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Week 12: Math and Space Exploration

Task 1: Find an article, opinion piece, or blog post about the controversy surrounding funding for space exploration and briefly summarize it here. What are the different sides saying? Do you think including space exploration in math and science classes can have an effect on public opinion about the importance of curiosity driven science? 

Task 2: Find an example of space organizations/individuals using social media to connect with the public in an educational and kid-friendly way and link to it here. For example, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield is currently the commander on the International Space Station and he frequently tweets from space to answer questions or share space facts. You can find a list of NASA’s social media connections on their website, but feel free to use another organization or individual related to space exploration. Do you think there is value in having students participate in these exchanges? How could you use these social media connections in your classroom to enhance learning?

Task 3: Choose a math topic and describe how you could incorporate some aspect of space exploration to teach this concept using any of the technology we've covered this semester. To get started on math/space topics you can explore NASA’s education resources or Space Math page, but feel free to look into other space organizations to find something that fits your interests. The tech piece can be a specific piece of software we've used or more general modeling tools or manipulatives.

For this task, you do not have to design a lesson for a single class period because I want to leave the option of a longterm project open to you. Rather than design a specific lesson, just discuss the math topic, the space tie-in, how you would use technology with the lesson(s), type(s) of student output, and whether this would be a single lesson or part of a larger project.

Task Discussion

  • Maria Droujkova   April 7, 2013, 7:41 p.m.

    Task 3

    I would like to share a piece of curriculum we recently developed for NASA, though I think the project for which it was supposed to apply was paused. 

    The story is of a Mars expedition in the year 2033 (when there is a good launch window). Five young people are starting the first human settlement on the planet. The materials we developed consisted of short videos introducing each topic; interactive models; brief math and science questions to follow up; and supplemental NASA articles. 

    While many of the interactives were open source work by others, we also developed quite a few specifically for the project. I designed all of them, with several based on current topics in space research:


    • “Psychological testing” is based on the occupation preference scales published in 2010.
    • “Frequency of exercise” follows 2000-2011 vibration exercise research used by NASA, and all numbers in it are real and accurate (e.g., 5-20Hz does resonate with the spine or other organs and should be avoided)
    • “Mental coherence,” while qualitative, uses data and recommendations from several studies done in 2000s, and the new (summer 2011) NASA history book “Psychology of Space Exploration.”
    • “Albedo, insolation, and atmospheric composition” is based on a terraforming calculator developed on the basis of a mathematical model created at NASA Ames Research Center. The interactive “Terraforma” makes the model more visual and accessible for students.
    • “A room with a view” approximates the trip’s Hohmann orbit and real star and planet positions, as seen from the orbit. It is done with the astronomy software Celestia, and contains observation notes such as “Do you know why the lunar eclipse on April 14th, 2033 looks different than it would from the Earth?”
    • “Wind in your solar sails,” which is based on the 2010-11 solar sail experiments, shows correct calculations and solar pressure parameters for the orbits of Earth and Mars.  The interactive can be used to investigate solar power. 
    • While accurate radiation protection models are beyond the high school level of mathematics, “Is the shelter holding up?” provides qualitatively realistic descriptions of various materials in a solar flare situation. It refers to the protection materials currently (2011) under development in NASA.
    This link takes you to the chapter called "Olympus Mons Cannon." It follows Newton's thought experiment about a cannon shooting so fast that the projectile travels around the Earth. In the interactive, you also repeat the experiment on Mars and then on a tiny icy asteroid, where you can JUMP off into space - or else into low orbit.
    I thought it would be nice to apply the same formulas to several different examples. Also, watching that astronaut orbit the asteroid brings home the idea of what happens in low gravity (drawing not to scale).
    Icy Asteroid
  • Maria Droujkova   April 7, 2013, 7:13 p.m.

    Task 2

    The example I would like to offer is a citizen science project called Galaxy Zoo:

    When you enter, you can immediately begin classifying real photos of galaxies, taken with powerful telescopes:

    From the site's page: 

    The launch of this new version of Galaxy Zoo, the 4th, comes just a few weeks after the site's 5th birthday. It all started back in July 2007, with a data set made up of a million galaxies imaged by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, who still provide some of the images in the site today. With so many galaxies, we'd assumed it would take years for visitors to the site to work through them all, but within 24 hours of launch we were stunned to be receiving almost 70,000 classifications an hour. In the end, more than 50 million classifications were received by the project during its first year, contributed by more than 150,000 people.

