The development of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) skills is a national priority. This dynamic and content-rich (and visually stunning) presentation outlines an approach to address these skills in an integrated fashion using student projects and inquiry, supported by an extensive library of computer-based resources from NASA and elsewhere. This curriculum is built around the overall topic of space exploration, and is presently designed as an elective or after-school program for middle and high school students.
Each year of this international three-year program is focused on one large theme, starting with the exploration of Earth's neighborhood as far as the moon. From there it moves to our Solar System, and then, in the final year, to the galaxies.
Student projects are driven by questions (e.g., why are the four interior planets terrestrial, and the outer four gaseous? Are there an equal number of left- and right-handed spiral galaxies?) Group projects range from taking part in a full simulation of a shuttle launch to the design of a robotic probe designed to test for life on Europa, to (in special settings) the actual construction and launch of a solid-fueled rocket designed by the students.
If you have ever been captured by the mystery of Space, and the role educational computing and other hands-on tools can play in exploring this topic, this session will describe a program that should be of great interest and value to you.
Presentation type: General.
Duration: one hour
Audience: Educators with background or interest in any of the STEM subject areas.