NASA seminar for educators

Science vs Engineering – what are the differences? On a NASA space science mission both are essential. Join us for “The Challenge of Discovery” on Saturday, April 6, to find out!

This engaging, dynamic workshop is for formal and informal educators in grades 4-12. It’s the third in a series, using the excitement of NASA missions that are exploring the solar system to help teachers convey real-world science and engineering concepts to their students.

This time we delve into the stories behind some amazing NASA missions, from conception to science results. Learn how scientists, engineers, and mission operators collaborate to meet the challenges of complex missions to assure the science goals will be met.

“The Challenge of Discovery” will highlight science and engineering from NASA missions that are in a variety of phases: OSIRIS-REx, an asteroid sample return project that is under development for launch in 2016; MESSENGER, which has been orbiting Mercury for nearly two years and is returning a wealth of images and data; and New Horizons, still en route to Pluto for a 2015 flyby. We will also learn how missions prepare to bring back a sample – where is the best place to grab that asteroid dirt from? – and what happens when those precious samples land back on Earth.

Investigate what it takes to move a fantastic idea from dream to reality. Mission scientists and engineers will discuss their roles and perspectives and how they must communicate well so the science dreams can be achieved within the engineering realities. It will be a very lively workshop with activities to help you teach both science and engineering concepts.

The workshop will be held in four locations:

  • Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, 8:30 am – 2:30 pm PT
  • University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ – 8:30 am – 2:30 pm MT
  • Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX – 10:30 – 4:30 CT
  • Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab, Laurel, MD – 11:30 – 5:30 ET

It will also be available in a webinar form and archived for later viewing.

There is a small charge to cover lunch and snacks

More info:

math from the news, calculations from the meteor over Chelyabinsk, Russia

Scientists think that the meteor that lit up skies over Russia originated in the asteroid belt

On Feb. 15, 2013, a small asteroid entered Earth’s atmosphere over Chelyabinsk, Russia. Estimates put the asteroid at ~17 meters in diameter with a mass of ~11,000 metric tons and traveling ~18 km/sec.  This NASA created math activity can be used in classrooms to use a real world headline making event in their math lessons.