The NASA Explorer School project was honored with an Emmy Award from the Lower Great Lakes Chapter of the National Association of Television Arts and Sciences on June 2, 2012. NASA Now, a weekly 5-7 minute video program is a classroom resource for teachers to show grades K-12 students what a scientist, engineer, or technician looks like, sounds like, and what kinds of work they do at NASA. Each week, students see real people putting science, technology, engineering and mathematics to work in the unique context of NASA careers, missions, research and facilities.
NASA Now received the prize for production excellence in the category of Informational/Instructional: Program/Series or Special.
Observations from NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer have led to the best assessment yet of our solar system’s population of potentially hazardous asteroids. The results reveal new information about the asteroids’ total numbers, origins and the possible dangers they may pose.
Potentially hazardous asteroids are a subset of the larger group of near-Earth asteroids. The PHAs have the closest orbits to Earth’s. They come within about 8 million kilometers (5 million miles) of Earth and are big enough to survive passing through Earth’s atmosphere. PHAs could cause damage on a regional, or greater, scale.
This story is a great extension to NASA Now: Primitive Asteroids: OSIRIS-REx, where Dr. Joseph Nuth discusses a mission to a near-Earth asteroid. This NASA Now program is available on the NES Virtual Campus.
To read more about potentially hazardous asteroids, visit https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/WISE/news/wise20120516.html.
At the edge of the solar system, Voyager 1 is reporting a sharp increase in cosmic rays that could herald the spacecraft’s long-awaited entry into interstellar space.
With the moon as the most prominent object in the night sky and a major source of an invisible pull that creates ocean tides, many ancient cultures thought it could also affect our health or state of mind — the word “lunacy” has its origin in this belief. Now, a powerful combination of spacecraft and computer simulations is revealing that the moon does indeed have a far-reaching, invisible influence — on the sun, or more specifically, the solar wind.
To read more about our moon’s effect on solar wind, visit https://www.nasa.gov/topics/solarsystem/features/electric-moon.html.
This article is a great extension to the NASA Explorer Schools featured lesson, Geometry: Space Math Problems — Solar Storms. To access this lesson, visit http://explorerschools.nasa.gov.
Link to the NES Virtual Campus home page.
NES educator Kaci Pilcher Heins has a great way to get students involved with STEM — high-altitude ballooning! She says, “Usually each state has a ballooning organization and is very willing to get students involved. We are heading to Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott tomorrow (April 12, 2012) to launch our payload of temperature sensor, pressure sensor, camera, and sensitive film to try and capture gamma rays on board a high-altitude balloon. This is also a great opportunity for my sixth-graders to talk with university students as we tour the campus.” Pilcher Heins reports that they are also using amateur radio with the repeater on the balloon.
Here are pictures of Earth taken during the flight on April 12.
Directly related to this activity is the NES featured lesson, Engineering Design: Forces and Motion — Balloon Aerodynamics.
And be sure to take a look at the May 2 NASA Now program, Balloon Research.
NASA Explorer Schools educator Kaci Pilcher Heins from Northland Preparatory Academy used the NES featured lesson Satellite Meteorology to introduce weather and climate to her sixth-grade students. Even though the lesson is written for upper grades, she modified the lesson using her own extensions.
To find out more about the Satellite Meteorology lesson, go to Weather and Climate: Satellite Meteorology on Facebook, or read about it in NEON.
NASA Now: Earth and the Solar System — Juno. Tracy Drain, a Juno systems engineer from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, discusses the Juno spacecraft and what scientists hope to learn when it reaches Jupiter.
This program is available on the NES Virtual Campus beginning June 13.
Preview NASA Now: Earth and the Solar System — Juno