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Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate Education Projects
 

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Higher Education

The Pre-Service Teacher Workshop

Pre-Service Teacher Workshop (PSTW) is a 1 day workshop for elementary and middle school pre-service teachers. The workshop will engage pre-service teachers in hands-on, problem-based learning and technology using HEO curriculum support resources.

Details and point of contact

Workshop experiences promote knowledge and skills for teaching mathematics and science, and for integration of activities into lesson planning and curriculum. The workshop is a collaborative effort among the Human Exploration Operations Mission Directorate (HEO), Stennis Space Center's (SSC) Office of Education, and Marshall Space Flight Center's (MSFC) Academic Affairs Office.

Contact:

Cheryl Guilbeau, Ed.D (SSC)(228) 688-2208cheryl.a.guilbeau@nasa.gov
Amy McDowell (MSFC)(256) 544-8411amy.mcdowell@nasa.gov


The Pre-Service Teacher Institute

Pre-Service Teacher Institute is an intensive 2-week training experience offering elementary and middle school pre-service teachers hands-on practice with NASA curriculum support materials and direction in planning instruction for problem-based learning.

Details and point of contact

PSTI experiences promote knowledge and skills for teaching math and science, and for integration of technology into lesson planning and curriculum.

Contact:

Marilyn Lewis, Ed.D (MSFC)(256) 961-1336Marilyn.h.lewis@nasa.gov
Brenda Collins (ARC)(650) 604-3540brenda.j.collins@nasa.gov


› Exploration Space Grant (SG) Internships/Senior Design Projects/Competitions

The Space Grant consortia is a well-established mechanism for identifying and placing interns, and is located in all 50 states, plus Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia.

Details and point of contact

The Space Grant consortia is managed by Kennedy Space Center. The purpose of the Exploration Higher Education Internship Grants is to train and develop the highly skilled scientific and engineering, workforce of the future needed to implement the agency's missions. We provide funds to participating SG Consortia to find and place students in summer or school-year internships in industry.

The project also provides funds to integrate Exploration-provided mission challenges into university senior engineering design courses. Funds can be used to support student senior engineering design projects (i.e. to buy materials, build prototypes, etc.) or to bring in subject matter experts to consult with the class. The Exploration Space Grant Project annually holds a systems engineering paper competition geared to prepare the students to enter the world of NASA Systems Engineering. The paper must concentrate on one of four areas of emphasis to exploration engineering efforts: propulsion, spacecraft, ground operation, and lunar and planetary surface systems.

Contact:

Gloria Murphy(321) 867-8934gloria.a.murphy@nasa.gov


› Exploration Space Grant Faculty Fellows

Faculty Fellows, managed by Kennedy Space Center, funds five faculty to work in the summer at a NASA field Center on a selected exploration project, and to incorporate the project into an existing senior design course or capstone course at their university in the following academic year.

Details and point of contact

The purpose of this project is to prepare faculty to enable their students to complete senior design projects with potential contribution to NASA Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD) objectives.

Contact:

Gloria Murphy(321) 867-8934gloria.a.murphy@nasa.gov


› Lunabotics Competition

NASA's Lunabotics Mining Competition is managed by Kennedy Space Center and designed to promote the development of interest in space activities and STEM fields among University teams. The competition uses excavation, a necessary first step towards extracting resources from the regolith and building bases on the moon.

Details and point of contact

The unique physical properties of lunar regolith and the reduced 1/6th gravity, vacuum environment make excavation a complex technical challenge. Advances in lunar regolith mining have the potential to significantly contribute to the nation's ability to go beyond low Earth orbit. The prize funding for the Lunabotics Student Mining Competition is provided by NASA. The teams that can use telerobotic or autonomous operation to excavate the most lunar regolith simulant within a 15-minute time limit will win the competition. Winners are eligible to receive first, second, and third prizes and an invitation to a launch. Teams also compete in categories for a systems engineering paper, an outreach report, a powerpoint presentation and team spirit. The Joe Kosmo scholarship is awarded to the team with the highest cumulative score, and they receive a trip to NASA's Desert RATS analog field test.

