Monthly Archives: July 2009

Resources That Shed Light on Solar Arrays and Electricity

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The main page of the Solar Arrays module lists resources for students to use if they want to gather more information for their podcast script. Here are a few more NASA educational resources that you may find helpful in teaching about solar arrays and electricity.


NASA’s Student Observation Network includes the Living and Working in Space: Energy module, which promotes inquiry as students answer questions such as “What variables might affect the operation of solar panels?”

Classroom of the Future offers ISS: Electricity and Power in Space, an electricity module with simulations.

The NASA SCI Files’ The Case of the Electrical Mystery educator guide contains activities that will get students “charged up” about electricity.

NASA’s Environmental Control and Life Support Systems Water Filtration Challenge Educator Guide is an engineering design challenge in which students build and test water filtration systems.

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DIY Podcast: Solar Arrays

Education Standards Supported by Rocket Evolution Module

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As we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission, we’re also looking forward to the flight of our next spacecraft that will replace the shuttle after it retires in 2010. The Constellation Program is in the works to replace the Space Shuttle Program. NASA Education’s new DIY Podcast module, Rocket Evolution, looks at past, present and future NASA rockets. Students can use Apollo and space shuttle video and audio clips along with animation of future spacecraft to show how rockets include technology built on what’s already been learned.


Student podcasts created with this module will support National Science Education Standards, including:
•    Abilities of technological design
•    Understanding about science and technology
•    Science technology and society

Student podcasts built using the Rocket Evolution module will also support the International Technology Education Association educational standard: Students will develop an understanding of the relationships among technologies and the connections between technology and other fields of study.

In addition to audio and video clips, the Rocket Evolution module features information to help students write a podcast script, along with links to related resources and images.

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DIY Podcast: Rocket Evolution

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Apollo 40th Anniversary Audio and Video Available in DIY Podcast Module

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This year marks the 40th anniversary of humans’ first steps on the moon. NASA’s theme for the 2009 observance is “Celebrate Apollo: Exploring the Moon, Discovering Earth.” This is an opportune time for you and your students to examine one of the greatest achievements of the 20th century. And NASA Education’s new DIY Podcast module, Rocket Evolution, puts historic multimedia content at your fingertips. The module provides a collection of Apollo audio and video clips that students can download to create their own podcast. Rocket Evolution considers the influence of the Apollo era on present and future rockets. One example is the Constellation Program’s plans to use a derivative of the Apollo J-2 engine as America prepares to go back to the moon and on to Mars.

You’ll find a lot of helpful information and multimedia content about the Apollo Program through the DIY Podcast, but that’s just the beginning. A NASA Web section dedicated to the Apollo 40th Anniversary is loaded with multimedia galleries, a First Footprints toolkit and historical information that will enhance your students’ podcasts.

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DIY Podcast: Rocket Evolution

New DIY Podcast Topic Module: Rocket Evolution

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Our newest DIY Podcast topic module has considerably more multimedia content than the others. Rocket Evolution covers past, present and future NASA rockets. It gives you a wide variety of content to choose from as your students build their own podcasts. This topic module features 48 video clips and 24 audio clips that students can download to mix with original content. The content runs the gamut from historical footage to beautiful animation, including President Kennedy’s challenge to go to the moon, several launch countdowns, an artist’s concepts of future rockets, and clips with NASA experts talking about rocketry and the Apollo, Space Shuttle and Constellation programs. You’ll find a nice mix of sound bites and B-roll for video podcasts. If you opt for audio podcasts, your students can be creative as they blend their own narration and music with historic audio and expert sound bites. In addition to audio and video clips, the Rocket Evolution module includes links to images and NASA resources, and information to help students write a podcast script about how rockets have evolved.


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DIY Podcast: Rocket Evolution

Solar Arrays Module Offers Versatility for Student Podcasts

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DIY Podcast topic modules tend to offer enough variety that no two student projects will be the same. And that certainly seems to be the case with the new Solar Arrays module. The educational information and multimedia content let you choose from multiple topics as the focus of your podcast. Students can build podcasts about solar energy, electricity, spacecraft solar arrays or the International Space Station’s life support system — just to name a few.

Astronaut Bill McArthur explains how the space station gathers power through its solar arrays to run space station systems, life support and experiments. Electricity is vital to life on the station. McArthur discusses how the solar panels capture sunlight and convert it into electricity. And he lists examples of why electricity is a necessity on the station.

The Solar Arrays module includes images of the Environmental Control and Life Support System because it provides most of the functions McArthur mentions in the audio and video clips. The module also gives you easy access to images of electrical wiring on the station and the many computers, experiments and pieces of equipment that require electricity on the station.

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DIY Podcast: Solar Arrays