The Coalition conducted an informal study to determine the extent to which plasmas are being introduced in K-undergraduate level text books. Many of the newer high school books do contain limited discussions of plasma. However, the National Science Education Standards, the current national curriculum standards of the National Research Council (issued in 1996), do not mention plasmas. Most college textbooks, especially the newer ones, contained good discussions of plasmas. A letter was written to the National Research Council recommending that future revisions of the standards include plasma as a fourth state of matter.
The Coalition organized this special plenary session featuring Prof. David Newman, who stressed the importance of communicating about plasma science to nontechnical audiences, offered ways to do it effectively, and presented dramatic demonstrations that could be used by others. He was joined by a panel of three local K-12 teachers.
The Coalition sponsored and organized this special panel session to help attending scientists and engineers understand the importance of communicating about plasmas outside the technical community, and how to improve that communication. The panelists represented television, newspapers, magazines and government.
This reception and interactive exhibit for Members of Congress, their staffs, and government agency representatives, examined plasmas and their many scientific, commercial and practical applications. The event featured demonstrations, posters, hands-on exhibits and both model and operating plasma devices.
During a week in April 1997, CPS and some of its members contributed help and materials for this plasma community exhibit, which highlighted the breadth and significance of plasmas, ranging from their presence in nature to familiar applications in everyday life, and which pointed out plasma-based technologies being developed for the future.
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