Education Payload Operations- International Toys in Space (EPO-International Toys in Space) - 07.15.14

Overview | Description | Applications | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery
ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone

Education Payload Operations- International Toys in Space (EPO-International Toys in Space) includes curriculum-based educational activities that demonstrate basic principles physics by studying how common everyday items (toys and games) act in a microgravity environment. These activities are videotaped and then used in classroom lectures. EPO-International Toys in Space is designed to support the NASA mission to inspire the next generation of explorers.

Science Results for Everyone

Toys in Space?  Crewmembers took familiar toys such as a soccer ball, jump rope, slinky, marbles, and wind-up figures to space in order to demonstrate basic physics principles in microgravity. Videos were made while crewmembers experimented with the toys and then were used in classrooms to help inspire interest in science and technology and encourage curiosity and creativity. Using DVDs and teacher’s guides distributed to schools throughout the United States, students investigate how the toys behave on Earth and compare their results to footage from the space station. Both videos and toys are available for teachers at NASA’s Central Operation of Resources for Educators.
 



The following content was provided by Jonathan Neubauer, and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.

Experiment Details

OpNom

Principal Investigator(s)

  • Jonathan Neubauer, Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX, United States

  • Co-Investigator(s)/Collaborator(s)
  • Matthew Keil, Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX, United States

  • Developer(s)
    Houston Museum of Natural Science, Houston, TX, United States

    Miami University, Oxford, OH, United States

    Rice University, The Rice Space Institute, Houston, TX, United States

    Houston Independent School District, Houston, TX, United States

    Sponsoring Space Agency
    National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

    Sponsoring Organization
    NASA Education (EDU)

    Research Benefits
    Information Pending

    ISS Expedition Duration
    June 2002 - December 2002

    Expeditions Assigned
    5

    Previous ISS Missions
    Information Pending

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    Experiment Description

    Research Overview

    • The objective of the Education Payload Operations- International Toys in Space (EPO-International Toys in Space) investigation is to use toys in the microgravity environment of the International Space Station (ISS) to create educational video and multimedia products that inspire the next generation of mathematicians, physicists, engineers, and other scientists.
    • The products are used for demonstrations and to support curriculum materials that are distributed across the United States and internationally to educators.
     

    Description

    The objective of the Education Payload Operations- International Toys in Space (EPO-International Toys in Space) investigation is to use toys, tools, and other common items in the microgravity environment of the International Space Station (ISS) to create educational video and multimedia products that inspire the next generation of engineers, mathematicians, physicists, and other scientists. The products are used for demonstrations and to support curriculum materials distributed across the United States and internationally.
    EPO-International Toys in Space involve students in principles of physics by studying how everyday items (toys and games) act in a microgravity environment. A variety of toys are flown to the station, including international toys representing ISS International Partners, and video is captured of crewmembers experimenting with the toys. The video footage is used to produce a DVD and an accompanying teacher’s guide. Following the activity guide, students investigated how the toys behave on Earth and compared their results to video footage taken onboard ISS. Both the video and the toys are available for teachers at NASA’s Central Operation of Resources for Educators (CORE).
     

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    Applications

    Space Applications

    EPO-International Toys in Space introduces the next generation of explorers to the environment of space.

    Earth Applications

    EPO-International Toys in Space is part of NASA's continuing effort to use space as a unique educational tool for K-12 students. Everyday items, such as toys, are given a new twist by combining them with the allure of space flight and the unusual weightless environment to produce educational materials that inspire interest in science and technology and encourage curiosity and creativity.

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    Operations

    Operational Requirements

    EPO-International Toys in Space does not require power, telemetry, or specialized hardware. However, each demonstration requires several hours from at least two crew members, one of whom operates the video equipment and the other demonstrates the activity.

    Operational Protocols

    After setting up the demonstration, at least one crew member performs the demonstration while another films it. Each demonstration has its own props (toys). The demonstration is then dismantled and returned to stowage. After the videos are returned to Earth, they are used to develop teaching guides, project plans, and educational packages focusing on the physical sciences and technology.After setting up the demonstration, at least one crew member performs the demonstration while another films it. Each demonstration has its own props (toys). The demonstration is then dismantled and returned to stowage. After the videos are returned to Earth, they are used to develop teaching guides, project plans, and educational packages focusing on the physical sciences and technology.

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    Results/More Information

    EPO-International Toys in Space is a successful education program on ISS. By using simple objects and the microgravity environment, NASA is able to produce videos that demonstrate physical properties, such as force, motion, and energy, which may be obscured by gravity on Earth. To date, over 500 videos, DVDs, and video clips have been produced and distributed to science teachers and schools throughout the United States. About 1500 teachers each year are trained to use the materials in their classrooms. An additional 30.9 million students have had the opportunity to participate in live downlink events where their classmates pose questions of ISS crews on orbit.

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    Results Publications

       International Toys in Space - Science on the Station [DVD]. 2004

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    Ground Based Results Publications

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    ISS Patents

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    Related Publications

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    Related Websites
    Microgravity
    NASA eClips
    NASA Fact Sheet
    Johnson Space Center Education and Student Programs
    Central Operations of Resources for Educators (CORE)

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    Imagery