New Treadmill Information for Fitness Module

The DIY Podcast topic module about fitness explains that space station crew members use treadmill exercises to maintain bone mass, cardiovascular fitness and muscle endurance. The device that’s mentioned and demonstrated is the Treadmill Vibration Isolation System, or TVIS. Now, a new treadmill to go along with TVIS has been added to the station, and you may want to include it in your classroom’s podcast about fitness.

COLBERT, the world’s most famous treadmill, was transferred to the station in September during the STS-128 shuttle mission. The Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill, or COLBERT, is named after Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert of “The Colbert Report.” NASA chose the acronym COLBERT after the television comedian received the most votes in an online NASA poll to name a space station node. NASA opted to name the node Tranquility, but named the treadmill after Colbert.

COLBERT (the treadmill, not the comedian) has a maximum speed of 12.4 mph, which is faster than the Olympic 100 meter race record. Crew members usually run about 4 to 8 mph. The COLBERT design allows ground experts tracking crew health in orbit to create individual exercise prescriptions and uplink them to the crew as a profile.

The following links to images, video and background information will be helpful if your students want to include COLBERT in their fitness production.


COLBERT decal on the treadmill

Stephen Colbert’s inspirational message video

Do Tread on Me 
COLBERT Ready for Serious Exercise 

Announcement on “Colbert Report,” Treadmill Named COLBERT

DIY Podcast: Fitness
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Science Demonstrations for a Spacesuits Podcast

If you plan to use the DIY Podcast Spacesuits topic module for your students to create their own video podcast, you might consider requiring them to do a science demonstration to enhance their understanding of science concepts and improve the overall quality of their podcast. One of the best ways to understand a concept is to do it, and NASA Education has resources to guide students in creating their own demonstrations. The Spacesuits and Spacewalks Education Activities page lists links to lesson plans.

Here are a few highlights:

  • Some of the lessons from the Suited for Spacewalking Educator Guide now have demonstration videos. The videos give brief explanations of lesson concepts and the materials and setups needed for demonstrations.
  • In the Keeping Your Cool demonstration, students learn how the liquid cooling and ventilation garment works.
  • Micrometeoroids and Space Debris helps students explain the need for spacesuits to provide protection from tiny, high-speed particles in space. Students can also learn about the various layers of the spacesuit.
  • The Bending Under Pressure demonstration allows students to use inflated balloons and rubber bands to discuss how NASA engineers must construct a spacesuit so that astronauts can work in it when it is pressurized.
  • Students demonstrate how surface color affects heat absorption in the Absorption and Radiation demonstration.

As students rehearse and record their demonstrations for a podcast, they gain a deeper, more practical understanding of these science concepts.

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DIY Podcast: Spacesuits

NASA Career Resources

As your students engage with NASA content in the DIY Podcast activity, we hope they’ll become intrigued with NASA’s mission and want to be a part of it. NASA offers fulfilling careers for engineers, mathematicians, astronomers, physicists, chemists, pilots, surgeons, attorneys, accountants and experts in many other exciting fields that may interest your students. NASA Education has launched a new Web page to help students learn about jobs at NASA. It provides career information, such as opportunities for students to intern at NASA, descriptions of jobs at NASA and career resources sorted by grade levels.


NASA Careers

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