2005 Salt Lake City Annual Meeting (October 16–19, 2005)

Paper No. 3
Presentation Time: 8:45 AM


SULLIVAN, Gianna1, JOHNSON, Kirk2, BOWRING, Sam3, HALL, Tiffany1 and BAYSINGER, Dave4, (1)Education, Denver Museum of Nature & Sci, 2001 Colorado Blvd, Denver, CO 80205, (2)Department of Earth Sciences, Denver Museum of Nature & Sci, 2001 Colorado Blvd, Denver, CO 80205, (3)Dept. of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, Mass Inst. of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MS 02139, (4)Technology, Denver Museum of Nature & Sci, 2001 Colorado Blvd, Denver, CO 80205, gsullivan@dmns.org

The R@DIUS Project is a hands-on, interdisciplinary approach to learning science that connects students directly with scientists and field researchers. Piloted in 2003, the R@DIUS program gave more than 400 Colorado middle school students at four different locations the opportunity to talk live with paleontologist Dr Kirk Johnson from the Denver Museum of Nature & Science about his Denver Basin Research. R@DIUS was designed to promote critical thinking, build technology and communication skills, and foster general scientific literacy. This programming meets the National Science Standards for Science as Inquiry, Science and Technology, and History and Nature of Science.

Using materials developed by the Museum, participating teachers and students during the 2005/2006 school year will use the scientific method to understand the science of geochronology, including understanding stratigraphy, half-life and techniques of radiometric dating. Additionally, the program will address misconceptions about science and scientists. Educational techniques include a combination of classroom materials, videos and live interactive datacasts to integrate current museum research findings with the curricula of local middle schools.

Through a partnership with Rocky Mountain PBS, a dozen school sites reaching over 1200 middle school students are outfitted with the technology to receive live interactive broadcasts featuring DMNS and MIT scientists who are collaborating on geochronologic research. The data is sent via high bandwidth signals directly to computers in school classrooms, delivering digital TV quality images. The interactive, real-time datacast is a unique opportunity for students to ask scientists questions about the scientific method and on-going research.