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The Sun-Earth Connection: How Ionospheric Monitoring can Engage and Inspire Students in Science and Engineering.

Mitchell, R; Scherrer, D; Clark, B; Styner, R; Fotrell, S; Dave, T; Lee, S.; Scherrer, P; Winegarden, S

The Stanford Solar Center is introducing an educator-designed project designed to reach underserved high school and community college students. The program consists of a Sudden Ionospheric Disturbance (SID) instrument that monitors, in real-time, solar-induced changes in the Earth's ionosphere. The instrument and supporting documentation are provided without cost to underserved schools. Students are required to build their own antenna (low-cost and quick to make) and perform research with the monitor; some engineering possibilities also exist with the monitor. Data collection is centralized at Stanford to allow access to research data collected by the various sites. The goal of the project is to inspire students from diverse backgrounds to consider a college major in the sciences toward a career in science or engineering. The project is supported by NSF's Center for Integrated Space Weather Modeling (CISM) and is an approved project by the International Heliophysical Year, 2007.

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