Rocketry Website

We have your rocketry needs wrapped up in one place. Have you seen NASA Education’s Rocketry website? Here’s a list straight from the source.
Rocketry Education website
Things you can do on this site:

   • Answer the question: What is a rocket?
   • Investigate and learn about rockets at NASA.
   • Learn the terms that the rocket scientists use.
   • Visit the Rocketry Image Gallery.
   • Read about the careers of rocketry experts.
   • Learn about the history of rocketry.
   • Check out lesson plans for your classroom.
   • Stay up-to-date with information about NASA-supported rocketry competitions.
   • Watch and download video and multimedia features about rocketry.
   • Browse NASA websites for information about rocketry.

    For students, the site features the interactive How Do Rockets Stack Up? in which students can compare model rockets to the real thing. The site also has an image gallery with more than 50 rocket-related images. The multimedia section has links to more images, interactive pages, videos, animations and podcasts.

    For you the teacher, the site has lesson plans, a career corner in which scientists and engineers talk about their career paths in the field of rocketry and their work at NASA, a page of opportunities for participation, and a link to related sites.

    Students will find information and media that they can use to create a first-rate podcast.

    Rocketry Education website
    Rocket Science DIY Podcast topic module
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    You in Microgravity

    For years, doctors have been writing books with word “You” in the title. Well, how about telling your own story: You in Microgravity?

    NASA does not run short on the cool factor. And here’s another cool way for teachers to get involved. When you’re not planning lessons to meet education standards, teaching those lessons, or grading students’ work, along with all of the other things you do, you might consider proposing an experiment that could be conducted in microgravity.

    The Teaching From Space Office at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas has announced an opportunity for K-12 teachers to propose an experiment that could be conducted on a reduced-gravity aircraft. The aircraft will fly approximately 30 roller-coaster-like climbs and dips to produce periods of microgravity and hypergravity, ranging from 0 g’s to 2 g’s. You are invited to submit a proposal for an experiment that you and a team of your colleagues could perform in reduced gravity.

    The DIY Podcast connection is this: Your students are building a podcast using one of the modules filmed on the International Space Station. They have seen examples of experiments conducted in microgravity but still have questions. If you had been selected to fly your experiment on the microgravity aircraft, you could give them a firsthand account of the experience. Design an experiment with your students. If you are selected to fly, they could use video footage from your experiment in their podcast.

    Ideas for experiment should include a variable that is affected by gravity. Look at the Sports Demo module for some examples. Maybe there is an experiment that students would like to see that demonstrates one of the laws of physics.

    Visit the Microgravity University website for more information or send an email to Your team’s proposal must be submitted by Sept. 21, 2011.

    For more ideas, read these articles and watch these videos:

    The Ups and Downs of Liquid Density
    The Ups and Downs of Water Droplets
    The Ups and Downs of Convection
    Toys in Space Mission 5 Buzz Lightyear To Infinity and Beyond! Games
    Buzz Lightyear Toys in Space Activity
    Toys in Space

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    Watch a Live Q & A Session From the Space Station

    Many of our current DIY Podcast modules feature astronauts on the International Space Station. To see firsthand what goes on there and to hear student questions to the crew, watch a live downlink.

    Four crew members float through the space station in four different directions.
    Expedition 28 flight engineer Ron Garan and other crew members
    float through the International Space Station.

    Tune in to NASA TV Monday, Aug. 29, at 12:35 p.m. CDT as the Museum of Flight hosts a live question and answer session between students and astronauts Ron Garan, Mike Fossum and Satoshi Furukawa. The museum currently offers a variety of activities that explore science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, and the space program. The museum seeks to use the downlink to bring these subjects alive and inspire the audience to pursue a variety of STEM activities. Students from Aviation High School, Puyallup High School, Civil Air Patrol, and Liberty High School will take part in this unique opportunity.


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    It IS Rocket Science

    Our newest Do-It-Yourself Podcast topic module features a launch vehicle systems analyst, aka rocket scientist. Tristan Curry explains the concepts behind launching a rocket. Besides explaining the importance of the basic parts of a rocket, she also explains scientific principles in relation to a rocket. Your students can incorporate clips of Curry explaining Newton’s laws, gravity, thrust and safety. Education specialist Fred Kepner also explains how to find the center of gravity and center of pressure on a rocket and why those points are important to a rocket’s stability.

