Summer of Innovation
NASA has launched an initiative to use its out-of-this-world missions and technology programs to boost summer learning, particularly for underrepresented students across the nation. NASA's Summer of Innovation supports President Obama's Educate to Innovate campaign for excellence in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, education. >> Click here for more information
Education Supported Event(s):
NASA's BEST Project / Rocket Lesson - December 2013
8th grade students in San Jose, CA explore the engineering design process and learn the importance of data collection while having fun building their own fizzy rockets. These rockets enable students to use design thinking and are effective demonstrations of Newton's laws of motion. The liftoff power of the rocket is produced by a common acid/base chemical reaction that creates carbon dioxide gas; making this activity an ideal tool for teaching students about chemical reactions and how pressure can do work on objects. The students tested how best to fly the rockets, experimenting to find the best ratio of air, water, and effervescent tablets to use.
NASA's BEST Project / Astrobiology Lesson - October 23, 2013
Kindergarten students in Sunnyvale, CA are introduced to astrobiology through the book, "Life is All Around Us" written by Madeline Kotowicz and Susan Ewing and illustrated by Alexandra Black. The book is designed to help children aged 3 through 8 understand the most basic concept of astrobiology: What it means to be alive. The book was created by Montana State University's Astrobiology Biogeocatalysis Research Center part of the NASA Astrobiology Institute, and in partnership with Hopa Mountain's early literacy program. The interactive and California Common Core Standard based lesson included a discussion of how life is defined, and the students generated a list of qualities all things must possess in order to be alive. The engaging lesson concluded with the students sharing their drawings of something that is living, proving that you are never too young to begin learning about astrobiology.
NASA's BEST Project / Rover Lesson - October 4, 2013
As part of NASA's Beginning Engineering, Science, and Technology (BEST) Mission, 4th grade students at Ellis Elementary School in Sunnyvale, CA have fun making a car model for motion based activities. Model cars teach students about motion along inclined planes, friction, gravity and momentum. The lesson included science vocabulary such as potential energy vs. kinetic energy, axle and chassis. The model cars consisted of a simple chassis and straw-based axle system that produces minimal friction and allows the cars to roll with little energy input, making them ideal learning tools for students of all ages. This exciting hands-on experience directly supports the California Common Core Standards of knowledge of simple machines and helps to prepare students for 21st Century skills through collaboration, creativity and communication.
Proving Prandtl -- with a Twist!
Two teams of summer interns, the 2012 and 2013 ARMD Aero Academies and with the help of the NASA Dryden Center Innovation Fund, set out to validate an old theory from Ludwig Prandtl. Their little flight research experiment proved much more than just an old theory, but opened the door to previously unknown performance potential for aircraft.
Flying High with S.T.E.M.
Associate Administrator for Education, Leland Melvin recently visited the AERO Institute in Palmdale, Calif., where he was updated on education outreach efforts at the Armstrong Flight Research Center. The Armstrong education team earned Melvin's praise, as did the Institute for its recent founding of the Palmdale Aerospace Academy, a school devoted to excellence in science, technology, engineering and math. Both the AERO Institute and its academy are operated by a consortium that includes NASA, the city of Palmdale, and its local school district.
Programs for Educators and Students:
Free, Self-Directed Online Course - Earth System Science
NASA is studying and learning more about earth science processes such as earthquakes through airborne research vehicles, particularly a specially modified Gulfstream III. This free, self-directed course provides access to all educators to participate in the design of a NASA flight mission, which may eventually help scientists predict earthquakes and other earth system science processes...