Contact:

Gloria Murphy(321) 867-8934gloria.a.murphy@nasa.gov


› National Community College Aerospace Scholars (NCAS)

NASA's National Community College Aerospace Scholars (NCAS) is in its second year, modeled after the successful Texas Community College Aerospace Scholars (CAS). Administered by Johnson Space Center (JSC) Education Office, this experience invites community college students from across the nation to take part in a six month relationship with NASA and HEO.

Details and point of contact

Students apply and then complete online lessons in the early spring preparing them for the engineering challenges presented during the on-site experience. Chat sessions with NASA systems engineers and other subject matter experts help them further understand the potential of systems engineering. Selected through a competitive process, students travel to a NASA center for three days to work on a team design project mentored by NASA systems engineers and scientists. Through NCAS, students who otherwise might not have engaged in NASA activities are given the opportunity to forge a relationship with NASA. They are provided other available opportunities and offered the motivation and support to matriculate to a four year degree program to eventually become part of NASA's scientific and engineering workforce.

Contact:

Deborah Hutchings(281) 483-8623deborah.hutchings-1@nasa.gov


› Exploration Habitat (X-Hab) Academic Innovation Challenge

The Exploration Habitat (X-Hab) Academic Innovation Challenge is a university competition, challenging students to design test systems for use on NASA's deep space habitat prototype.

Details and point of contact

This competition is managed by the National Space Grant Foundation for the deep space habitat project team at Johnson Space Center, which is part of NASA's Advanced Exploration Systems Program. The X-Hab Challenge is part of a continuing effort to engage and retain students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, and provide a real-world challenge exposing them to engineering and design processes. NASA will directly benefit from the development of innovative habitation-related concepts and technologies that could be applied to future missions.

Contact:

Larry Toups(281) 244-7974larry.toups-1@nasa.gov
A. Scott Howe(818) 354-4492a.scott.howe@jpl.nasa.gov


› NASA University Student Launch Initiative (USLI)

The NASA University Student Launch Initiative (USLI), managed by NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) Academic Affairs Office, is comprised of two project elements, USLI Level 1 and Level 2.

Details and point of contact

USLI Level 1 challenges university and community college teams to design, build and launch a reusable rocket with a scientific or engineering payload to one mile above ground level (AGL) near NASA MSFC. With the support of the Science Mission Directorate (SMD), USLI Level 1 teams have the option of receiving a grant for researching a NASA-directed atmospheric science payload. Students will be able to develop a hypothesis and obtain results around the study of pressure, temperature, relative humidity, solar irradiance and ultraviolet radiation. USLI Level 2 is open to top placing teams from USLI Level 1 and requires teams to design and build a reusable rocket and launch to an altitude of 10,000 feet AGL with water recovery at NASA Wallops Flight Facility.

All teams must present their work to review panels during the academic year. During these reviews, teams must defend their design for safety, efficiency and overall scientific and educational value. The reviews are conducted by NASA scientists, engineers, safety personnel, education specialists and industry partners. USLI is more than building a rocket from a commercial kit; it involves diverse aspects such as: schedule development, acquisition, financial management, logistical coordination, media engagement, educational outreach and documentation of impact through reports and design reviews. All of these components are evaluated to determine the winner of the overall USLI competition, along with several secondary prizes.

Contact:

Julie Clift(256) 961-1334julie.d.clift@nasa.gov



K-12 Education

› NASA's BEST (Beginning Engineering, Science and Technology) Students (NBS)

NASA's BEST Students (Beginning Engineering, Science and Technology) supports engineering education at the elementary and middle school level.

It is managed by Goddard Space Flight Center with additional work at Stennis, Marshall, and Glenn. A Teacher's Guide and Student Activity Pages are offered for 12 activities for grades K - 2, 3 - 5, and 6 - 8. The theme of the activities is "Living on the Moon."

Details and point of contact

The activities use low cost materials: a kit is available for $330 for 12 activities for 20 students, with $175 refills. The Engineering Design Process is the focus, and each activity includes design specifications, measurement and data presentation. The NASA's BEST Students team offers teacher professional development on these activities.

Contact:

Susan Hoban(301) 286-7980susan.hoban@nasa.gov


K-12 Educator Professional Development Workshops

K-12 Educator Professional Development Workshops engage and educate science teachers and curriculum specialists in using NASA Education resources that align to the curriculum.

