Education/Telecon 2015-12-04

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Attendees: Margaret Mooney, Dan Zalles, Rebecca Fowler, Preston Lewis, Shelley Olds, Bob Downs, and LuAnn Dahlman

In order to pull off any effort that involves drones—the legality of which is still undetermined—we may have to be opportunistic, taking advantage of Facebook groups and drone companies that post example videos. We don't yet know if FAA rules will be a speed bump for everyone. NSF gave a grant to university level folks. One of the folks may be able to present at ESIP winter meeting. Weather geeks has a blog and videos about flying drones into hurricanes.
If we limit our scope to recreational drones, ones that can’t get very far from their controllers, but have built in cameras, that could work. They are less likely to be banned. There's no stopping to tide of holiday gifts... Just like RC cars were popular, this year it’s expected to be drones. What cool data things can we do with that level of drone? Our main goal would be to inspire kids to do something scientific with their drones. Something that leads to having value for data science.

LuAnn: Compiling and offering a free e-book with the words "Drone" and "Science fair" could serve us. We could compile a handful of short suggestions to get kids started on scientific explorations, and include follow-on ideas that emphasize data science, satellite image repositories, and other data projects.
Quick ideas for projects kids could do

  • Aerial images of green up-green down (connect to GLOBE)
  • Signals of spring? Phenology.
  • Develop protocols for comparing images. SatCAM as one step further out.
  • Rebecca Fowler mentioned Don Sullivan: Airborne science program manager, leader of drone. Very active in Education, willing to be a resource. We could invite him to a call. It’s cool and fun to collect data, but not realistic to get really useful data. Drones over eq damage zone. We could invite him to give an inspiring view of the future for drones.
  • Shelley: I recall when GLOBE was starting and protocols were coming out. What are your expectations of the data? Connect these concepts to satellites, but just getting the idea of scale. These kids don’t play outdoors. So concept of aerial scale may be useful. Area from low view to high view.
  • Differentiate between sensor data: Photos versus temperatures of parking lots.
  • Global Sea Hawk: great project at CIMMS, but on last year of grant. No outreach money. Perhaps this kind of project would be willing to fund design of an e-book.

Notes from a post-meeting chat with Shelley: What’s the first thing people want to do with their drone? See how high they can go. Take pictures along the way, what happens? How can you figure out how high it is? Fly it at a known height. With a camera, you can figure it out. Help kids come up with questions they can answer. We’re usually just giving them the questions. Presentation idea: One picture on one side, instructions for activity on the other How fast can it fly? Can we find a teacher who will come to our planning meeting? One who uses drones already? Dan Sullivan at our planning meeting or as a Webinar presenter? Can we get an inspiring speech? It'd be great if he could avoid saying "you can’t get real scientific data"

On how to present suggested activities: Let’s talk right to kids. Instead of the traditional teacher gateway, we could go right to the learners. Talk to kids, but also interface through adults. How to get it into people’s hands? Social media: pinterest, fb, twitter.

  • People want to know where the best ice-skating is. Could they find it with a drone?
  • How to win your science fair: regular kids and parents care. Look at tree tops. Include rubric to give lots of science foundation.
  • Come up with some ideas that could be localized.

Group will meet again next Friday, 12/11 at 1 PM EST to develop a concrete strategy for planning our professional development efforts at the Winter meeting: Members expected to be in attendance? In person: LuAnn, Shelley, Preston, Tamara, Bob. By phone/WebEx? Dan, others? LuAnn expressed a high value for bringing Margaret (Ed committee vice chair and logistics expert) to the meeting in person to get this effort off the ground.

2016 Budget discussion:

  • $9K for summer workshop for 15 educators (may include drones)
  • $1K for SACNAS award
  • $1K for vice-chair travel to Winter Planning Meeting

Approved unanimously. LuAnn will submit before deadline on 12/9.

Bob Downs: Would like ESIP Ed to consider sending folks to NSTA. LuAnn responded that the cost:benefit ratio is too high to have a solid impact on ESIP's mission.
Preston: We sometimes employ ambassadors for NSTA meetings. For instance, I could present multiple sessions when I'm going.
LuAnn: I'd love for us to be able to encourage deeper relationships among teachers and data scientists. Perhaps through the RET program?
We will discuss this at the Winter Meeting.

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