Blog going on Hiatus, but FIRST...

So, this will be my last post on here for at least a little while.  My workload at the office is about to get slammed.  One of the big events we do every year is the FIRST Robotics Buckeye Regional Competition, and the time for this year's competition is upon us.  I have been tasked with coordinating NASA Glenn's contributions.  This year it's being held Thursday through Saturday, April 7-9 at the Cleveland State University Wolstein Center, and we're basically at a sprint from now until then.

A little about the Buckeye Regional:
  • FIRST Robotics is considered a high-school varsity sport of the mind.
  • This is the only FIRST Robotics Competition in Ohio, and brings approximately 1500 students to downtown Cleveland, including teams from Canada.
  • The competition is FREE for everyone to attend, and it is a very positive environment for younger budding scientists and engineers.
  • Every year, the teams have 6 weeks to build and program a robot to complete a challenge.  This year's challenge is shown below.

Many people don't really know what to expect when they arrive.  They think it would look like your everyday average combined high school student activity.  Actually, it has a look, sound and feel more like a rock concert.  A clip of last year's competition is below.

So come one come all!  Bring your kids; bring your students; encourage them to go with their families.  If you can come in-person, the entire event will be webcast live!  I hope to see you there!


More than science resources.

So my lone commenter so far was happy to hear NASA had more resources than just science, and it's TOTALLY TRUE.  So on today's post, I'll show you one of the easiest ways to find MANY of NASA's lessons and activities for your classroom.  If you go to the NASA education page for educators, about halfway down the page, there's a link called "Find Materials Now".

This is the window you'll get, which is a really robust search.  You click the buttons for the appropriate grade levels, type of materials, and content matter.  Notice that many of the content matter options are pull-down menus themselves that will allow you to be more specific about the content you want.  The counter at the bottom will roll to tell you how many materials you will get if you click "View", which is a nice feature because you can expand or tighten your search depending on how scarce or plentiful your results will be.

The only thing I wish was different with this search is that the buttons create "AND" Boolean searches, not "OR", meaning if you want to see all educator guides, posters, and videos available on a topic, you have to do each one separately.  Otherwise, you will only get results that include all three.  If a result has two out of three, it will not show up, which is not a very typical sort situation for teachers.  The same applies for content material.  With the exception of this caveat, I highly recommend this way to find very engaging and interesting materials for students in all grades and a wide variety of subjects.


NASA Explorer Schools

So, I think I'll start off with a great way for teachers in grades 4-12 to start infusing NASA education content into their classrooms - NASA Explorer Schools.  They name is a little misleading; the entire school doesn't have to get involved, at least not at first.  One teacher can use the resources, and that is fine, but you'll probably find that you'll want to share them with colleagues.

View a short introductory video here:

The available resources include:
  • Standards-based lesson plans for both math and science classes in grade levels 4-12
  • E-Professional Development Videos for using the lessons in class.
  • Live support from educational specialists (at select times).
  • Supplemental materials for extending the lessons.
  • 5-minute NASA Now video clips that are published weekly for use in your classroom that help students to find out all the things that NASA is doing.
Here is a video clip of a NASA Now episode:

Convinced yet?  Well all it takes is a free sign-up at http://explorerschools.nasa.gov/ to access all the materials.  Happy teaching!


Hello World!

Welcome everyone, to my little test Blog.  If you're not in my ETE 567 class, and you're reading this, I must admit I'm surprised.  I didn't share this Blog with anyone outside of the class.  In any case, welcome!  Basically, I felt that I could shed some light on the ways that students/teachers/anyone could get involved in NASA education.  That said, I must also say that, in this blog, I am no way speaking on behalf of NASA.  The information is true, but these are my own posts, my own thoughts, my own feelings.  So I'll start you off with the basic introductory link... http://education.grc.nasa.gov/ ...and I hope you enjoy the posting!