Arizona State University Mars Education Symposium and Field Trip — The Search for Habitable Environments: Finding Curiosity in Your Classroom

How do scientists search for habitable environments beyond Earth? What makes an environment habitable? Are the criteria for life the same or different beyond Earth? The science of astrobiology is at the forefront addressing these types of challenging questions, including where can life exist?

Currently, NASA’s Curiosity Rover is exploring Gale Crater on Mars to investigate a site that has a very interesting history that could include habitability! Join the Mars Rover scientists as they lead a five-day interdisciplinary, immersive educator field experience to explore areas on Earth similar to environments on Mars. Learn how to expand your students’ understanding of how biology, geology and chemistry are essential to this fascinating search for life elsewhere.

The symposium will take place June 22-26, 2015. Participants will start and end at the Arizona State University campus in Tempe, Arizona. Participants will be responsible for transportation to and from Arizona State University, lodging and meals. Transportation between campus and the field trip sites will be provided. Some hiking will be required to participate in this field experience.

Participants will receive Next-Generation Science Standards-designed/aligned lessons and a certificate after completing 45 professional development hours.

Space is limited to 30 participants. Applications are due April 15, 2015.

For more information, visit

Questions about the symposium should be directed to Sheri Klug Boonstra at

Nathan Smith

Nathan Smith is Director of Technology for the College of Education and Human Services at Utah State University. In that role, he also directs The Adele & Dale Young Education Technology Center (The YETC) located in room 170 of the Education Building on Utah State University's Logan campus. The YETC is a combination student open­access computer facility, a K­12 curriculum materials library, a NASA Educator Resource Center for Utah, and a technology training center. Nathan served eight years (2004­2012) on the Board of Directors for the Utah Coalition for Education Technology (UCET) He was re­elected in 2014 to serve another two year term on the board. A former elementary school teacher, Nathan has taught students every age from young children to senior citizens. He has had the opportunity beginning in 2011 to train international high school teachers from all over the world about technology in education, through the U.S. State

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