Careers and Education: An Overview
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This chapter describes major challenges and opportunities associated with transferring bioastronautics knowledge among space faring nations. It highlights select programs at the elementary school through postdoctoral levels, including medical and military training, that promote bioastronautics and broader science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) literacy, particularly in Africa. The chapter also examines bioastronautics knowledge transfer partnerships among commercial space organizations and national space agencies (MacLeish et al., International cooperation for space life sciences knowledge sharing and development in Africa. International Academy of Astronautics, Paris, 2014).
The coordinating theme is that educational outreach is essential for transferring bioastronautics and STEM knowledge in support of the emerging global consensus that (1) space exploration’s ultimate mission is to serve humanity and (2) international partnerships are a primary mechanism for accomplishing this missing (Pace et al. 2010). Education modules and programs selected for discussion cover multidisciplinary topics, including the nature of the space environment, student experiments on the International Space Station, and impacts of space travel on the human body (e.g., sleep circadian rhythm interruption; bone loss; radiation exposure; and brain, muscle, neurovestibular, and cardiovascular alterations). Science and engineering coursework, clinical experiences, space-related research apprenticeships, and research projects are the major foci at graduate and undergraduate levels. Military training programs are limited in number and scope, but they are included because they offer a unique pathway for developing specialized bioastronautics skills among professionals, including astronauts and scientists. The chapter also includes a brief discussion of multimedia scientific literacy outreach programs delivered by museums, science centers, and radio/television outlets.
Educators and other science literacy disseminators across the globe are challenged in weaving new bioastronautics information into their respective outreach programs. The chapter’s detailed description of partnerships among educators, scientists, and non-academic or informal education communities illustrates the key role that such collaborations play in bridging the bioastronautics knowledge/STEM literacy gap and in producing innovative classroom materials that are indigenous to diverse cultures and efficacious for use in classrooms worldwide. This section also provides an overview of global bioastronautics careers and discusses strategies employed by various governmental/nongovernmental entities to introduce bioastronautics education into their respective countries’ curricula [ENQA] European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (Standards and guidelines for quality assurance in the European higher education area, Brussels, Belgium. ENQA, Brussels, 2005) Standards and guidelines for quality assurance in the European higher education area, Brussels, Belgium.
KeywordsBioastronautics Global Partnerships Humanity Elementary Secondary Graduate-postgraduate Knowledge Health Humanity Africa Europe Careers Standards Space International Space Station
The author would like to acknowledge the Springer editorial office for its guidance. The author also wishes to thank Drs. Gregory Vogt, Amanda Hackler, David Klaus, Elizabeth Klerman, David Dinges, Joseph Akinyede and William Thomson, and Mr. James Denk, for their contributions to this manuscript.
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