In July 2017, sixteen area middle and high school student participants in the UW Madison School of Education’s Preparatory Academic Campus Experience (PACE) group visited the UW Madison’s Space Science and Engineering Center (SSEC). Students spent an entire week on the UW-Madison campus taking an accelerated course designed especially to engage, inspire and intellectually challenge advanced middle school learners.
To prepare for a hands-on introduction to planetary research, the students learned about our solar system and in particular, the unique characteristics and historic relevance of our closest solar system neighbor, Venus. After learning about past as well as future plans for missions to explore of Venus, students had the opportunity to analyze characteristics of the Venusian atmosphere and track winds using authentic data from the European Space Agency’s Venus Express mission!
Following their research and data analysis activities the students ended the program with a tour of the SSEC building, where they learned how remote sensing data is collected from satellites and processed for use in weather forecasting and research here on earth.
For more information on the PACE Program, visit the PACE website!