NES educator Michael Lewis says things are really “taking off” in his technology class at Skiatook High School in Oklahoma. Every Friday is “NASA Friday.” On those days, Lewis will be using a variety of student lessons and activities provided by NASA and NASA Explorer Schools. His students will study, research and create various technology experiments in the same way scientists at NASA do. Students will use critical thinking, analysis, observation, experimentation and communication to solve the same kinds of problems astronauts and those in the aerospace industry face every day.
This school year, Lewis’ students have already made remote-launching vehicles. This activity helped them better understand the challenges NASA faced in launching and landing the scientific rover Curiosity, which landed on the planet Mars in August. The class also has discussed the tensile strength of various metals and organic products when under pressure. The students then divided into different teams to see which group could build the tallest structure using a common set of construction materials, spaghetti and marshmallows. One team built a 106.7-cm tall structure based on the triangle shape!
Link to the NES Virtual Campus home page.