Education and public outreach
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Education and public outreach

    The science team features a collaboration of Co-Is located nationwide. E/PO program staffing includes a full-time E/PO lead at the University of Arizona (UA) and a half-time E/PO lead at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). The UA lead will be selected based on his/her experience in formal science education and the management of programs of a similar scope. The UA lead will manage the E/PO program, form a working relationship with the MEP education office at Arizona State University (ASU), and coordinate E/PO activities with the Phoenix team. The JPL lead will liaison between the UA E/PO team and the JPL MEP. Phoenix science objectives offer exciting E/PO opportunities that are tied to one or more of the following science themes:  

    

    Follow the water. Is there water on Mars? What is the relationship between life and water, and how does the Mars water cycle compare to that of Earth?   Characterize Martian soil. What are the organic and inorganic chemistry, physical structure, and mineralogical composition of Martian soil?   Robotics and technology. What challenges and learning opportunities are associated with using robotic systems to land on, explore, and characterize the current and past environments of Mars? The formal education part of the Phoenix project includes frontier science and advanced technology, which lend themselves to academic programs. Commitment to our team to robotics and technology E/PO is an integral element of the Phoenix project, with 2% of its budget allocated to a comprehensive E/PO program. Principal Investigator Peter Smith is passionate about E/PO and is actively involved in planning and supervising Phoenix E/PO. The entire Phoenix science and engineering team is volunteering at least 5% of their time to E/PO. The science team features a collaboration of Co- Investigators (Co-Is) located nationwide, as shown in the figure above. Many of the Co-Is have actively participated in E/PO activities, bringing valuable experience for regional and nationwide programs.

In conjunction with the MEP, Phoenix will build on scientist and engineer involvement with underserved high school students through the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) robotics program (MEP 3.4.2). Aimed at students who may not do well in a typical classroom setting, this program has successfully engaged them in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education. Phoenix can enhance this program because of its strong ties to robotics, particularly because of the large base of instrument engineers who pledged to support this program by mentoring teams.