Special Events from the Digital Learning Network (DLN) at the NASA John H. Glenn Research Center

Target Audience:
  • Students
Hosting Center(s):
  • Glenn Research Center
Subject Category:
  • Earth Science
  • Life Science / Biology
  • Physical Science
  • Math
  • Professional Development
Unit Correlation:
  • Special Programs
Grade Level(s):
  • K-4
  • 5-8
  • 9-12
Minimum Delivery Time: 30 min(s)
Maximum Connection Time: 60 min(s)

Event Focus: What research is conducted at NASA Glenn? What opportunities are in your future? Why is school important? Why should students focus on their studies now in order to achieve their career goals?

Description:  For the 2013-14 School year the Digital Learning Network at  the NASA John. H. Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio is offering a variety  of Special Event connections for you and your students. The events will happen on a monthly basis. Three schools will be chosen to connect for each of the videoconference events listed below. The event grade level targeted for each event is mentioned in the listing. The events may also be webcast, depending on the amount of requests we receive, for all other schools and students who are interested in viewing the programs. 

Please see the video conference activities section below for information about how to register for this special event. Anyone wishing to register for this program MUST also be a registered user of the DLN! If you are NOT a registered user, please go to our homepage and become a registered user FIRST.

Special GRC Events:

Maneuvering in Space

Guest SME: Heather Hickman, Aerospace Engineer, NASA Glenn

Grade Level: Middle School, High School, Colleges

Focus Question: How does a spacecraft move once it is in space?

Description: Most of us have watched rockets launch into space but what happens to a spacecraft once it reaches orbit? How do they get to where they are intended to go? NASA Engineer Heather Hickman will let us know how we maneuver in space and give us an idea of the different propulsion technologies used on spacecraft of today and what the future may be. We will get some insight on how spacecraft stay on course and the research being done at NASA.

Topics covered:

  • Newton’s Laws of Motion,
  • Types of In-Space Propulsion Systems,
  • Examples of Propulsion Systems used on current spacecraft.

The Human Body in Space

Guest SME: David Fuller, Systems and Biomedical Engineer, NASA Glenn

Grade Level: 5-8

Focus Question: What happens to the human body in space?

Description: The human body, like most organisms on Earth, are highly adapted to the Earth’s gravity field. In orbit, where the effects of gravity are reduced to near zero, the human body tries to adapt to this new environment, sometimes successfully, sometimes not. This DLN topic will present some of the changes that the body makes while in microgravity and demonstrate these principles with simple models.

Topics covered:

  • Health,
  • Scientific Research,
  • Space, Exploration,
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology

Additional topics you may request,

Habitat Management - Guest SME: Lauren Clayman

Future Airplanes - Guest SME: Ashlie Flegel

Engineering Career Panel  - Career Panel with 3 to 6 SME's talking to you students about NASA Careers

Instructional Objectives


Students will view various images from an engineering career.


Students will participate in discussion with an engineer and discuss their career path and necessary academic steps that lead them in that particular direction for their career choice.


Students will discuss importance of academic choices for their future career paths and how they parallel with the engineer's experiences. 


Students will apply what they have learned from their discussions with the engineers to their own future career choices.


Students will express what they  must do in order to achieve their future plans in careers of their choice.


Sequence of Events


Pre-Conference Activities

Students may want to visit the NASA website at www.nasa.gov to become familiar with current NASA missions.
Videoconference Activities

3 schools per event will be allowed to join host, David Mazza, for the NASA Glenn Special Event Series.  Please review the events above, provide the needed information below, then email to David Mazza at david.a.mazza@nasa.gov 

  • Topic name you wish to be considered for interactive participation
  • Your Name
  • School Name
  • School Contact Email address
  • Grade Level of students participating
  • Number of students and teachers participating
  • Videoconference Equipment Type 
  • 1st choice of time you wish to participate
  • 2nd choice of  time you wish to participate

Requests will be taken on a first come first serve basis. If we receive numerous requests we may be able to add another date and time for that program. If you have any questions, please feel free to email Dave at the email above.


Post-Conference Activities

As a follow-up to this event, students may: 1.)  Write a "career path plan" that illustrates what students intend to do to achieve their career goals.  In order to accomplish this, students will identify their career choice and map out the necessary steps to achieve that career. To support their maps, students will want to do some research online, in their school media centers, or interview adults currently in the careers that they wish to achieve.  Maps can be expressed verbally through written papers or pictorially depending on how a student expresses their learning most comfortably. 2.)  Students may email host David Mazza with one paragraph describing what they learned from their experience during the chosen event and how they feel it impacted their feelings about the importance of school, learning, and their future career choices.  These email responses will be used as support for the effectiveness of special event presentations conducted by the GRC DLN.




Earth and Space Science Grades 4-8

  • Earth in the Solar System

Science and Technology

  • Understandings About Science and Technology

History and Nature of Science Grades 4-8

  • Science as a Human Endeavor
  • History of Science

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Page Last Updated: December 6th, 2013
Page Editor: NASA Administrator