Education Payload Operations-Museum Aerospace Education Alliance (EPO-MAEA) - 07.15.14
ISS Science for Everyone
Science Objectives for Everyone
Education Payload Operations-Museum Aerospace Education Alliance (EPO-MAEA) includes five participating museums which develop educational activities for diverse applications in exhibits and other informal educational activities. EPO-MAEA is designed to support the NASA mission to inspire the next generation of explorers.
Science Results for Everyone
Some museum exhibits are out of this world – literally. Five museums work with NASA to develop educational activities for use with exhibits and other informal educational activities, all designed to inspire interest on Earth in what goes on in space. Simple objects are used in microgravity to produce videos that demonstrate physical properties such as force, motion, and energy, which may be obscured by gravity on Earth. More than 500 videos, DVDs, and video clips have been produced and distributed to science teachers and schools throughout the United States. This program develops additional resources for distribution to museum member organizations.
Association of Science and Technology, Washington, DC, United States
Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Denver, CO, United States
Bishop Museum, Honolulu, HI, United States
St. Louis Science Center, St. Louis, MO, United States
Center of Science and Industry, Columbus, OH, United States
Maryland Science Center, Baltimore, MD, United States
Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX, United States
Sponsoring Space Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
NASA Education (EDU)
ISS Expedition Duration
April 2003 - October 2004
Previous ISS Missions
The objective of the Education Payload Operations-Museum Aerospace Education Alliance (EPO-MAEA) is to develop additional resources for the informal educational arena to help increase student interest and awareness in NASA’s Vision for Space Exploration.
The products are distributed to museum member organizations for use in lessons and museum exhibits.
The objective of the Education Payload Operations-Museum Aerospace Education Alliance (EPO-MAEA) investigation is to use toys, tools, and other common items in the microgravity environment of the International Space Station (ISS) to create educational activities for diverse applications in museum exhibits and other informal educational activities. Lessons and activities developed are directly related to national science, technology, and mathematics education standards, and many focus on inquiry-based scientific investigations.
During Expedition 7 a detailed scale model of the Wright Flyer, built by sixth-grade students at Orono Middle School in Orono, Maine, flies on the ISS. As part of the Centennial of Flight activities in 2003, NASA provided educators around the country with plans to construct a model Wright Flyer out of balsa wood and tissue paper (see http://wright.nasa.gov/model1902.htm). Demonstrations of the Wright Flyer on orbit illustrate the basic elements of flight, including lift, thrust, and control. It is also used to compare the concepts of flight and orbit. A paper airplane is also flown to test flight performance using different configurations of wing tips and elastic-band propulsion. A Pu’uli studies the role of vibration and sound as well as how microgravity affects the performance of this traditional Hawaiian musical instrument.
During Expedition 8 a Balsa Airplane, Starfire Balsa Glider, Aero Prop, and Tools Block are used to investigate principals of flight using common toys for use in future museum activities and displays. During Expedition 9 crewmembers investigate how a Blues Harp, Crazy Maze, Bits and Pieces Puzzle, and Chicken Shake perform differently in the microgravity environment onboard the ISS for use in future museum activities and displays.
EPO-MAEA introduces the next generation of explorers to the environment of space.
EPO-MAEA is part of NASA's continuing effort to use space as a unique educational tool for K-12 students. Everyday items, such as toys and tools, 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.
EPO-MAEA 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.
After setting up the demonstration, at least one crew member performs the demonstration while another films it. Each demonstration has its own props (e.g., toys or tools). The demonstration is then dismantled and returned to stowage. After the videos are returned to Earth, they are used to develop educational activities for diverse applications in museum exhibits and other informal educational activities teaching guides, project plans, and educational packages focusing on the physical sciences and technology.
EPO-MAEA 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.