    One reason I am very interested in this site is that I hope to use their software for a project in mathematics education. Namely, I hope to invite parents to look at math games, to give their feedback, and to collect data on how games work with young kids. Children and their math ideas can be as exotic as galaxies far away! 

  • Katherine Hanisco   April 25, 2013, 5:59 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Maria Droujkova   April 7, 2013, 7:13 p.m.

    I love Galaxy Zoo! I love all projects that involve people working on real problems with real data. It's incredible because even young kids can get involved with projects like this, and I think they really get a kick out of the idea that they're not just playing a game, but helping do real science work. 

  • Maria Droujkova   April 7, 2013, 7:03 p.m.

    Task 1

    I wanted to use this opportunity to learn more about the Isle of Man - a tiny nation that plays a big part in the global space exploration. This article is called "Isle of Man search for modern-day Christopher Columbus":

    The numbers caught my eye: "The Isle of Man government's director of space commerce, Tim Craine, said the global space industry is currently worth about $300bn a year and, as the host to 30 of the 54 international companies, the Isle of Man's share will be significant."

    One of the companies is offering for-fee seats to take a human sixty thousand miles beyond the Moon, so beat past records. The fee is one hundred million British pounds. The article is calling it "dream trips." 

    I wonder if space tourism is a good idea. It can finance some science, but how much? What kinds? It is very unlikely to finance fundamental research, for example. Also, it sends an interesting message to kids as to what it takes to gain access to space.

    But Isle of Man is doing well for itself hosting space companies... 

    I wanted to find some STEM connection, and it wasn't easy, which makes me wonder about the commercial track and what it does to/for science even more. But here is an interesting tidbit, about a US satellite museum opening this year:

    An executive of one of the Isle of Man companies will be responsible for the STEM outreach at the museum: "My role on the board will be to advise on the creation of the new satellite museum, along with integrating it into STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics] education to both promote greater awareness of the industry and to help guide the very best students to consider working in our industry."

    Satellites constitute $200billion/year global industry, counting the military ones. The tech developed for Earth satellites is used to explore other planets, as well. 

  • Lisa Ritt   April 7, 2013, 12:44 p.m.

    Task 3:

    Here is a video I liked:

    This video lesson incorporates many different aspects of distance, temperature, it has good comparisons of travelling in a car vs how fast astronauts travel. I think middle school students could really get into this.  I can see myself showing a video like this at the beginning of the year and having students list lots of different concepts that we will be covering throughout the year, for ex: distance, rate, time, temperature, volume, circumference, weight, area, etc etc. And then maybe showing it 1-2 times throughout the year to see what other concepts they can list of math  they're learning and interested in.

    I truly love the Scratch application. I think its a great tool to use ongoing throughout the year for students in middle school to create an ongoing year long Scratch project that lets them have a place where they can not only being learning the computer program aspect, but also demonstrate the math concepts. I think Space exploration being the backdrop of this Scratch project would be wonderful because of how rich it is in middle school core math content and there are so many directions for students to go in with it.

    After the lesson in how to use Scratch and explore on this, using Scratch becomes a reward that students get to create their Space Worlds say 1-2 per week based on them getting their daily work done, or turning in all their homework in on time, etc.

    On Scratch, the students have so many avenues in creating the planets, stars, earth, characters travelling in cars, or rockets, thermometers, fun fact signs on the different planets, or being on space stations. So many exciting ways to incorporate their math lessons in the Space backdrop. They can give people clues on finding distances between planets and how long it would take to get there in a car, or plane, or in a rocket, etc. at different times of the year as the universe is always moving. They can ask to predict how close or far away planets and stars are at different times of the year. They can compare temperatures on the planets, etc...the project is limitless and students can really EXPLORE :)

    At the end of the year, they can do presentations to the class of their Scratch projects and also be thinking about teaching other students in the world. I really see this being something I look forward to implementing in my future classroom :) 

  • Katherine Hanisco   April 25, 2013, 4:55 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Lisa Ritt   April 7, 2013, 12:44 p.m.

    Lisa, I love the idea of combining Scratch with space math as an ongoing project! A lot of the ways I envision using space math in the classroom are in long term projects, and I think having the idea of using their space worlds as an incentive to get work done is awesome. 

  • MgnLeas   April 6, 2013, 10:08 p.m.