    Although NASA applies these science concepts in building and launching rockets, the same principles apply to model rockets.

    Rocket ScienceThe module includes 34 video clips and 10 audio clips. The video clips include footage from space shuttle, Atlas V, and Delta II launches and animations. We’ve also included historical footage of the Saturn V, German rocket launches from the 1940s, and newsreel footage of workers assembling Redstone missiles.

    Students can shoot video of themselves building a rocket to mix with the rocket scientist explaining the science.

    The Rocket Science module also includes links to images and other resources to support student creativity in building a podcast.

    Rocket Science module

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    Another Opportunity . . . The Ultimate “Ask the Expert” Experience!

    You have another opportunity to speak with space station astronauts. The event is called an In-flight Education Downlink. During a downlink, students can interview astronauts and cosmonauts as they orbit Earth every 90 minutes. The format of the downlink is similar to that of a videoconference. This is the ultimate “ask the expert” experience.

    There is currently a call for proposals for an educational downlink with International Space Station Expeditions 29 and 30. These crews are scheduled to be aboard the station between September 2011 and March 2012. To be considered for an event, you must submit an application. NASA’s Teaching From Space Office is looking for organizations that will draw large numbers of participants and integrate the downlink into a well-developed education plan.

    Students stand in front of large screen showing astronauts on the space station

    As a part of your plan, you should explain how you currently use NASA materials in the classroom. Since this is a unique opportunity, you should consider inviting members of the community to attend the event.  Read an example of two teachers who planned a cross-country downlink event together. They also use DIY Podcast.

    Show your involvement with NASA by including how you use DIY Podcast. You might want to use the DIY Podcast topic modules to plan the types of questions you would like your students to ask. If you’ve been perusing the modules and wondered how something works in space, this would be a good time to ask. One key component of the application is to explain how you will use the downlink experience after the event.

    I’ve included some links below to articles and videos about downlinks. I hope these help inspire you to apply. Good luck.

    For more information, contact the Teaching From Space Office by email or by phone, 281-244-7608.

    The deadline to submit a proposal is April 29, 2011.

    In-flight Education Downlinks Home

    NASA Offers Schools and Education Groups Chance To Talk To Space

    Cady Talks With NYC Students at Women’s Academy of Excellence video

    D.C.Students Connect With Station Astronauts video

    Reaching for the Stars in NYC: NASA Holds Education Forum to Inspire the Next Generation of Explorers

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    An Easy Way to Find Educational Resources

    NASA has resources aligned to national education standards to supplement your curricula. As you teach background information that will help students build their own products using the DIY Podcast activity, you may want to use some of these resources.

    Screenshot of the educational materials search tool

    NASA’s Education Materials Finder can point you to educational resources, including lesson plans, educator guides, websites and video clips. You can use the search tool to get results by keyword, grade level, subject and product type. At the bottom of the search tool is a link to an A-Z list of downloadable guides, lesson plans and other publications.

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    Educational materials search tool 

    International Space Station Anniversary Resource

    On November 2, 2000, the first inhabitants of the International Space Station moved aboard. Explorers have lived on the station continually since then. The current six-member crew is Expedition 25. During the 10 years and 25 crews, the space station has grown into a football field-sized orbiting science laboratory.
    For the 10th anniversary of human presence on the International Space Station, the website has added a new interactive feature, Ten Years on the International Space Station. Many of the DIY Podcast topic modules include audio and video clips from the space station. Students can use this new resource to gather background information about the station that they may want to include in their podcasts. The interactive feature has fun facts and a video that includes some of the astronauts recorded in the DIY Podcast topic modules. 

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    A Teacher's Point of View

    I can tell you over again how engaging the DIY Podcast tool is for students. But it is better that you hear it from a teacher who is currently using it. I can give you some of the technical information and an ideal-world view, but we all know that it doesn’t always happen that way in the classroom. So in today’s post I’m including comments from a fifth-grade teacher who has used DIY Podcast with students.

