CAN DO Meeting Notes

March 2, 1998

Ed Tech Course Credit - The MUSC Board of Trustees at their February voted to waive tuition in accordance with the new state regulation. Paperwork is being resubmitted for issuance of credit.

NEW Meeting Days - We are now alternating Can Do Meetings between Saturdays and Monday afternoons. The March meeting was the first Monday meeting on the new schedule - watch for the revised schedule on the web site.


The School of Sciences and Mathematics and the School of Education at the University of Charleston is offering a M.Ed. in Science and Mathematics program. The purpose of this program is to offer graduate level courses in the sciences, mathematics, and education that will address the needs of teachers.

The program's intention is to strengthen and broaden the practicing teacher's science, math, and education knowledge and understanding for use in elementary, middle, and high school classrooms. It also will provide a solid background for those who might eventually pursue a doctoral degree in Science and Mathematics Education.

For full details, visit the College of Charleston web at:

Carol's BOO BOO ! - Carol had an unfortunate accident in the line of duty which will probably have her in a cast for a while. Knowing Carol it probably won't slow her down very much. Well wishers can send their "Get Well Soons" to Carol.

Nancy Parson Agrees to Keynote SEMposium

Nancy Parson, who recently won the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science in Teaching , has accepted the invitation to be our Guest of Honor and Keynote Speaker at the 1998 SEMposium in March. A special luncheon will be held in Nancy's honor at the Wickliffe House immediately following the SEMposium. The cost will be $10.00 per person and all of Nancy's friends, colleagues and fellow teachers are invited. Please send your RSVP and payment to Carol ASAP.

Nancy Parson Reports on the Debut of EarthKam. January 22 marked the debut of EarthKam, successor to the highly successful KidSat program. Nancy gave us a brief report on the flight as operated from Laing Middle School. This year the Laing students functioned as a club rather than taking normal classroom time to operate the control room. She reported that the smaller number of highly motivated students made the experience very successful. Under the guidance of Langley Research Center, this flight encouraged students to preselect areas of inquiry in selection of targets. It was found that this may be too restrictive as sufficient targets may not be available for the specific chosen investigation. Jim showed the FIRST direct overlapping student photos as the EarthKam photos cover the same area of the Atacam dessert as the GeoCam photos did 5 years earlier. Most exciting, there are visible changes in mining structures and buildings between the two sets of photos.

Video Tape of the Titanic Wreck

Pete Petrone, our long time friend from National Geographic sent a video tape of the Titanic wreck and deep ocean "smokers". The tape was shot from the Russian Mir submarines that appear in the movie Titanic. This footage especially shot for a 3-D video and narrated by Emory Kristoff includes scenes never before released. Your students will find this video very interesting after seeing the movie or for oceanography. Copies of the twenty minute video are available for classroom use for $3.00 a copy or you can borrow a copy on a first come first served basis. Let Jim know if you want a copy.

SEM Payload Update

The SEM team at Goddard Space Flight Center has informed us that the SEM-C module is aboard Discovery at the Cape. Originally designed as a standby payload for STS-87, the SEM-C module was shifted to STS-91 with a projected launch date of May 29. The SEM-C has a modified MAVIS magnetic experiment (first flown on SEM-STS-80) as well as a set of BEST passive experiments.

Goddard also announced a quick response opportunity for a separate STANDBY SEM, also for STS-91. The CAN DO team responded with the SEM-MRC (Material Resource Center). The module will contain bulk lima bean seeds donated by Cross Seed Company here in Charleston. This material is specifically intended for distribution through the new Materials Resource Center. The seeds will be distributed in a kit form including control seeds, all material and complete instructions. This kits will be available to every science teacher in the district and will be directly tied into the curriculum framework. The kits will have separate instructions for experimental procedures suitable for elementary, middle and high school. It is expected that they will be most often used by grades K-8.

Because, STS-91 is a high inclination flight and to provide valuable data for the SEM-MRC experiments, Landauer has donated another set of RAD passive radiation sensors.

Fewer BEST Variables For Youngsters

Robin and Carmelina reported that the five control variables design of the BEST experiments may be too confusing for the very youngest of our scientists (K-2). The group discussed the possibility of having a separate space flown/control only model for early grades for future SEM or the SEM-MRC payloads. Would it be a good idea to use a simpler model for the kits assembled from the SEM-MRC lima bean seeds. Bear in mind that space flown/control experiments are much less likely to show a dramatic result than samples exposed to radiation and cold. Gather your thoughts and we will discuss this at the next meeting.

Does your school need photographic darkroom equipment ? A donor is still looking for a good home for some equipment. A letter from your principal will be required. We have had one school apply. A detailed list of equipment should be available this week. Let Jim know if you are interested. 

The CAN DO Digital Album is ready to start copying. The copies will be $5.00 for members. E-Mail your order ASAP so we can plan production.

Web/Email list update - do we know how to reach you efficiently? Are you using the web site? Please send current information if you have not done so.

SEMposium 98


SEMposium 98 - March 28 -

We will use a format similar to the very successful SEMposium 97.

The conferences will be in Room 202 and 402 in the BSB with the posters in the 6th floor labs

Committee : Carol Tempel, Jim Nicholson, Margaret Spigner, Eve Katuna and Barbara Eager, Kathy Rackley.

All committee members and other volunteers are requested to be at the Basic Science Building by 8:00 AM to help set up.

Tee-shirts will be available for sale at the meeting ($8.00) but to be sure of there being enough you are urged to fill out your registration form and send your payment ASAP. REMEMBER - the first 20 teams to register get one FREE tee-shirt. Registration FORM

The active experiments.


Alma Mack - oscilloscope audio analysis (to be scheduled)

Robin Rutherford - listening log, silent background experiment (scheduled for 3/8)

Margaret Spigner - computer audio spectrum analysis (scheduled for 3/8)


Opportunities to analyze the radiation data from sensors and the film fogging experiments. Results are back from the lab.

Alma Mack - radiation physics (to be scheduled)

Margaret Spigner - film fog investigation (scheduled 3/6)

Classroom Activity

Calculate Your Average Yearly Radiation Exposure Compared to RAD


Ruth Truluck - Biology of revival and photosynthesis (to be scheduled)

Margaret Spigner - Data reduction (to be scheduled)

Passive Materials Research

Video Tape - Gearlean McLaughlin (to be scheduled)

Data Disks - Ellen Vaughan, Eve Katuna, Margaret Spigner (scheduled 3/8)


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