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Kindergarteners through college seniors to present research projects at UT

More than 120 students from Ohio and Michigan ranging from kindergartners to college seniors will present science research projects at The University of Toledo from 9:15 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. Tuesday, May 1.

The annual SATELLITES student research conference is part of GLOBE MISSION EARTH, a $10 million project funded by NASA and led by a UT researcher that is transforming the way science is taught to students throughout the United States.

Dr. Kevin Czajkowski, UT professor of geography and planning, has been spearheading the development of new K-12 science curriculum that relies on hands-on experiments to build knowledge using the resources of NASA and education partners across the country.

“We’re using real-life research experiences to spark the imagination of the next generation of scientists, engineers and doctors,” Czajkowski said.

The presentations will take place in Thompson Student Union’s Ingman Room and Room 2582.

The keynote speaker, John Moore, director for geoscience and STEM education at Palmyra Cove Nature Center in New Jersey, will provide hands-on demonstrations of the HoloGLOBE, a 3D visualization system with virtual reality headsets that uses NASA data to explore Earth. Moore will talk with middle and high school students at 11:40 a.m. and elementary school students at 12:40 p.m.

Judges for the conference are local scientists and teachers. Students are coming from as far north as Detroit and as far south as Mansfield.

“Science is more fun when students are participating in data collection and the scientific process, as opposed to conducting preplanned experiments in a classroom or lab,” Czajkowski said. “Through these research projects, students answer their own science questions about their environment by creating hypotheses, collecting data, analyzing data, drawing conclusions, and sharing their results through their poster presentation.”

Czajkowski created the SATELLITES program, which stands for Students and Teachers Exploring Local Landscapes to Interpret the Earth from Space.

Through the SATELLITES program, students have access to GLOBE resources to help answer their research questions. GLOBE is the acronym for Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment, which is an international science and education program that connects students, teachers, scientists and citizens from different parts of the world to conduct real, hands-on science about their local environment and put it in a global perspective.