Winder-Barrow Teacher to Help Lead NASA-Funded Astronomy Workshop for Educators
A Barrow County science teacher is among the leaders for the upcoming GEARS workshop.
Kevin McReynolds, a science teacher at Winder-Barrow High School, is among a select group of science educators chosen to help lead one of four NASA-funded astronomy workshops.
McReynolds will help lead the GEARS workshop, short for Georgians Experience Astronomy Research, at Savannah-Chatham County School District Professional Learning Center in Savannah from June 25 through 29.
According to a news release, the purpose of GEARS is to change the way astronomy is taught in Georgia high schools, said Zodiac Webster, the Columbus State professor who played a key role in obtaining the NASA grant.
"We're trying to inspire teachers to use some astronomical discoveries to teach physics and chemistry concepts," said Zodiac Webster, a Columbus State professor who played a key role in obtaining the NASA grant to fund the workshops.
GEARS introduces high-tech astronomy tools involving NASA data that teachers can use with high school students. Moving from a textbook-based approach to a data-based approach will focus on the excitement of discoveries yet to be made, Webster said.
"We're giving the teachers a fire hose approach to astronomy," Webster said "We're trying to introduce them to as many technological tools as possible so that they can bring the real data into their classrooms."
The state Department of Education received a $1.4 million grant from NASA in 2009 to form the GEARS project along with Columbus State and Georgia Southern universities.