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 NASA.gov 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.
Most of the DIY Podcast topic modules include audio and video clips from the space station. If your students are looking for background information about the station, you might want to point them to “What is the International Space Station?” This NASA Education homework helper answers questions such as:
How old is the space station?
What are the parts of the space station?
Why is the space station important?
Tidbits of information about the station might fit nicely in a DIY Podcast script that features astronauts on the space station.
Most of the DIY Podcast topic modules feature astronauts on the International Space Station explaining or demonstrating scientific concepts. Your students can create audio podcasts with the sound clips we provide on the Audio Clips page of each topic module. But what if your students could interview an astronaut aboard the space station and ask the specific questions they want answered? Amateur Radio on the International Space Station, or ARISS, offers this opportunity.
If you or one of your students’ parents is a ham radio operator, you may be able to contact an astronaut aboard the station. Record the conversation audio, and then your students will have unique content to add to their podcasts. As students prepare for a 10-minute session with a space explorer, they could study a topic related to a DIY Podcast module, listen to the clips provided in the module, and then ask informed questions to get answers they would like to include as sound bites in their own podcasts.
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. Official COLBERT PATCH
If your students create a product using DIY Podcast video or audio featuring astronauts living and working on the International Space Station, they may want to learn more about the orbiting laboratory. International Space Station: An Interactive Reference Guide is a helpful resource that includes a tour of the station and explains how the station works and how the crew lives. The guide also has an extensive list of printable documents about space station modules, missions and systems.
All of the DIY Podcast topic modules posted to date feature astronauts on the International Space Station. If you want your students to learn more about the space station while they’re developing their podcast scripts, check out NASA’s new interactive, 3-D photographic collection of internal and external views of the station. NASA and Microsoft’s Virtual Earth team developed the online experience with hundreds of photographs and Microsoft’s photo imaging technology, called “Photosynth.” Using a click-and-drag interface, you can zoom in to see details of the space station’s modules and solar arrays or zoom out for a more global view of the orbiting complex.
While roaming through different components of the station, you and your students can join in a scavenger hunt. NASA has a list of items that can be found in the Photosynth collection. These items include a station crew patch, a spacesuit and a bell that is traditionally used to announce the arrival of a visiting spacecraft. Clues to help in the hunt will be posted on NASA’s Facebook page and @NASA on Twitter, which you’ll find on NASA’s Collaborate page.