    Task 3:

    I am not sure how I would use this in a math lesson yet, but this seems awesome!!! Students are asked to help find ways to keep astronauts safe as they travel to the moon, asteroids, Mars and beyond. What a way to get kids excited and INVOLVED!

    The math topic I decided to focus one for this task is Interpreting Graphs, slope and rates of change.  I remember from student teaching trying to come up with fun and interesting ways to teach this. I ended up using a ski resort to find the different slopes of the slopes. (The students giggled every time I said that.) I think I would use the NASA site as a starting place to get the students excited and interested. The lesson itself might take two days, so this would be done on day one. One idea I had was to tie in constellations. (I love astronomy.) I could have the students plot constellations on graph paper then find the slopes between the stars. I would have them search online to find pictures to use. I would have them each do different constellations and then put them on the ceiling so we would have our own night sky in class!

  • Katherine Hanisco   April 25, 2013, 4:58 p.m.
    In Reply To:   MgnLeas   April 6, 2013, 10:08 p.m.

    Megan, one of the things I love best about NASA is how they are so committed to the free and open exchange of information. Having students processing real data or looking at real problems is such an awesome thing to incorporate in the classroom because it's not just a game or a lesson designed around space - it's a real problem that needs a real solution, and I think students would be incredibly motivated by that. 

  • MgnLeas   April 6, 2013, 8:22 p.m.

    Task 2:

    So I am not a social media person. I never did facebook and have little interest in twitter. However, this was before I realized that these are more than high schools kids or celebrates with way too much free time! After reading some of the other comments, I see there is a world I did not know existed.

    Anyway, I went straight to to see what I could find… I came across this . This is NASA Explorer Schools. “Bringing NASA to your classroom” The way it works is there are video chats with NASA experts and any K-12 student and teachers are invited to be a part of the chat. Questions can be asked by students which will be answered by the expert. I liked this idea because it was almost like a virtual field tip in a way. You could meet with people you never expected to meet while staying in the safety of you classroom. The students could come up with questions before hand. The latest chats were on “Solar Max Storm Warning” and “It’s a Long Road to Pluto”. I wish I had know about them before hand so I could have been a part and have more (cooler) information here. The Pluto chat just took place on April 4!

    These interactions would be awesome for students to participate in. For me personally, I would love to talk with someone working in NASA and possibly have them answer a question of mine. I could also have the students maybe do some research on the expert (background, goals) and see if they have anything in common. They could also look into the topic being covered. Kids today are very technological and anyway to incorporate that is great.

  • MgnLeas   April 6, 2013, 7:58 p.m.

    Task 1:

    I found a few articles on the site The page I began with had the heading; “The benefits of NASA’s space exploration programs justify the cost”.   The results so far suggest that 66% of voters agree while 34% of voters disagree. There are 15 articles attached linked to either side of the fence. The first article I have here is on the side of thinking it is a waste to spend money on space exploration.  The author Jonte Rhodes disagrees. He basically says that until technology exists that will allow us to explore space beyond our atmosphere that the money should not be “wasted”. He says, “As it stands today our aspirations of space travel far outweigh our actual ability in terms of what we can realistically achieve.” The money, in his opinion, should be spent on more pressing matters like global terrorism and social/ economic decline.

    On the agree side, author Michael Lowe talks about all the benefits we enjoy in our everyday lives thanks to the space program. He talks about how sending robots before humans is a good way to get some information. However, humans can collect much more data than a robot. He also talks about the US going back to the moon by 2018 with a permanent settlement as part of “Vision for Space Exploration”. It would be used as a stepping stone to Mars by 2037.

    I think that it is human nature to explore the world and universe around us. We do this as children without much thought as to why. We simply need to know how things work, why they are there, and how can we improve things. Exploring space is a natural desire. I think that kids can get excited about space exploration in math and science. As parents we see what our children are interested in so we learn about it. This would at least make adults more aware of space exploration. It could have an effect on public opinion. Also if more kids are interested in space exploration, they will pursue colleges and careers that allow them to follow those aspirations. This would show the importance of space exploration. Curiosity is a part of human nature, it needs to be feed and allowed to happen. Including it into classes will only help to do this.

  • SueSullivan   April 6, 2013, 5:53 p.m.

