Lindsay Clark Bartolone, who majored in astrophysical sciences at Princeton, is currently working for NASA's Science Mission Directorate. Lindsay serves as a Co-Investigator on the NASA Astrophysics and Heliophysics Science Education and Public Outreach Forums (SEPOF) in the areas of professional development, Informal and K-12 education.
Prior to NASA, Lindsay was a senior educator at the Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum in Chicago, Ill. Among her responsibilities was leading Astronomy Connections, a professional development program for middle school and high school teachers. Her goal, she says, is “communicating about science.”
Many people, including teachers,” she notes, “don’t have a background in science, and it’s really important to understand scientific concepts. I thought I might have a greater educational impact by teaching teachers than by being in a classroom.”
Bartolone also continues work that she began in connection with her Princeton junior paper: education outreach for the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP), a NASA satellite that measures the temperature of cosmic background radiation—the remnant heat from the Big Bang. WMAP was named to honor the late David Wilkinson, a Princeton professor of astrophysics. Bartolone worked in Princeton’s Department of Astrophysical Sciences until taking her job at Adler in early 2005, and she continues to collaborate with astrophysicist David Spergel, her former thesis adviser, about WMAP and NASA’s educational programs.
As if that were not enough to satisfy Bartolone’s need to “communicate about science,” she is an education and public outreach leader for another NASA project: IBEX, or Interstellar Boundary Explorer. The IBEX satellite, scheduled for launch in 2008, will map the boundary between the solar system and interstellar space. “I’m working on a planetarium show about the IBEX mission, and on an IBEX-related space science sequence for grades three through eight,” she says.
In all this work, says Bartolone, “I look back at the curriculum design training I received in the Program in Teacher Preparation; I use it every day. I feel like I can really help teachers teach.” In terms of professional training, she says, “TPP puts you years ahead.”
Bartolone is grateful to the astrophysical sciences department for “helping me choose courses that met their requirements and those of the TPP, and the Teacher Prep program for helping me choose courses that met my departmental requirements. I found everything I needed for my future career.”