ULM geosciences professors Anthony Feig, Boniface Mills and Sean Chenoweth were awarded a $29,000 service-learning grant to involve Louisiana K-12 students in atmospheric research using rockets.
Three public schools, one each from the northern, central and coastal parts of the state, will partner with ULM atmospheric sciences majors and faculty to launch instruments into the lower atmosphere using model rockets.
During 2008, the partners will build a comprehensive database of lower atmosphere conditions during storm development. The schoolchildren will be "key participants in an authentic scientific enterprise," according to Feig, since the data they collect will eventually be available to such entities as the National Weather Service and the Hurricane Prediction Center.
The three scientists are particularly interested in partnering with schools that have been labeled as "academically unacceptable," since, according to Feig, this research provides a large number of hands-on teachable moments in math and science. ULM atmospheric sciences majors will serve as mentors to the schoolchildren.
The grant provides funds for rockets, instruments and travel to scientific meetings for ULM students, schoolchildren and teachers.