Tag Archives: Educator Resources

A New Year, A New Challenge and Free Training

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It’s that time of year again! Many of you have or will soon begin a new school year. Maybe you’ve decided that this year you’re going to do something exciting, something you have never done before with you students. Consider participating in the Exploration Design Challenge. Students around the world are proposing solutions for astronauts who will be exposed to radiation on long-duration missions. This challenge is for students in grades K-12.

If you’ve never participated in a NASA challenge, it may seem intimidating. NASA has a solution to help alleviate your fears. The Aerospace Education Exploration Design Challenge logoServices Project is offering three different webinars on the engineering design process.

On Aug. 26 and Sept. 9, you can participate in the online seminar “The Engineering Design Process: Part 1– Ask, Imagine, Plan.” According to the AESP site, participants learn about problem identification, brainstorming and design challenges using the “Spaghetti Anyone?” tower building activity.

On Aug. 29, “Part 2 — Create, Experiment, Improve” will be offered. In this hands-on webinar, you will learn about the build, test and evaluate, redesign, and share-the-solution steps of the engineering design process.

On Sept. 23, you will learn how to modify your lessons to teach the engineering process in the session entitled “Applying the Engineering Design Process to STEM Content.”

AESP education specialists facilitate these free NASA webinars. You will not need any special software or equipment to participate. Simply go to the meeting room website listed on the AESP Webinar site to participate. To join the challenge, go to the EDC website and register your students for the Exploration Design Challenge. Participating students and their sponsors will become a part of history as their names are sent on the test flight of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle.

This is your opportunity to join in making history!

This post is part of a series about the NASA Exploration Design Challenge.

NASA Exploration Design Challenge

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Top 10 Reasons to Participate in the EDC

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What’s one of the most exciting things going on this year with NASA Education? The answer is the NASA Exploration Design Challenge! If you haven’t heard the news, the challenge asks students to think of a solution for protecting astronauts from radiation.

In my opinion, this is a cool, relevant way to involve teams of students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Why should you consider participating with your class, homeschool, troop or club? Here are my top reasons.

The Top 10 Reasons for Students to Participate in EDC:

10. It’s free!

9. Students will think like scientists and solve problems like engineers in this real-world STEM problem.

8. Teams will join an activity in which students from more than 30 countries are participating.

7. Resources include standards-based activities, background information, safety procedures and videos for students in K-12.

6. Looking for answers to a real-world problem can be a powerful learning experience.


Why Should Students Get Involved With the NASA Exploration Design Challenge? Kelvin Kirby explains. Kirby is deputy director for the Center for Radiation Engineering and Science for Space Exploration at Prairie View A&M University in Texas.

5. Students learn about Orion, NASA’s next spacecraft for human explorers.

4. Team members and their sponsors will be a part of history as their names will be stored in the Smithsonian Institute as Orion’s virtual crew.

3. EDC motivates students toward STEM careers they may not have considered.

2. Winning high school teams will be invited to the inaugural launch of Orion.

1. Participants will serve as honorary, virtual crew members for Orion’s Exploration Flight Test-1!

The challenge has already begun. But it’s not too late to … Plan to kick off your 2013-2014 school year in an exciting way by involving your students. High school students must submit their solutions by Jan. 14, 2014. All others must register for the virtual crew by March 14, 2014.

This post is part of a series about the NASA Exploration Design Challenge.

NASA Exploration Design Challenge

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NASA’s Digital Learning Network and Careers in STEM

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Career planning can be fun for students. They can dream about their futures as they create a multimedia project with the Exploration Careers module. The experts featured in the clips tell interesting stories about their careers at NASA. But with NASA’s Digital Learning Network™, students can speak with NASA experts via a videoconference.  

“NASA Careers in STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics)” is a DLN event that covers the following topics:

•    The many careers at NASA.
•    The difference between a job and a career.
•    What does an engineer do?
•    NASA scientist.
•    NASA astronaut.
•    Working for NASA.
•    What does NASA look for in its workforce?

The event has pre- and post-conference activities to prepare for and follow up after the event. Schedule a DLN event now.

Digital Learning Network: NASA Careers in STEM

DIY Podcast: Exploration Careers

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NASA y Tú and You

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¿Quiere usted inspirar la próxima generación? Do you want to inspire the next generation? The NASA y Tú or NASA and You website features inspirational videos of NASA people representing a variety of STEM careers.

Hispanic professionals at NASA discuss their work and their backgrounds in both Spanish and English. A downloadable poster has some of their stories on the back.

NASA y Tú poster with Spanish textNASA and You poster with English text
Download the NASA y Tu poster in Spanish or English

NASA and You Home

DIY Podcast: Exploration Careers

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Watch a Live Downlink

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Tune in to NASA TV on Nov. 15 at 11:35 a.m. EST to see students involved in the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program talk live with astronauts Suni Williams and Kevin Ford who are on the International Space Station. Expedition 33 mission patch

SSEP is an educational research opportunity that allows students to design and send experiments to the space station through a partnership with NanoRacks, LLC. Williams has been involved in activating the latest round of SSEP experiments brought up on the Dragon spacecraft in early October.

