LFAII involved following the work of real scientists.  What
> new insights and understandings have you gained about their actual work,
> their tools, and how they communicate their discoveries to others?
> * I learned that scientists work hard, not only with their hands but with
> their minds.
> * Scientists don't just sit in the lab all day.
> * When they plan to put a spacecraft on another planet, they must think of
> everything!
> * These projects made me realize that scientists are more than the Far Side
> "white lab coats            and beakers" stereotype.
> * They have to learn to work together as a team.
> * I learned that sometimes it is hard to get information to other people.
> * It has opened a whole new door of science that I might like to pursue.
> * I learned how they use their tools and knowledge to overcome their problems.
> * I have a greater respect for those who give up portions of their lives to
> live in desolate places to do research.
> * I thought it was neat how they shared their work with us.
> * They have to organize a lot of data so it can be accurately used for
> reference.
> * I learned that they don't always get the recognition they deserve.
> * Oil isn't as easy to clean up as I thought.
> * A scientists's work is never done.
> 2. What lessons, activities, and/or topics did you find most interesting
> and enjoyable?
> * The study of penguins because I think animals of remote places are interesting
> * Listening to our PTK Open House speakers
> * The live broadcasts because they were really happening as we were watching
> * We got to ask questions about what we wanted to know and got answers
> * By participating we got to find out what was really happening instead of
> being left out
> * Driving the rover, shrimp & krill labs, the oil spill lab, the PET
> project, the CFC lab
> * The chat sessions because we got to ask questions to REAL scientists (
> and they got me out of math )
> * All the interaction helped give a better idea of what we were learning
> * Journal writing for the web site
> * By getting to experience some of the same things as real-life scientists
> so you can see if you want to go into that kind of profession
> * The blubber glove, it was fun, cold and wet!
> * The web site because you could go at a pace you liked and you learned
> more that way
> * Red Rover, being able to drive something hundreds of miles away
> * The challenge questions, they made us think
> * The MOLA project and converting our paper models into 3-D on the computers
> 3. What suggestions can you make about student participation in future PTK
> projects?
> * More "hands-on" activities
> * More chat sessions
> * More MOLA type projects to show how things work
> * Stopping the video tape at times for discussion
> * More time to browse the web sites
>         Hope these few bits of insight offer some food for thought in
> planning for your future PTK involvement. Happy summer.....on to Mars!
> Tim
> ..............................................................................
> Tim McCollum                                     217-345-2193 (school)
> Charleston Jr. High School                       217-345-8121 (fax)
> 920 Smith Dr.                          
> Charleston, IL  61920