The astronaut will discuss in detail how solar cells work and how they provide energy. The activity is videotaped and for use in classroom lectures.Principal Investigator(s)
Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK, United States
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)Sponsoring Organization
Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD)ISS Expedition Duration
April 2006 - September 2006
13Previous ISS Missions
Similar education activities have been performed on Space Shuttle and ISS Expeditions.
The Teaching From Space Office at the NASA's Johnson Space Center worked closely with Astronaut Christopher Ferguson, pilot of STS-115 (Atlantis); Lockheed Martin Corporation; Oklahoma State University and the Student Observation Network to provide classroom versions of solar cells and learning activities to NASA Explorer Schools. These activities have been designed to engage students through the STS-115 primary mission objective, deployment of a new solar array on the International Space Station (ISS). The original suggestion for this activity was brought to Teaching From Space by Ferguson.
In his free time during the STS-115 mission, Ferguson will demonstrate how solar cells work in front of a video camera. Ferguson will discuss, in detail, how solar cells provide energy; open circuit voltage; and power measurement with resistors. With the aid of LED lights, a visual demonstration of solar flux will also be performed. Following completion, the video will be edited for use in the classroom.
Lockheed Martin Corporation donated solar cells to this project for educational purposes. Engineering students at Oklahoma State University linked the solar cells together in packs for use in the Space Shuttle demonstration and for distribution to the schools. The NASA Student Observation Network created lessons and activities that will be provided to the NASA Explorer Schools and the Aerospace Education Specialists when teaching this lesson.
Education-Solar Cells introduces the next generation of explorers to the environment of space.Earth Applications
Using a new approach in the classroom to space flight, science, and mathematics will capture the imagination of students. Allowing students to participate in activities that directly involve NASA will inspire them to pursue careers in science and engineering.
Education-Solar Cells will utilize the solar cell pack assembled by Oklahoma State University students to demonstrate how solar cells work. On the Space Shuttle the demonstration will require video taping of the demonstration.Operational Protocols
One crewmember, astronaut Chris Ferguson, will tape the demonstration during his free time on the mission. Following the mission, the video is returned to Earth for editing and distribution to NASA Explorer Schools nationwide along with the curriculum developed by the Student Observation Network.
There are no results to report at this time. (Evans et al. 2009)