Our oldest and I enjoyed an early breakfast and watching the International Space Station pass right over our home. It’s amazing to see how fast it’s traveling (about 5 miles per second) as it orbits the Earth about 15 times per day.
I’m really enjoying the apps that make it fun and easy to track and learn about the Space Station. I strongly recommend you give one or more of these a try.
“Photographer Knate Myers has stitched together an incredible timelapse video of Earth and space with photographs from the International Space Station (ISS). Myers says every frame in the video is a photograph taken from the ISS, and that he removed noise and edited some of the images in Adobe Photoshop. Combined with music from John Murphy, the result is a captivating glimpse at our planetary home, set against the backdrop of all existence — a beautiful blurring of reality and human imagination.” (Source)
“The acronym STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The STEM fileds are those academic and professional disciplines that fall under the umbrella areas represented by the acronym. According to both the United States National Research Council and the National Science Foundation, the fields are collectively considered core technological underpinnings of an advanced society. In many forums (including political/governmental and academic) the strength of the STEM workforce is viewed as an indicator of a nation’s ability to sustain itself.”
“Engineers from the NASA Langley Research Center unveiled plans to build a personal flying machine that would run on a set of electric motors. [Discovery News] reports on the aptly named Puffin, which is still in the early stages of development.” (Source)
This video could be used to introduce a study on the principles of flight (Example Lesson Plan).
Learners could problem-solve how much impact the design of the Puffin craft would have if it weighd 600 pounds.
Challenge learners to brainstorm ways that the craft might be able to: fly 100 miles on a single charge, carry 2 passengers, and more.
NASA astronaut Mark Polansky, who will be commanding the next mission to the International Space Station, has just posted a video to NASA’s official YouTube channel inviting YouTubers and Twitter fans to take part in his next mission, submitting video questions via YouTube and following mission updates over Twitter.
To ask a question, Polansky says to create a video of around thirty seconds and post it to YouTube, then send it to his Twitter account using an @reply. He’ll respond to the questions on NASA TV, which is broadcast nation-wide. (Source)
I encourage you and your students to participate in this activity. It’s a rare opportunity. Who knows? You may have a future NASA astronaut, controller or engineer sitting in your class!