Details and point of contact

Workshops are a collaborative effort between the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD) and the Stennis Space Center Office of Education. A train-the-trainer approach enables participants to integrate hands-on, problem-based learning and technology activities into lesson plans. HEOMD resources are used for experiential learning in rocketry, lunar and solar system, and microgravity. Educators will be awarded Continuing Education Units (CEUs).

Contact:

Cheryl Guilbeau, Ed.D. (SSC)(228) 688-2208cheryl.a.guilbeau@nasa.gov


› Workshops Helping Educators Explore and Leverage STEM (WHEELS)

WHEELS are aligned to state education goals and provide educators with productive training and special opportunities to help prepare students for STEM career paths.

Details and point of contact

The workshops are managed by the AESP team at LaRC and Penn State. The WHEELS project supports NASA's Exploration Experience trailer and is designed to complement the experience the trailer brings to the communities around the country. The workshops are aligned to state education goals and provide educators with productive training and special opportunities to help prepare students for STEM career paths.

Contact:

Michelle Ferebee(757) 864-5617michelle.t.ferebee@nasa.gov


› 21st Century Explorer

The NASA 21st Century Explorer is a series of educational materials for grades 3-5 that emphasize standards-based instruction, Problem-Based Learning, and scientific inquiry. Exploration topics focus on developing skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Details and point of contact

Each 21st Century Explorer activity guide contains background information, science process skills, national education standards, a materials list, instructional procedures, a scientific rubric and further curriculum explorations.

21st Century Explorer is managed by the Human Research Program Education team at JSC. Each package consists of a 30-second newsbreak along with an educator and student guide for the hands-on activity. The materials are delivered on the NASA portal education website and feature a glossary, web explanation and a follow-up quiz for each exploration topic.

Contact:

Charles Lloyd(281)483-5361charles.w.lloyd@nasa.gov


› Exploring Space Through Math

The Exploring Space Through Math Project is managed by the Human Research Program Education Office (HRPEO), located at JSC. The project provides supplemental problems for students, based on real NASA data and set in the context of space exploration.

Details and point of contact

The project material covers the High School math curriculum beginning with applications in Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2, and Pre-Calculus. Exploring Space Through Math promotes insight into the limitless opportunities in STEM fields. Students explore challenging math concepts and integrate current technologies as they are placed in the roles of NASA scientists, engineers, and researchers. The project content follows the 5-E's instructional model in a number of independent learning units that are aligned with the national mathematics (NTCM) standards and follow typical scope and sequence of the Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2, and Pre-Calculus curricula.

Contact:

Monica Trevathan(281) 461-9300monica.trevathan-1@nasa.gov


› Math and Science @ Work

The Math and Science @ Work Project, managed by the HRPEO at JSC, develops, tests and releases supplemental application activities targeting the Advanced Placement (AP) classroom.

Details and point of contact

Two types of activities are developed which complement the current AP curriculum. The first is problems modeled after AP free-response questions. The second is lab activities where students collect and interpret data. Real NASA situations and data are used to provide these challenging application activities in the STEM disciplines of calculus, statistics, physics, chemistry, and biology as well as in the social studies disciplines of US History and Human Geography. Math and Science @ Work has established partnerships with AP educators, industry professionals, and accredited universities to help guide and direct the project deliverables and support the assessment of the content.

Contact:

Monica Trevathan(281) 461-9300monica.trevathan-1@nasa.gov


Physical Science Problem-Based Instructional Units (PBIU)

The Physical Science: Problem-Based Instructional Units (PBIU) project is managed and located at Glenn Research Center (GRC). The Physical Science: PBIU project encompasses the development, review, and distribution of problem-based instructional units and their accompanying web-based applications to educators for implementation at all classroom levels.

Details and point of contact

A scenario describing NASA's Lunar Outpost serves as the foundation for the problem-based learning modules. Using the National Science Standards, the NCTM Principles and Standards, and the Technology Standards, the instructional activities focus on the development of lunar thinking as students apply the concepts and skills of physical science to lunar scenarios. Each PBIU and its accompanying webpage will be presented at educational conferences, workshops sponsored through universities and NASA, PBIU Coaching Institutes (NASA and IMSA), and the NASA's Explorer School program.

