Assignment I
1. What is your experience in education and your interest/level of knowledge about the Moon?
I have a masters in interactive telecommunications from NYU and over a decade of experience working in multimedia and education. Half of my years were spent at a research and evaluation nonprofit. More recently, I've worked with museums developing resources and programs that integrate or are based in technology. I'm currently heading up development of interactive educational media programs at the Adler Planetarium.

In terms of the Moon, I have always been fascinated with the idea that we actually managed to pull off sending people there. Something that was completely unattainable and mythical turned into something that was real and attainable. We have a close family friend who was fortunate enough to be an Apollo astronaut. When you're little, and you hear someone talking about going, it really piques your interest! That said, until I started working at the planetarium, while my knowledge was probably more than many, it was (and, alas, is) still woefully short of adequate.

2. What do you specifically hope to get out of the course?
I have a lot of factual bits about missions related to the Moon, but I have only minimal scientific knowledge about the moon itself. Just the basics. I was listening to a lecture in which tidal lock was explained in detail -- and it was completely engaging. I'd like to learn more and form a more complete picture about the Moon itself as well as past and future missions. This will help immensely in developing programming related to the subject.

Assignment IV
What is the impact crater and lunar-like volcanic feature closest to where you live. How do those features compare to ones on the Moon? Bigger? Smaller? Different erosional state? What questions do you have about any lunar feature?

At this point, it's seeming like Des Plaines, Illinois is the winner -- which I'm finding fascinating. I'm verifying a few facts, but I can definitely go for "different erosional state." Also checking to see if I'm missing any big ones closer by...

I'm back. Des Plaines appears to stand as the winner. I'll complete a comparison shortly, but for an image...

MOON-DesPlaines.jpg
Site of 8K impact crater in Des Plaines, IL. Image courtesy of Google Maps.
























Definitely different erosional state -- ha! -- but interesting that they found evidence while doing core samples for a tunnel project. Shatter cones, ta da! Pretty cool that those can still be found. To cite http://www.pibburns.com/catastro/impactim.htm: "There is no surface evidence for the crater which lies buried under glacial drift. However, the roughly circular site exhibits complex faulting and shock features such as percussion fractures and strain lamellae, as well as a few shatter cones." So similarities, but no longer to be seen.

Assignment V
1. Read the short story Walk in the Sun and describe two lessons this would teach a student about the Moon.

This could be used in a very fun way to introduce or follow-up on Moon phases. A lot of kids (and adults) still think there is a dark side of the Moon -- and while there is, it's not always the same side! It could also be used to talk about the large amount of exploring that is yet to be done. Throwing in a bonus third, there's always "space exploration is not an easy task." There's still an assumption that it's not so very hard to send someone to the Moon...after all, we've done it a number of times, right? This could lead nicely into discussion and activities about what it takes to keep someone alive in space.

2. Have a discussion with your family or a group of friends and come up with at least ten examples of the Moon in popular culture. (This could be songs, movies, products, etc. -- for example, Eclipse gum or the songs Blue Moon and Walking on the Moon by the Police.) If this is fun, see how many you and your group can come up with and from how wide a range of popular culture.
Okay, here goes... My husband and I came up with Moon Over Miami, Dark Side of the Moon, Moonies, Werewolf, Remus "Looney" Lupin (Harry Potter; lune (moon)...looney, most afraid of the full moon as he is a werewolf), Honeymooners, Fly Me to the Moon, Man on the Moon (song), Goodnight Moon, Moon River, Sailor Moon, Moon Patrol (video game). This involved lots of singing. It was, indeed, fun.

3. Ask students or coworkers what they have heard about the effect of the full moon on human behavior. If they give you a blank look, hint at what they may have heard that people in emergency rooms, police and firefighters, or staff in baby delivery rooms say. Try to get a diverse range of people to talk to you about this in the course of the week and tally their responses into general categories. There is a widely shared sense among the general population that the full moon causes crazy behavior (“lunacy”) and we will talk a bit about this during the week. But it would be nice to see if you can find evidence of this belief among people you work with.
I'm going to guess that it would be difficult to find this among the people I work with. So I'm going to take the experiment to a few folks I know in other fields. Perhaps an informal e-mail survey... Results from the e-mail survey (10 friends, across the USA) were mixed. A number were completely convinced that the full moon brings out the crazies. All noted that they knew this "wasn't scientific," but thought it true none the less.

4. Please look through the Moon in Popular Culture Resource Guide and describe how you might use some of these resources in your EPO work.
We are currently working on a class about how difficult it is to create and maintain a research base on the Moon -- the teamwork required, challenges faced, etcetera. A number of the resources would make excellent pre- and post-field trip activities. Good to get students to think of the Moon in the context of popular culture to round out what one has to consider when establishing a permanent station; imagination is a good thing!

Final Project
Angelique Rickhoff and I worked on a redesign template for the CyberSpace website (http://cyberspaceredesign.wikispaces.com/). Be sure to check out the final page when it launches in February.