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Solar System Exploration
Dee McLellan
Dee McLellan
Dee McLellan
Works For:
Jackson Middle School Observatory Coordinator
Champlin, MN
Minnesota is a northern state where it is possible to view the Aurora Borealis and I am a native. I was born and grew up in Minneapolis. I am a graduate of the University of Minnesota in education; this makes me a golden gopher. I was a classroom teacher at a small Minneapolis school and then Meadow Creek Christian School in Andover until my oldest son was born. I then took the time to teach my four children at home for several years of home education. During this time I also was involved with a variety of teaching opportunities at the University of Minnesota's Bell Museum of Natural History and other smaller colleges around the Twin Cities. I taught science and math enrichment courses for middle school students. Ten years ago I returned to the classroom and taught 7th and 8th grade science and math at Meadow Creek. I even taught some of the children of my former students. I became involved with NASA, first as a STARDUST educator in 1999, and then a Solar System Educator as the program developed. Besides the SSEP, I have been part of a remote sensing pilot program with NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and have attended training there. I have also attended workshops at JPL, Marshall Space Flight Center, Johnson Space Center, Kennedy Space Center, and Ames. Currently I am writing curriculum for a mission to a comet. Also, I am part of the JASON Project as a Lead Trainer. I train teachers in the US and internationally to use the JASON project curriculum. I am pleased to have a part in NASAs vision to Inspire the next generation of explorers as only NASA can. Now, I am working as Observatory Coordinator for Jackson Middle School.

Quote: "The materials from the SSEP have transformed my middle school classroom into a dynamic learning environment in which my students are engaged and excited about space education. In workshops with other teachers, I have been able to share these tools and experiences. The positive response to this program has helped me form partnerships with colleges to advance space education in our schools.

"When I used the SSEP materials to teach the NASA missions, my solar system curriculum became personal to the students. Suddenly they were traveling along with Voyager 1 and 2, Viking, Pathfinder, Galileo, STARDUST and other missions to discover new knowledge beyond the textbook. An example of the impact of the program in my school can be found on the STARDUST web site. As the students learned of the STARDUST mission, they applied this knowledge in their art class to product an impressive mural which was displayed at NASA headquarters."

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Last Updated: 22 Sep 2014