    So from the front line, here are comments from Neme Alperstein, one of NASA’s Office of the Chief Information Officer IT Summit’s 2010 OCIO Excellence in Teaching award winners. The award recognizes K-12 educators for the innovative use of technology within their curriculum.

    We have had great fun using DIY Podcast. Students used a combination of video clips and NASA photographs to create their own presentations and their “take” on what’s cool and new at NASA. By making video and still images available to students online, the students can be the reporters communicating in “kidspeak” what speaks to them. DIY is 21st-century learning engaging children in learning that is personalized and exciting. Science, writing,communication and technology skills, and interpretation and analysis are just some of the areas in which students hone their skills. Perhaps the best part of it all is the fun and excitement it brings to learning about space science and exploration.

    Neme began her DIY Podcast adventures with her students after being involved in NASA and other opportunities that are open to all teachers and students.

    We began with content from videoconferencing with NASA’s Digital Learning Network. [We] expanded to a National Geographic/Earthwatch project studying monarch butterflies in Vietnam with a researcher from the U.S. skyping with students while she was in the field observing (and that led to student research and podcasting about their online findings) and [have] continued as students follow experiments on the International Space Station. As students create their own projects (most recently on robotics), video has become an essential means of expression reflecting learning.

    You don’t have to buy extra software to build podcasts. Both Mac and Windows machines have software already installed that you can use to begin building podcasts right away. As students become pro podcasters, they may want to ditch software with limited capabilities and begin using applications that will allow them to create studio-quality productions.  

    For the 2010-2011 school year, Neme has plans to improve their podcast productions.

    We now have flip video camcorders so there will be many more video DIY Podcasts coming up this year. We now have a place to host the videos, which will allow us to create a library of student work!

    If you are using or planning to use DIY Podcast, let us know your plans in the comment field. We are not able to post comments with URLs.

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    NASADigital Learning Network

    New School Year Resolutions

    If you haven’t already, I’m sure you’ll be starting the new school year very soon. Just as January 1 is an ideal time to resolve to do something new, so is the new school year.  Why not make podcasting one of your goals? When your students create podcasts, they are meeting standards across the curriculum with one project. They are also learning and using 21st-century skills.

    The DIY Podcast is one of the easiest ways to start podcasting. I have found this to be an easy tool for beginners to use. The audio and video clips are right at your fingertips. You don’t have to record anything new — you can start with what we’ve given you. Add your own touches and post them. It doesn’t have to be complicated.

    The DIY Podcast is a great way to engage your students. When they are building their podcasts, they research the subject and they become the experts.  If you want them to add their own videos, they can demonstrate a science principle related to the topic. Plus they are going to want to build the most awesome podcast ever because there is a possibility that people all over the world will download it. Now that’s motivation.

    And, come on, how cool is it to create and/or be in a podcast with a NASA engineer, scientist or even an astronaut in space?

    So, what’s stopping you from building a podcast? Make a resolution. In upcoming posts, I’ll give you baby step tips on getting started. Happy School Year!

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    The Ultimate “Ask the Experts” Experience!

    Would your students like to ask an astronaut on the space station how Newton’s Laws work? Would they like to ask questions to feature in their own podcast? NASA’s In-flight Education Downlink opportunities could make this possible. Your school or educational organization can submit a proposal to host an education downlink with crew members aboard the International Space Station. The format is similar to a videoconference, where students ask questions of astronauts and cosmonauts orbiting 220 miles above Earth and travelling 17,500 mph. Imagine your entire school watching the expedition crew answering your students’ questions live from the space station. To be considered, your school must submit a proposal to NASA. Note that a limited number of downlinks are planned for each expedition.


    There is currently a call for proposals for an educational downlink during Expeditions 25 and 26. These downlinks are planned to take place between September 2010 and March 2011. The deadline to submit a proposal is May 31, 2010.


    If your class is using the DIY Podcast topic modules, be sure to include this information in your proposal.


    In-flight Education Downlinks Home

    STS-129 downlink with Tennessee Tech University

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