The downlink, hosted at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., takes place during International Education Week. IEW is a joint initiative between the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education that celebrates the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide. Deputy Secretary of Education Tony Miller, NASM Director General Jack Dailey, Smithsonian Institute Assistant Secretary for Education and Access Claudine Brown, and the NASA Associate Administrator for Education Leland Melvin will participate in the program.

Watch the downlink; then build a multimedia project with the Do-It-Yourself Podcast module Space Station.

NASA TV 

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Sort of Like Earth

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A different approach to teaching the water cycle and the carbon cycle might be to compare them to how the Environmental Control and Life Support System, or ECLSS, works on the International Space Station. You can use the DIY Podcast module: Recycling to make the comparison. Recycling on the space station takes its cues from Mother Nature herself.

Like Earth, the space station has a series of systems that come together to make life possible. Even though two-thirds of Earth is covered in water, that amount would have been depleted long ago if it weren’t for nature’s water cycle. The station began with a clean supply of water on board for its crew. Then, like on Earth, the water is recycled to use again. Trees, plants and phytoplankton on Earth recycle carbon dioxide and oxygen through the carbon cycle. The station’s ECLSS has a Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly and an Oxygen Generation System to supply its inhabitants with air to breathe.

Illustration of Earth's water cycle

Students can build podcast episodes or other multimedia projects about Earth’s cycles using the resources in the Recycling module. The resources include a water cycle video, a video of the ECLSS water cycle and a carbon cycle illustration.

Here are a few more resources that you can use for teaching Earth’s cycles:

DIY Podcast: Recycling
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Lessons in Recycling

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NASA has educational products to supplement your lessons as you create a multimedia product about recycling.

The Cleaning Water Activity is a lesson in which students build a water filtering system from a 2-liter plastic bottle and then test its efficiency. This lesson is also available in Spanish.Waste Limitation Management and Recycling Design Challenge educator guide

The Environmental Control and Life Support Systems Water Filtration Challenge is an educator guide with background information and activities. The purpose of the guide is for students to learn about the space station ECLSS that purifies waste water. Groups of students build and test water filtration systems made from 0.5-liter water bottles. As a class, students use ideas from the best water filters to create a classroom design.

For more resources, refer to the Waste Limitation Management and Recycling Design Challenge. This guide has background information about the properties of water, the water cycle and the ECLSS. The purpose of the guide is to be a starting point for students to “begin researching and answering the challenging questions of how to maintain human habitations on the moon and other planets in our solar system.”

Students are offered five activities to try different methods of water filtering and purification. The design challenge section has students design and test a complete water recycling system based on the methods they’ve already tested.

DIY Podcast: Recycling

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NASA RECOMMENDS DISCONTINUATION OF STUDENT ROCKET ACTIVITY

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Recently,an air pressurized paper rocket launcher being used by an educator failed. Thislauncher is described in NASA’s Rockets Educator Guide, publicationsEG-2011-11-223-KSC, pp. 86-90 and EG-2008-05-060-KSC, pp. 86-90.


NASAcompleted an engineering investigation into the failure and determined that thelauncher, or design equivalents, should not be used. NASA has removed thelauncher design from its website and its education curriculum. Individuals andorganizations should immediately discontinue use of the launcher published inthe referenced NASA publications.


The point of contact for additionalinformation is James Stofan, Deputy Associate Administrator for EducationIntegration at nasaedpartners@nasa.gov. We request that your organization assist NASA in disseminating thisinformation as widely as possible throughout the education community.

 

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One of Our Kind in Space

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Teachers dedicate their lives to the next generation. As a middle school teacher, I remember doing just about anything to teach a great lesson.

Astronaut Joe Acaba was/is a middle and high school teacher. (Aren’t we always teachers, even after we step out of the classroom?) Joe taught science and math, but now he’s on the International Space Station. He became an astronaut in 2004. He has visited the station before as a mission specialist on space shuttle mission STS-119. This time he’s going to live and work on the station for several months as a flight engineer for Expeditions 31 and 32.

Alt tag: Astronaut Joe Acaba, ready for a spacewalk, wears a white spacesuit

Because he’s a teacher-turned-astronaut, education is in his blood. Visit the Teach Station website to learn about upcoming education opportunities. Don’t forget to follow Joe on Twitter and read his blog, The Great Outer Space.

Students may want to incorporate Joe’s visit to the space station into their podcast episodes using the Space Station module.

Now is a good time to learn about the International Space Station, while a teacher is on board.

 Expedition 31 crew poster with Robonaut 2   Expedition 32 crew poster

Teach Station

Expedition 31 

DIY Podcast: Space Station

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All Things Station

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The International Space Station is massive. And NASA has a massive amount of Web pages about the station. How can you cut through the technical data and focus on the educational aspects of the station so students can benefit from the orbiting science laboratory?

The answer is the Teach Station website. The new site is the place to go for lessons, activities, opportunities, news and other educational resources related to the space station.

The Teach Station logo with a silhouette of the International Space Station

 

The site is one of many websites offered by the Teaching From Space Office. Teaching From Space offers experiences and resources not found anywhere else. Through the Teach Station site you can learn about Inflight Educational Downlinks. These downlinks put you in touch with astronauts aboard the International Space Station to answer questions related to your classroom studies.

Teach Station is the site to find resources for students as they’re building podcasts using the Space Station module. Teach Station has the who, what, when and where of International Space Station news.

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