Contact:

Diane McElwain(216) 433-6517diane.l.mcelwain@nasa.gov



Microgravity Guide Revision

Glenn Research Center is in the process of rewriting the Microgravity Educator Guide to be a standards-based and inquiry-based educator guide on the topic of gravity for grades 9-12. The purpose of the proposed curriculum supplement guide is to define and explain gravity and its relevance to forces and motion in a NASA context, including microgravity phenomena, spacecraft trajectories and the human exploration of space.

Details and point of contact

While the current guide is centered on microgravity, GRC will update the guide to cover the broader topic of gravity with an emphasis on the physical laws of forces and motion. The proposed guide will include the concept of free fall and microgravity, but will be expanded to also include reduced gravity environments, such as the Moon and Mars, providing a direct link to the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate. By expanding the topic to gravity, the guide will tie directly to NASA's research in varying gravity environments. The guide will also be aligned to the National Science, Mathematics and Technology Standards, making it practical for educators to use in day to day instruction.

Contact:

Carol Galica(216) 433-5112carol.a.galica@nasa.gov



Informal Education

› NASA Train Like An Astronaut

Developed in cooperation with NASA scientists and fitness professionals working directly with astronauts, the Train Like an Astronaut activities are a physical and inquiry-based approach to human health and fitness on Earth and in space. Students can participate in physical activities modeled after the real-life physical requirements of humans traveling in space.

Details and point of contact

SUsing the Train Like an Astronaut activities, you can involve your students in structured, hands-on science activities that relate physical Earth-based needs to the requirements of exploring space. You can also assist students in gaining additional understanding of the science behind nutrition and physical fitness.

NASA's Train Like an Astronaut project uses the excitement of exploration to challenge students to set physical fitness and research goals, practice physical fitness activities, and research proper nutrition, to enable each child to become our next generation of fit explorers!

Contact:

Charles Lloyd(281)483-5361charles.w.lloyd@nasa.gov



HEO Product Library

› Explore! Life Sciences – Health in Space

Health in Space is managed by JSC. It includes: Development of three modules for children ages 8 through 13 that stimulate children to think about life in space, the extreme conditions of the space environment (i.e. radiation and microgravity), how these extreme conditions affect the human body and what NASA researchers are learning to counteract these effects.

Details and point of contact

Information is presented via a variety of methods, including presentation of the modules on an existing website for broader access; training of sixty after-school providers at workshops in Mississippi and Alabama; involvement of the existing Explore! community of trained librarians and after school providers in the use of the new modules; and involvement and support of newly trained after-school providers in the existing online community.

Contact:

Stephanie Shipp(281) 486-2109shipp@lpi.usra.edu


› Field Trip to the Moon

Field Trip to the Moon is a multi-faceted educational product that features a detailed visualization, in either DVD or dome version, of the Ares I being launched from Earth, into Earth's orbit, and ultimately to the Moon. This media is supported by a wealth of inquiry-based, team centered activities that have been adapted into two distinct guides: a Formal Educator's Guide and an Informal Educator's Guide.

Details and point of contact

Accompanying the DVD is the project's Companion Guide that expounds upon the visualization experience and is designed to spark wonderful student/educator discussions and stimulate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) inquiry and curiosity. The Field Trip to the Moon is also available in a version that highlights NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and NASA's Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite missions.

Contact:

Susan Currie(256) 544-3629susan.currie@nasa.gov


› Lunar Nautics

Lunar Nautics is an exciting academic program jam-packed with design challenges, team-building exercises, and an engaging 508-compliant CD component. The complete package includes an informative Educator's guide and a corresponding Student handbook.

Details and point of contact

This program provides an opportunity to explore and experience activities that are literally "out of this world"! Learn how to turn your entire class, after-school group, or summer camp into skilled lunar explorers. Students will be challenged to build bridges in microgravity, design a lunar habitat, assemble edible spacecrafts, and compete to be crowned champion of "Survivor: SELENE (our Moon)!

Contact:

Susan Currie(256) 544-3629susan.currie@nasa.gov


Human Exploration Project I and II

Phase I and II of the Human Exploration Project (HEP) is a set of seven STEM-related, standards-based curricular units for educators of grades 3-12. The hands-on learning units may be used as stand-alone products, but HEP is also designed to coordinate with the Engineering by Design™ (EbD™) model.

