NES Events Next Week (May 14 – May 18)

Professional development opportunity for teachers

Professional DevelopmentChemistry of Water: Mars Exploration — Is There Water on Mars?

May 14, 6:30 p.m. EDT

Learn to use an inquiry-based lesson about how atmospheric pressure and vapor pressure affect the boiling point of water. See why water’s boiling point is pressure-dependent, rather than temperature-dependent. Then, by extension, you will deduce if there could be liquid water on Mars.

Video chat for students

Live Video Chat – Astronaut Greg Johnson — Living and Working in Space

May 15, noon – 1 p.m. EDT

Opportunity for students in grades 4-12 to ask astronaut Greg Johnson questions during a live video chat about his education, astronaut training and experiences while living and working in space.

Professional development opportunity for teachers

Professional Development – Engineering Design Challenge: Thermal Protection System

May 15, 8:15 p.m. EDT

Learn about the science of heat transfer and heat dissipation related to NASA vehicles, and receive an introduction to the associated engineering design challenge, Thermal Protection System.

NASA Now – Microgravity Research
May 16
Nancy Hall, a research scientist at NASA Glenn Research Center, discusses different ways matter acts in the gravity on Earth and in microgravity and how she uses a drop tower for testing.

Professional development opportunity for teachers
May 16, 8 p.m. EDT
Discover how you can use the Space Shuttle Ascent activity to construct a knowledge bridge for your students between the algebra concepts they learn in your classroom and space exploration.

Video chat for students

May 18, 1 – 2 p.m. EDT
C.J. Kanelakos, a mechanical design engineer on the Robonaut 2 project will answer student questions about Robonaut 2, or R2. Join the video chat for an opportunity to ask CJ about her career path, how she became interested in technology and any questions you may have about engineering at NASA!Link to the NES Virtual Campus home page.

NES Events Next Week (Apr. 30 – May 4)

NES National Student Symposium, Johnson Space Center

Students from NES project schools across the country are attending the NASA Explorer Schools National Student Symposium at Johnson Space Center, Houston Tex. Students are presenting their investigation or design challenge findings to NASA personnel and other students attending the event. Other activities include an astronaut presentation, facility tours, student activities and a career awareness panel. To earn an invitation to the symposium, students conducted an investigation or design challenge and presented it to a panel of NASA personnel during the NES Virtual Student Symposium.

Professional Development

Professional Development – Geometry: Space Math Problems-Solar Storms

Apr. 30, 8 – 9 p.m. EDT
Get an overview of the problem sets, suggestions for implementation of best practices and some extension activities including additional Space Math problems that may be appropriate for your curriculum. 

May 2, 8 – 9 p.m. EDT
Go through three mathematical computations to determine usable and unusable portions of foods. The seminar includes an extension activity comparing mold growth on bread and tortillas in order to see why tortillas are an acceptable bread substitute in microgravity. The forms of packaged food products that are fine for travel on Earth are not always suitable for use on space flights. There are limitations to weight and volume when traveling and the microgravity conditions experienced in space also affect the food packaging.NASA Now: Balloon ResearchDebbie Fairbrother, Chief Technologist in the Balloon Program at Wallops Flight Facility in Va., discusses two types of high-altitude balloons NASA uses to test scientific instruments and spacecraft. Prepare to be amazed when you find out how big the balloons are and much mass they can lift.

NES Events Next Week (Apr. 23 – 27)

NES Video Chat

NES Video Chat: NASA Untamed

Apr 23 from 1-2 p.m. EDT
In celebration of Earth Day 2012, Becky Bolt, a wildlife ecologist at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, will answer student questions about how scientists study wildlife and how this research helps support space operations.

NES Professional Development Opportunity for Teachers

Heat Transfer: MESSENGER — My Angle on Cooling Web Seminar
April 23, 2012, at 6:30 p.m. EDT
Learn how to use the mission’s Staying Cool activities to lead students through an examination of different solutions to the problem of how to deal with too much sunlight and energy.

NES Video Chat

Live Video Chat: 100,000,000,000 Planets in Our Galaxy and Counting

April 25, 2012, from noon – 1 p.m. EDT
NASA research scientist Stephen Kane will answer questions from students in grades 4-12 about a study he co-authored showing there are 100 billion planets in our galaxy.

Review the NES calendar for other upcoming events.

NES National Student Symposium

The NES Virtual Student Symposium provides the opportunity for up to two teams of two students to share the results of an investigation or NASA design challenge with NASA scientists, engineers, technicians and educators. Participation in the Virtual Student Symposium is a prerequisite for getting invited to the all-expenses-paid NES National Student Symposium to be held at a NASA field center on May 2-5, 2012. The investigation or design challenge may be conducted as a classroom activity or done by students on their own, based on their own interests. The investigation or design challenge must relate to a NASA Explorer Schools teaching module or NASA Now episode on the NASA Explorer Schools Virtual Campus.

For more information about this exciting student opportunity, log into the NES Virtual Campus and visit the Student Recognition page.

Who Are NES Teachers?

