Action at a Distance
The Action at a Distance project aims to serve the needs of students and teachers in the most remote rural areas of the state of Nebraska through fostered participation in a cosmic ray observatory experiment.
The University of Nebraska partners with the National Center for Research on Rural Education, The Center for Science, Mathematics & Computer Education (UNL), and Nebraska's 18 Educational Service Units (ESU 1-ESU 18) to utilize distance education and communication technologies to provide university outreach opportunities to students and teachers through science research to high schools in Nebraska. The chief aim of the project is to serve the needs of students and teachers in the most remote rural areas of the state of Nebraska through fostered participation in a cosmic ray observatory experiment where students build, operate, maintain, and utilize cosmic ray detectors in schools across the state creating a network of observation points, a state wide learning community, and foster increased interest and learning in physics and astronomy.
The project will employ a combination of video-conferencing, video-streamed demonstrations and instructions, summer workshops and academic year conferences, and internet social networking as delivery systems. It will focus on the comparison of the experiences of remote participants with those from local schools, and seek to optimize the level of contact necessary to sustain interest, activity, and long-term impact. The overall program goal is the development and implementation of a model strategy that encourages rural teachers' and students' active participation in STEM research in grades 10-12 both in class and through extracurricular/afterschool activities.