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Virginia students can learn about Earth System Science through the "Eyes"-of NASA!

Clinch Valley Times of St. Paul, Virginia

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Amid news headlines reporting severe droughts, earthquakes, major forest' fires, thousand-year floods, receding glaciers and rising sea levels, Virginia students have the opportunity to learn about the forces behind these events as a part of a free new online course offered by the Virginia Space Grant Consortium (VSGC) through its Virginia Earth System Science Scholars program.

One hundred seventy five high school juniors and seniors statewide will be selected to participate in the inaugural offering of the course from December 2015 through April 2016. Three dual-enrollment college credits will be offered through Thomas Nelson Community college with costs underwritten by the VSGC. The application deadline is November 8.

The course engages students in real world investigations of the Earth and its highly dynamic systems. Working with the latest NASA research and data from satellite and airborne missions, students will study the Earth as a system and its response to natural and human-induced changes. They will explore all science disciplines while cultivating critical thinking, data analysis, and inquiry-based problem solving as well as communication, collaboration and adaptability. Students will learn about topics such as the Earth's surface and interior, atmospheric composition, weather, water energy cycles, and climate variability, taking into account the substantial interplay among Earth's systems. Master Educators will work with students online, providing guidance and feedback on course-work.

A follow-on one-week residential summer academy at NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va. Will be offered to about 90 students who perform well in the course. At the academy, they will work with science, engineering, and technology mentors to apply course content and NASA data to real world applications. It is anticipated that one additional college credit will be offered for successful completion of the academy.

Virginia Earth System Science Scholars partners include the Hampton University Center for Atmospheric Research and Education, NASA Langley Research Center and Thomas Nelson Community College.

For more information and to complete the online application for the 2015-2016 course, please visit:

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Original Publication Date: November 5, 2015

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