INSPIRE Students Speak Out
As part of the Interdisciplinary National Science Project Incorporating Research and Education Experience -- or INSPIRE -- students engage with individuals who have the same interests, expectations and goals as they do in the Online Learning Community. The OLC is an engaging, virtual community that provides unique educational opportunities. High school students from across the nation have the opportunity to interact with their peers 24 hours a day, seven days a week through the OLC.
How do you think your involvement with the Online Learning Community will affect your future?
: I think being part of INSPIRE will definitely help me in my future. Just participating in the online community gives me the benefit of working with like-minded students in team projects. I've learned a lot about science and math and really developed my interests in each. The online community and summer STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) programs are also wonderful for colleges to see.
: Involvement with the Online Learning Community has helped me refine critical skills such as teamwork that will substantially enhance my future. Moreover, the OLC has opened many great opportunities that will remain with me forever. For example, this past summer I went to the STS-135 Pre-launch Education Un-conference for high school and college students and witnessed the last space shuttle launch. An un-conference is a meeting where the attendees dictate the conference topics. This is my second year competing in the Real World In World engineering design challenge. Not only did this experience develop my technical skills, because we could only communicate via email, Skype, and phone, it significantly improved my communication and collaborative skills. Undoubtedly, the OLC offers valuable experiences.
: My involvement in the OLC has given me the confidence to explore the reaches not only of the universe but also of my mind. I have been challenged to think “outside the box” on topics like the design of the James Webb Space Telescope and “inside the box” on proposed theories of quantum physics. With the OLC, I have learned effective communication and teamwork skills that will aid me in the future with my hopes of working for NASA. I have been challenged to think critically, to learn, and to work hard -- challenges with which I will reach my dreams.
: Involvement in the OLC has been beneficial to me in many different ways. It has led to interesting learning opportunities offered to us by NASA in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields. The OLC has helped me find activities that connect me with others who share similar interests and work in diverse fields. In the end, working with the OLC has equipped me with unforgettable experiences that will influence my future life and career.
: NASA INSPIRE is the hot spot for the nation’s future scientists and engineers! I have met students from all across the country, students whom I am sure I could be working with in the future on the next generation of spacecraft! It is exciting to know that at this age I am building a strong community for the future. I cannot wait to see where we will go! Without NASA INSPIRE, I would not have connected with these incredible people. This connection is powerful because when we come together we will be ready to take on some of the greatest challenges.
: I think the OLC will definitely have a positive effect on my future in the long run. I have always had an interest in STEM careers, and the OLC is educating me more about what NASA does and the countless new innovations that happen because of their work. I am also making new friends who live throughout the country, from Virginia to California. I believe that, in the near future, colleges will look fondly at a student who has done something as amazing as the OLC.
What would you tell your friends about the Online Learning Community?
: INSPIRE is just about all I ever talk about now. I tell my friends about how much you can learn and how wonderful it is to be surrounded by other students like me. I also tell them about how nice it is to have super smart peers to look up to and learn from. And I always emphasize the awesome projects and live chats, and how much fun it is to do real work on engineering and science problems.
: If I were to tell my friends about the Online Learning Community, I would tell them that it offers unparalleled learning opportunities. The content is beneficial for everyone, but particularly for those leaning toward an occupation related to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, or STEM. It also encourages “thinking outside the box.” In traditional classrooms, there is normally a predetermined approach towards assignments. However, the OLC encourages creativity and experimentation in problem solving. Moreover, it encourages students to delve into diverse and interesting topics and allows interaction with peers who have the same interests. The OLC is truly a stimulating and rewarding program.
: The Online Learning Community has been the catalyst in my efforts to achieve my goals in my education and future. Through the many activities, live chats and challenges, I have broadened my horizons and discovered more about our universe as well as my own career plans. In the forums I have connected with students from all over the country, learning from them and with them on the OLC. To all of you considering applying -- please do! You will come to learn more than you could ever imagine with this amazing resource at your fingertips!
: The OLC is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have a high school life (influenced) by NASA (and) learning, discovering, connecting, experiencing unforgettable achievements, and meeting peers who could eventually become friends for life. Don't think twice if you want to apply -- you won't regret it. INSPIRE is the perfect place to start creating and defining your interests. It is a year-round project that will engage you in various fun cooperative challenges and activities for all to enjoy. Space is the limit and it is up to you to reach it; the steps to it might be here.
: The Online Learning Community is more than an education website with science articles and information. The OLC engages and connects students from all around the country! We have weekly chats with NASA scientists and engineers. One of my favorite things I got to participate in as a member of the OLC was a team project designing a lunar base.
: I talk to my friends about the exciting activities offered through the OLC, usually to those who share my interest in STEM-related topics and space. I tell them about many of the interesting topics we discuss such as microgravity and the Sustainability Base, and mostly about the amazing people I have met because of the OLC.
Are you interested in becoming a member of the INSPIRE Online Learning Community?
Learn more here.
Kathy Forsythe/NASA Educational Technology Services