The NASA Explorer Schools project invests in science, technology, engineering and mathematics educators to inspire and engage future scientists, engineers, and technicians NASA needs to continue our journey.

Are you too looking for exciting and interactive ways to connect your students to NASA? Are you in search of engaging, academically rigorous resources and activities that you can easily implement into your classroom? Do you want to give your students the opportunity to chat with a NASA expert and have their questions answered live online? Check out NASA Explorer Schools.

NES Educators Expand Their Ocean Research Skills

NES participants at Coastal Observations Research ExperienceFrom July 11-15, 2011, fourteen highly enthusiastic educators participated in the NES Coastal Observation Research Experience at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, located at Wallops Island, Virginia.

During the five-day research experience, teachers became familiar with the science and research techniques used by NASA to study coastal oceans, ocean color and Earth’s biosphere from space. They also had an opportunity to board research vessels and perform some of the same research techniques while at sea as those used by NASA scientists.

To read the participant’s blog and see videos and pictures from the NES Coastal Observation Research Experience, check out the experience’s Facebook event page

Gear Up for the School Year With NES

We hope you’ve been enjoying your summer vacation! As you gear up for the 2011-2012 school year, don’t forget about NASA Explorer Schools’ wealth of classroom resources. Last year, NES teachers participated in more than 1,100 activities. Many teachers commented on how easy it was to integrate NES activities into their curriculum and how using them increased their students’ interest in STEM topics. 

And there’s much more to look forward to in the upcoming year!

Throughout the school year, NES will add 20 new lessons to the existing teaching materials library, along with a number of associated professional development videos and webinars. 

NES will kick off the 2011-2012 NASA Now Season with its first event, Clouds and Earth’s Radiant Energy System. Chief Engineer Gary Fleming will explain how studying electromagnetic energy can help predict climate change. Information about this event will be posted on Aug. 17.

Visit the Virtual Campus to find the complete set of NES classroom resources as you plan your 2011-2012 curriculum. Remember, the NES staff is available throughout the summer to answer any questions or provide additional support in integrating NES resources into your curriculum.

Enjoy the rest of the summer!

NES Teachers Participate in Summer Research Experiences

Each summer, NASA Explorer Schools recognizes outstanding NES educators by providing an opportunity to attend an all-expense-paid, three- to five-day research experience. This summer, NES is hosting four research experiences.

On July 11, selected educators begin a week-long NASA Coastal Ocean Research Opportunity. Teachers become familiar with the science and research techniques used by NASA to study the coastal oceans, ocean color and Earth’s biosphere from space. They conduct research aboard research vessels and learn to use some of the same techniques used by NASA scientists.

The theme of the Solar System – Inside and Out summer experience is what is happening within our solar system and beyond. During this two-day professional development experience participants learn about our solar system, exoplanets, and the Hubble Space Telescope’s contributions to the study of these new worlds orbiting other stars. This workshop features science content presentations and hands- on activities that use real-world astronomical data and the Hubble Legacy Archive to bring the wonders of the universe to students. These activities can be implemented in the classroom to encourage students to generate relevant and meaningful research questions and search for new insights about the solar system. The “Solar System — Inside and Out” workshop will be held July 20-21, 2011, at the Space Telescope Science Institute, located on the Johns Hopkins University Homewood Campus in Baltimore, Md.

July 20 marks the first day of a four-day Water Filtration Research experience supporting the NES Engineering Design Challenge of the same name. Participants learn how NASA recycles water on the International Space System and about hydroponics and plant growth, as well as how a national park studies water.

A selected group of NES educators travel to the Goldstone Apple Valley Radio Telescope facility for a week-long research experience beginning on July 18. The GAVRT project uses a series of dedicated 34 meter (112 foot) radio telescopes at NASA’s Deep Space Network Goldstone Complex connected to classrooms via the Internet. Teachers acquire the curricular, operational and scientific knowledge to implement GAVRT within the classroom with cross-curricular lessons. Participants learn how to use the software. They are given access to the telescope for student use during the school year. 

The final NES summer research experience, Forces and Motion, begins on August 1 and targets teachers of middle school students. Selected educators perform their own research on the properties of objects in a microgravity environment and then go through a design process to create and build a research experiment. The experience then culminates with testing the experiment in a NASA drop tower.

If you’d like to be eligible to participate in a NASA research experience next summer, become an NES participant by completing the registration form on the NES Virtual Campus.

Link to the NES Virtual Campus home page.

NES Adding New Teaching Modules to the Virtual Campus

NASA Explorer Schools project logoThe NASA Explorer Schools project is adding 20 new teaching modules throughout the coming year to cover even more science, technology, engineering and mathematics topics across grades 4-12. NES will post the first set of new resources, focused on mathematics for algebra 1, algebra 2 and calculus classrooms later this summer. Other new content modules will focus on concepts in life science, physical science, engineering, chemistry and Earth science.

Be sure to check out all the exciting opportunities and classroom activities coming to the Virtual Campus. And remember, NES staff will be available throughout the summer to answer any questions or to provide additional support in integrating NES resources into your curriculum.

Have a wonderful summer!

Link to the NES Virtual Campus home page.