Monthly Archives: February 2009

More NASA Video and Image Resources

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A variety of NASA images and video are available online. A few resources that you may find useful include:

•    Human Spaceflight Gallery
•    NASA Images
•    NASA Multimedia Gallery

The DIY Podcast Blog will occasionally suggest NASA resources that may help you and your students enhance your production.


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How to Preview and Download Video Clips

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The DIY Podcast Video Clips pages allow you to preview video clips quickly. Scroll through the clip descriptions in the Flash player. As you find clips that interest you, click on the “Play” link, the clip number or the image beside the description to watch the clip. If you want to use the clip in your project, click on the download icon in the Flash player control bar or the “Download” link under the clip description. A compressed ZIP file will download to your computer.


Each ZIP file contains video clips and timed-text transcript files in multiple formats to accommodate Windows and Mac users. Formats of the five files in each clip’s ZIP package are:

•    MPEG-4 video (.mp4)
•    Windows Media Video (.wmv)
•    Text (.txt)
•    Distribution Format Exchange Profile caption (.dfxp.xml)
•    SubRip caption (.srt)

The time-stamped text files make it easier to create a captioned product if you choose to do so. Once you decompress the ZIP files, move the video clips into your video editing software and build your project.

We want to make this activity as simple as possible for you and welcome your comments to let us know if these are the formats you need.

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Rubrics for DIY Podcast Assignments

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You may want to consider developing a rubric for your DIY Podcast project. A rubric helps you grade the podcast more objectively and helps students understand exactly what is expected of them on the project.

You could create your rubric from scratch or search the Internet for a variety of sample rubrics associated with digital audio or video projects and then customize a rubric for your classroom project. Start by identifying the podcast requirements. Do you expect outside research? Is there a minimum or maximum length?

After determining the required elements of the podcast project, establish the scoring levels for each criterion. For example, if content is one of the criteria, a strong message with complete, in-depth information would receive an exemplary score of four. A message that includes essential information on the topic and communicates clearly would receive three points. A message that vaguely communicates some essential information would score two points, and an unclear message that is sparse on facts and essential information would receive one point.

Here are a few criteria to consider for your rubric:

•    Planning and research
•    Introduction
•    Script
•    Discussion of relevant scientific topic
•    Science demonstration
•    Use of images or music
•    Presentation/delivery
•    Technical production
•    Teamwork

It’s preferable for students to receive a copy of the rubric at the beginning of a DIY Podcast project assignment. This information allows students to focus their time and attention on the elements most important to the project.

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Resources to Put Newton's Laws in Motion

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Creating a podcast about Newton’s Laws of Motion gives students an opportunity to show off their understanding of the subject. Students can demonstrate their knowledge while having fun. It’s a good opportunity for them to dust off their old toys and discover how Newton’s laws apply to them. NASA’s Toys in Space educator guides contain activities that will ignite students’ imaginations.

•    International Toys in Space Video Resource Guide

•    Toys in Space II Video Resource Guide

Students can even see how toys operate in microgravity by watching the Toys in Space videos on the Buzz Lightyear Mission Game 5.

•    Buzz Lightyear Toys in Space Activity

Newton’s laws apply to many of the experiments and missions that NASA conducts, like sending rockets into space. Students can use rocket science to demonstrate Newton’s laws. Launching rockets is a great way for participants to demonstrate that they truly understand them.

NASA has plenty of resources to assist you with teaching Newton’s laws:

•    Fundamental Aeronautics Program — Newton’s Laws for Students

•    Dynamic Design: Launch and Propulsion Science Module

•    Beginner’s Guide to Rockets: Newton’s Laws of Motion

•    Sounding Rockets Program: Newton’s Laws of Motion

•    Beginner’s Guide to Aeronautics: Newton’s Laws of Motion

•    Rockets Educator Guide

•    Lunar Nautics: Designing a Mission to Live and Work on the Moon Educator Guide

•    Adventures in Rocket Science Educator Guide

•    Using Math and Science to Plan for the Next Generation of Spacecraft video

•    How do shuttles blast off? (Fun example of a demonstration that students can videotape)

•    Why can’t an airplane just fly into space? Why do we need rockets? 


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