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North Country elementary and secondary school teachers will learn about their planet and get lost in space when Aerospace Education Specialist Ronald P. Ernst visits Clarkson University on Thursday, February 11, to conduct workshops as part of Clarkson's Space Grant Program.

 The two, three-hour workshops are geared for teachers in grades K-12. The first workshop includes hands-on activities in the area of earth and space science, while the other workshop will provide Lunar Certification to its participants. Attendees completing this workshop will be certified to borrow moon rocks for use in their classes.

Ernst, who works at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, will also visit area junior high and middle schools to give assembly presentations, which include demonstrations and a discussion of NASA’s beginnings.  He will be speaking at Canton Middle School on Monday, February 8, A.A. Kingston Middle School in Potsdam on Tuesday, February 9, and at Edwards-Knox Junior High School on Wednesday, February 10.

Ernst received his education at the University of Maryland.  His areas of specialty include secondary science, aerospace and health education.  He is a member of the National Science Teachers Association, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the International Technology Education Association, and the National Space Society.  He also holds membership in the Experimental Aircraft Association, the Academy of Model Aeronautics, the Howard County Radio Control Flying Club, and the Mid-Atlantic Historic Aviation Group. Ernst and the Aerospace Education Services Program Team at the Goddard Space Flight Center were awarded the NASA Public Service Group Achievement Award in 1991.  This award was given in recognition for outstanding educational programs to schools and universities over the past three decades.

The Clarkson Space Grant Program is directed by Daniel T. Valentine, a professor in the department of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering, and administrated by Dana M. Barry, technical writer in the University's Center for Advanced Materials Processing (CAMP).

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

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