Details and point of contact

The purpose of this project is to develop educational design challenges and enhanced technological literacy through the formal education process in grades K-12. HEP includes curricular units for elementary, middle, and high school students complete with guidelines for teacher preparation, materials lists, guidelines for classroom safety and conduct, with comprehensive student and teacher resources. These units include HEP I: Energy & Power: Living and Working on the Lunar Surface, and HEP II: Transportation: Living and Working in Space.

Contact:

Susan Currie(256) 544-3629susan.currie@nasa.gov


› Radiation and Human Space Flight

Space Faring: The Radiation Challenge is an exciting video which uses live actors and 3D animation to tell the story of future astronauts and their struggles with space radiation.

Details and point of contact

The videos, one for middle school and one for high school, use age appropriate language to describe the dangers of space radiation and how future astronauts might protect themselves. Accompanying the videos are age appropriate educator guides with suites of activities for both middle and high school students. Each educator guide was written to align with national science standards.

Contact:

Susan Currie(256) 544-3629susan.currie@nasa.gov


› Engineering Design Challenge: Lunar Plant Growth Chamber

Plant growth will be an important part of space exploration in the future as NASA plans for long-duration missions to the moon. NASA scientists anticipate that astronauts may be able to grow plants on the moon, and the plants could be used to supplement meals.

Details and point of contact

NASA's Engineering Design Challenge: Lunar Plant Growth Chamber project, developed and managed by Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) with support from Johnson Space Center (JSC), challenges students to design, build, and evaluate lunar plant growth chambers, while engaging in research and standards based learning experiences. It is designed in age-appropriate modules for grades K-4, 5-8 and 9-12. Students participate in the engineering design process and learn how to conduct a scientific experiment.

Educators can request cinnamon basil seeds that have flown in space on the STS-118 space shuttle mission. Students can compare plants grown from both space-flown and Earth-based control seeds, and test the designs of the plant growth chambers.

Contact:

Julie Clift(256)961-1334 julie.d.clift@nasa.gov


› On the Moon – WGBH

On the Moon is an engineering design challenge educator guide for teachers of 3rd-12th grade students or informal organizations (such as scout groups). The 48 page guide contains six sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) related hands-on, inquiry-based activities related to NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and NASA's Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite missions.

Details and point of contact

In addition, an online training session designed to train teachers and informal educators about the engineering design process by using activities from On the Moon is currently being hosted by the WGBH Design Squad website with a link on the NASA portal page for On the Moon.

Contact:

Karla Miller(256) 544-5884karla.i.miller@nasa.gov



› Rockets Educator Guide

The Rockets Educator Guide was designed by Kennedy Space Center to be used in formal classroom settings. It contains information on the history of rocketry, NASA's 21st Century Space Exploration Policy, rocketry principles, and practical rocketry. The activities in the guide focus on Sir Isaac Newton's laws of motion and how they apply to rockets.

Details and point of contact

The guide incorporates cooperative learning, problem solving, critical thinking, and hands-on involvement and supports national and state standards for STEM subjects across many grade levels. The activities are designed with the classroom in mind. They include clear descriptions, background information for the teacher and student, detailed procedures and tips, lists of readily available materials, assessments, questions for discussion, and extensions. The guide is versatile. It has been created as a two to six week classroom unit depending upon the grade level of the students but individual activities can be extracted and used as stand-alone classroom experiences. The goal of the Rockets Educator Guide is to excite young minds. Among today's students are future leaders, planners, builders, explorers, settlers, and interplanetary pilots! This guide will help educators lay the groundwork for America's future in space.

Contact:

Lesley Garner(321) 867-3623lesley.a.garner@nasa.gov


WGBH Design Squad Nation

The Design Squad is managed by MSFC. The WGBH partnership is an integrated array of on- and off-air platforms to reach a broad audience of youth, educators, and engineers with content that highlights the science, technology, and engineering that are at the core of NASA's space program, and that leverages NASA's investments to date.

Details and point of contact

The Design Squad project is evolving to meet the needs and interests of the pre-teen and teen audiences. The project includes live Web cam video shot during production, YouTube videos, use of Facebook and blog posts, text messages, online communities, and extensive educational and community outreach that will support and enhance the educational goals of each episode and the series as a whole.

Contact:

Karla Miller(256) 544-5884karla.i.miller@nasa.gov