    TASK 3:

    Knowing how to use conversion formulas is an essential part of life.  Yet, it can be pretty boring for students to practice conversion applicatons using exercises that convert Fahrenheit to Celsius, Standard to Metric, and vice versa (I'm approaching this from my middle-school viewpoint).  NASA's Astro-Matic 3000 ( lets students see how conditions on different planets would affect their age and weight.  Note that this page does not give the formulas themselves (more specific information can be found at,, and

    The NASA site would be a great way for students to check their arithmetic after using a given 'longhand' formula; more advanced students could experiment to see if they could derive a formula on their own.  The lesson could be co-taught with science teachers, who could provide more insight about exactly how aging would be affected.  An interdisciplinary lesson could be created by having history and literature teachers discuss the emergence of these concepts and their effects on culture.

    Another way to integrate conversions (and also coordinate systems) with space is by viewing satellite flybys.  Information about satellite/ISS flybys is available at; enter your zip code to see what's happening in your area.  Knowing that being able to see a flyby (or not) is contingent upon knowing where to look (degrees, direction) might make such topics more relevant for students.  More advanced students can also convert the degree and directional measurements to radians and polar coordinates. 

    I would use technology to access the web info, but would probably have students do the conversions 'longhand' at first, only using tech as an arithmetic tool.  My main goal would be to have students understand that even within the math and science fields, communications aren't standard; some use degrees, some use radians, and some use polar.  In order to understand each other and maximize our learning, we need to be fluent in all 'languages'.

  • SueSullivan   April 6, 2013, 4:51 p.m.

    TASK 2:


    I know this is might be the trivial solution, but I really like NASA's facebook page at  The reason that I like it so much is because the info/links provided relate to all aspects of NASA's mission; many people think NASA (and, by association, space technology/exploration) is just concerned with moon landings, planets, galaxies, and such.  I think that if the public was more informed about the extent of NASA's broad mission and its implications, there would be much more public support for funding this agency.

    I think that NASA's FB page is an extremely valuable learning tool.  First of all, most students are familiar with facebook and have an account; teaching them how to use facebook is not an issue.  Second, the FB page presents information using a variety of mediums (text-only, video, photographic).  Third, social media is used by people of varying demographic backgrounds; I think this can be an asset in connecting learning to everyday life.  For example, a student likes something on NASA's FB page (maybe something about the moon landing).  Their grandmother (who they are 'friends' with) sees this on their news feed.  Grandma says she remembers when the event happened.  The student becomes curious.  There is a conversation between grandma and the student where grandma describes what life was like at the time and how the event was perceived by the public.  The student's learning is increased by the human connection relating the socio-political climate of the time.  These discussions can happen with anyone, it doesn't have to be a family member.  Social media offers unique opportunities for people to connect and these connections can enhance learning.

    Lastly, my favorite thing about the NASA FB page is how it addresses so many things, such as links to press conferences, LandSat images and data, Hubble, texts about research-related unmanned aircraft accidents, ocean temperatures, geomagnetic storms, rocket launches, and collections of photographs taken by ISS personnel while deployed.  Speaking of photographs, the page has so many (and links to collections) that even the most uninterested student would probably find some that are appealing and engaging (which would hopefully spark some kind of further motivation/interest).  There's something for everyone - students see a real-world example of what their math and science education could lead to.  This page also posts requests for proposals for specific technologies, giving students a real-world example of the circumstances that sometimes prompt research and development.  Topics relating to climate change are posted as well, giving students research-based information to use in forming their own opinions about this controversial topic.

    Katherine, thanks for giving us this assignment; I'm not sure if I would have found this wonderfully interesting FB page on my own!

  • Katherine Hanisco   April 25, 2013, 5:01 p.m.
    In Reply To:   SueSullivan   April 6, 2013, 4:51 p.m.

    Sue, the Facebook page is definitely not a trivial solution! I really am impressed with how effectively NASA uses social media, and their Facebook page is an excellent example of it. As you said, students are very familiar with Facebook. One of the reasons I love NASA's social media is how they get into students' spaces like that, and I think that is so important. The students are already there, which  makes it that much easier to reach them. I'm glad you got something out of this task!

  • SueSullivan   April 6, 2013, 2:36 p.m.

    TASK 1:


    The blog post that I chose for this task was written by CNN blogger Zaina Adamu and can can be found at  Adamu writes that 50% of Americans disagreed with funding the space shuttle program, and, as of 2009, 8% felt that the space program should be discontinued.  Yet, Adamu points out that the US government spends 1.2% of citizens' tax dollars on science/space/tech programs, which is less than the 4.8% spent for education, and much less than the 26.3% going toward national defense.  The blog post also lists technologies/items whose invention was related to the US space program (such as memory foam, radial tires, satellite technologies), and gives a couple examples of how the funding controversy is present even among CNN commentators.

