CRISM (Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars)
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Parent and Teacher Testimonials

four students
Students collaborate to identify martian chemistry.

“Through the inquiry-based approach that the MESDT program provides, these students have developed their own questions, gathered and analyzed extensive amounts of data, and presented their findings to some of the top Mars research scientists in the country for critique. The impact that this has on a high school student is immeasurable.” - MESDT Teacher, 2012-2013

"Of all the students that I have been associated with over the last nine years that participated in the MESDT program, I am proud to say that 80% of them have changed their perspective of science and have gone on to STEM-related majors. For many of them, they are now employed in geology and engineering related careers. I strongly believe that the MESDT program played a significant role in that it provided them not only the confidence, but the belief that they can be scientists and engineers. The program has also instilled in them a passion to want to learn. They realize that science is hard work but it is also fun." - MESDT Teacher, In a letter to NASA Administrator, Charlie Bolden, 2012

"When two students told me that they were thinking of careers in planetary geology because of this project and several others stated that they kind of thought that they might like science now, I was thrilled! Moreover, I had students coming to me to find out if we were going to do a similar project "next year" because they wanted to sign up." - MESDT Teacher, 2011-2012

four students
Students research the geology of Mars.

"The most memorable interaction was actually with a parent who thanked me for not only inspiring her daughter to want to be a scientist, but also to desire to graduate and go onto college. That student has since applied for a NASA summer internship and to study Astronomy in Arizona. Another parent thanked me for helping him to see the strengths in his son, since his 4.0 state athlete sister usually gets all of the attention." - MESDT Teacher, 2011-2012

"I think that they gained valuable experience in the operation of the online environment as well as the protocols for participating such as how to ask questions. They were able to listen and interact with students from all over the nation, which they would never had access to otherwise." - MESDT Teacher, 2011-2012

"This iterative process broke down many walls between students and turned my classroom into a truly collaborative environment where students felt safe giving and receiving constructive criticism." - MESDT Teacher, 2011-2012

"MESDT has also provided these students not only knowledge related to the geology of Mars, but more importantly, how to design and conduct authentic scientific research. It provides students the opportunity to "do" science instead of listening about it being done by others." - MESDT Teacher, 2011-2012

four students
MESDT student looks for a CRISM full resolution targeted image.

"Thank you for letting us present. It was this team's first presentation and they were very excited. They went home last night and started texting me all evening as they started to research the questions posed by the scientists. They are actually going to be working on things next week (which is our spring break)." - MESDT Teacher, 2011-2012

"For one of my first students on my MESDT team, it changed not only her career path, but her entire life and aspirations." -MESDT Teacher, 2011

"This year, our group is a group that includes several "at-risk" students. I cannot begin to express how exciting the MESDT program has been for them. Potentially, this experience could very well turn a couple of them around academically." - MESDT Teacher, 2010-2011

"An opportunity to expand upon their interests and experience the "reality" of doing scientific investigations." - MESDT Teacher, 2010-2011

"New found love of science and has provided a "career compass" as many former participants of MESDT are now pursuing careers in geological, meteorological, science and technology careers." - MESDT Teacher, 2010-2011

"My son has been deeply impacted by this program. He is extremely passionate about it." - MESDT Parent, 2010-2011