The Mobile Earth & Space Observatory (MESO) is a Science Center on Wheels, serving middle-school students in underserved communities in Colorado and beyond.
Each of our programs will feature structured, inquiry-based lesson plans that follow the evidence-based 5E Instructional Model developed by BSCS: Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, Evaluate (see https://bscs.org/bscs-5e-instructional-model). Learning goals are age-appropriate and are aligned with the Colorado Academic Standards for Science (CASS) and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).
This program focuses on using MESO as a resource to teach students about environmental science and climate change and to promote environmental stewardship and community resiliency to weather and climate events. We have a current grant from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to support this program that focuses specifically on hydrological systems and community response to changes in precipitation, including floods and droughts.
In this program students collect and analyze data on planetary transits using MESO’s proposed 14-inch optical astronomical telescope. The telescope can operate in either an interactive or a robotic mode so students can have both the tangible experience of looking through it and the research experience of programming it to take data while they sleep. We will leverage the power of inquiry-based learning and of the intrinsic draw of the subject matter, namely the search for life in the universe, to address core science curriculum and to inspire students to pursue STEM careers.
This is our Here Comes the Sun program that focuses on the Sun and its impact on the Earth. Heliophysics lies at a unique crossroads between the inspirational wonder of astronomy and science in the service of society. As such, we will emphasize both the Sun as a star, placing the Sun and solar system within a universal context, and space weather, exploring how the Sun powers Earth’s climate system and poses potential hazards to our technological society.