    Personally, I believe that teaching about space exploration in math and science can certainly influence the public's feelings about curiosity-driven science.  We should expect students to take sides in the controversy, and I'm not sure that I should be the one telling them which side to choose.  What I am sure about is my responsibility as an educator to provide students with the information they need to make their own informed decisions; this can only be done by including space exploration in the curriculum.

  • Gina Mulranen   April 5, 2013, 3:13 p.m.

    Task 3

    Since I will be teaching about quadratic equations soon in my Algebra 1 class, I used the NASA education website and found an awesome project that I could use with my students. Here is a link to the project:

    I love that this document provides a video, worksheets, and set-by-step activities that relate to the concept, but also provides information on the space topic. I definitely am looking into using this project in my class this year! Thank you, NASA! What an awesome website for educators!

    The first think I would do is to show this video about the program called NASA Reduced Gravity Student Flight Opportunity. This is also provided by the NASA website. This weightlessness flight simulator allows astronauts to practice, scientists to test technology, and people to experience no gravity! This is a great way to spark students interest in the topic:

    The project includes a worksheet on the video as well as a worksheet on analyzing a parabola that represents altitude of a C-9 jet, which the students have learned about in the video. The second part of that worksheet incorporates the Weightless Wonder problem that was presented in the video. I really like that this worksheet also incorporates the graphing calculator, which I have been teaching and using with my class all year. The next worksheet is asking the students to change the parameters of the space shuttle, which is great for the students to see the transformations of the quadratic functions on a graph. Students will be able to write the equations for the different situations and predict what the graphs will look like. This is a wonderful project that incorporates a really neat concept about space with the math topic of quadratic functions and equations.

    I think that an additional technology piece that I would add to this activity is having the students submit questions about weightlessness to astronauts using social media.  This would be a great way for students to hear firsthand accounts of what weightlessness feels like!

  • Gina Mulranen   April 5, 2013, 2:40 p.m.

    Task 2

    When thinking about social media, I went right to Facebook. I have been an avid user since the day I got my college email address and have connected with people I have been friends with, family I have across the country, and people that have the same interests that I do. Therefore, I decided to research Chris Hadfield on Facebook and I found something really interesting. There was a Facebook page created to ask Chris Hadfield to take pictures of Lake Urmia from space. The page was created by Azerbaijani-Canadians. Based on the picture on the Facebook page, it looks like he listened! There is a really cool picture from 2012 of Lake Urmia from space. It looks like these pictures are important in order to show how much the lake has changed. The Facebook page also includes a video to save the lake. This is an example of how people are using social media as a resource to help their cause.

    I do not actually have a Twitter account and I have never used it, so I decided to look for other astronauts that tweet from space. Now I am really starting to think that I need to join the Twitter world! This is so cool! Here is a link to a twitter updated by any astronaut in space: . There are only two astronauts, Chris Hadfield and Thomas H. Marshburn, but they seem to tweet very frequently. The pictures they post are incredible! And they have 7,243 followers! What a fantastic way for people to post and share information.

    I do think that there is value to having students participate in these forms of social media because it puts a “real” face on these topics and makes space exploration more of a reality. I also think that when students make a personal connection, they tend to have a larger interest in the topic and are more excited to learn more. When my students visited the NASA space center in Florida, they met a retired astronaut that was great with the kids. My group came back talking about how cool going in space must be and they asked me questions about space that we looked up in some of the posters and books available at the site. It was a great experience for everyone!

    I think that we can use these social media connections in our classrooms in conjunction with different word problems that we can incorporate into different lessons. For example, let’s say we are learning about scientific notation and we are converting the distance to the moon to scientific notation. We can use social media to tweet an astronaut about how the distance between Earth and the moon feels like in space or how fast distances can be traveled with rockets or how they perceive distance now that they have traveled in space. I think the students would really enjoy that!

  • Katherine Hanisco   April 25, 2013, 5:07 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Gina Mulranen   April 5, 2013, 2:40 p.m.

