A new set of NASA resources called iMAGiNETICspace is helping educators teach science and engineering concepts to middle school students in a fun, interactive way.
iMAGiNETICspace is a digital age NASA product that provides direct access to rich on-line multi-media content. The educators' guide, or iBook, is a mobile resource, available for download to an Apple iPad 2 or newer or MacBook Pro. It is embedded with text, audio, and how-to videos well suited for complex concepts and demonstrations. The student guide uses storytelling and hands-on activities to take students on a journey of exploration related to magnetism and NASA’s Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission.
Students and educators use iMAGiNETICspace to work collaboratively to explore science and engineering principles associated with the MMS mission, which launches in late 2014. MMS will use Earth's magnetosphere as a natural laboratory to observe a universal phenomenon called magnetic reconnection, that causes magnetic fields to connect, disconnect, and explosively transfer energy.
"These new cutting-edge digital resources pose questions and introduce engineering design methods, including digital fabrication – designing objects using computer software and printing them in 3-D – to help students and teachers learn about the MMS mission," said education technology specialist Troy Cline at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.
In the near future, iMAGiNETICspace will be available for download from iTunes and as an eBook, an electronic version of a printed book that can be viewed on any computer or handheld device.
School systems in Pennsylvania, Texas, and West Virginia are in the process of incorporating the iMAGiNETICspace resources into their student and teacher training programs for the 2013-2014 school year.
The iMAGiNETICspace student guide was an extensive collaborative effort, first conceived at the National Technology Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C. in the fall of 2011. This annual event involves educational and technology administrators from around the country who gather to discuss new and innovative ideas for classroom use. NASA then partnered with the University of Virginia and the International Society of Technology Education to design and publish the student and teacher guides.
To access NASA's iMAGiNETICspace content, visit:
To learn more about NASA's MMS mission, visit: