Passport To Knowledge Visits

Charleston Middle School

On Monday, October 20, 1997, Passport to Knowledge Executive Producer Erna Akuginow and videographer Brian Igleman visited Mr. McCollum's 8th grade science classes to tape footage to be used for the November 13th PBS broadcast - Today on Mars. This final program for the Live From Mars project will focus on the status of the Mars Pathfinder and Mars Global Surveyor missions. It will also highlight the participation of students from Phoenix, Pittsburgh, and here at Charleston Middle School.

CMS was chosen for this special honor to demonstrate LFM Activity 1.2 Mapping the Topography of Unknown Surfaces. A special part of the day's activities involved a phone conversation with Mars Global Surveyor Project Director - Mr. Glenn Cunningham from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA. Using a speaker phone supplied by Diane Roberts of Illinois Consolidated Telephone Company, the students were able to ask Mr. Cunningham several questions related to the MGS project. This was a wonderful opportunity for the students to converse with the NASA scientist in charge of the same planetary mapping activity which they were modeling in the classroom and computer lab.

Left - Janelle, Kassi and Kylie use their altimeter rod to determine the topography of a hidden surface. Right - Dorothy, Kara and Nicole simulate the work of the Mar Orbital Laser Altimeter ( MOLA ).

Left - David, Sagar, Ben and Travis recording and plotting MOLA data . Right - Kellen, Kevin F., Scott and Kevin H. rendering their MOLA data into a 3-D surface plot using NIH Image.

Left - Nicole, Chelsie and Cynthia convert their grayscale image to color. Right - Stephanie, Sara and Danny prepare to tape questions for Mars Pathfinder scientists Donna Shirley and Wayne Lee.

MOLA Samples Created with NIH Image

Sample #1 - Grayscale

Sample #2 - Fire 1

Sample #3 - Rainbow

For instructions on the free download and use of NIH Image for LFM Activity 1.2, go to Rendering a Topographic Model into a Surface Plot.

Special thanks to PTK Executive Producer Erna Akuginow and videographer Brian Igleman for traveling to Charleston, IL and filming the work of CMS students. Thanks also to Mr. Glenn Cunningham, MGS Project Director for taking the time to answer student questions and to Diane Roberts of Illinois Consolidated Phone Company for the use of the speaker phone.

Return to CyberScience '97