    Gina, Chris Hadfield is really an amazing guy. He tweets frequently, he posts incredible photographs (as you saw!), and he patiently answers questions about space (frequently from young people.) He gets a million ridiculous questions (often about using the bathroom in space) but he never seems to get tired of sharing info and he never loses his cheerful attitude. Recently he received a tweet from someone who was blind, and ever since then, he's made it a point to use other sensory information to talk about his experiences, such as uploading sound clips of life on the ISS. He really seems to have an interest in interacting with students, and he very often answers questions by radio from classes. 

  • Gina Mulranen   April 5, 2013, 1:47 p.m.

    Task 1

    This debate website posed the question “Billions of dollars are spent every year by the world's space agencies, but does this money bring us any benefit, or should we pull the plug and spend it elsewhere?” First of all, I wanted to comment on how this question was worded. It is very biased! I was just teaching my Pre-Algebra students about biased questioning and how it can manipulate responses. The way this question was worded really put space exploration in a negative light.

    On the other hand, I really liked the way this website is set up because all the yes and no bullet points are summarizes and then an explanation from the “yes” and “no” side for each bullet point can be accessed by clicking on the point. There are SO many bullet points in this debate so I am going to summarize those points that I thought were interesting.

    1. “Money is better used to help human lives in their own country.”

    The “yes” side of the debate talks about the monetary needs of the people living on Earth, referencing losing homes and rebuilding. The “no” side of the debate explains that with space exploration, new discoveries in technology have been made that HAVE helped humans. With so much left out there to explore, who knows what new discoveries we can find to help our world!

    1. “The cost isn’t actually very high.”

    The “no” side of the debate for space exploration being a waste of money says that the money spent in space is not as much as the country is spending in other areas. The mention of a space vehicle built for under $25 million was compared to the high costs of the war with the US and Iraq. The “yes” side of the debate says that even though the cost is not as high as some of the governmental programs, it is still a cost that could be spent elsewhere. (This side of the debate has made it clear that space exploration does not provide any benefits.)

    1. “NASA is very hazardous”

    The “yes” side of the debate referred to all the failed missions that NASA has made and the high risk that astronauts face. This side of the debate also mentioned the very expensive equipment that would also break or get lost in space, which is a waste of tax payers’ money. The “no” side of the debate agrees that there have been deaths and mistakes, but that we are learning from our mistakes and we should not give up just because it didn’t work a couple of times. NASA has had success and few failures considering it has been in service for over 40 years. Also, astronauts know the risks and the benefits of this space exploration when they go into that career.

    Math and space exploration in the classroom:

    I think that including space exploration in math and science classes can have an effect on public opinion about the importance of curiosity driven science because students ARE excited to learn about it! Human curiosity to explore is what drives this science and promotes a desire to learn as well. By incorporating math and science exploration in our curriculums, we can help promote students’ interest and curiosities to learn, which is something we want to instill in them for their whole educational experience. This is a cool way to bring students back to learning if they are bored or frustrated as well!

  • Lisa Ritt   April 4, 2013, 11:55 a.m.


    Task 2:
    I found this great article on the first astronaut to TWEET from Space. NASA’s
    TJ Creamer on January 22, 2010. His famouse first tweet:

    “ Hello Twitterverse! We r now LIVE tweeting from the International Space Station—the 1st live tweet from Space! :) More soon, send your ?’s “

    His twitter account: @Astro_TJ

    All this twitter research has made me create an account and start following some folks! (Another new world for me!! I also looke up Mark Kelly (Gabby Gifford’s husband) , who is at @ShuttleCDRKelly and has a website: about responsible gun control laws!

    I also on twitter, came across a great technology development event called the International Space Apps Challenge:

    The event is taking place over 48 hours, April 20-21 & here are on this link are the challenges:

    This is also a virtual event as well as events taking place at technology centers across the world. The challenge lead by NASA with 100+ partners globally is aiming for collaborative problem solving to produce relevant open-source solutions to address global needs to life on earth and in space.

    I checked out the "Catch a Meteor" challenge and great resources are shown on this subject through the links and apps. The main thing is the are hoping to promote public knowledge and interest on the Near-Earth Objects (NEO’s) and the likelihood of Earth encounters. Very cool!

    Being able to use a challenge like this could be a wonderful lesson in a middle school math class…not only honing research skills, but tying in math concepts and measurements of  distance, volume, speed, etc etc Really a project that kids could get excited about and feel like they were doing something to protect the WHOLE WORLD!!! 

    I think creating a twitter account for my classroom for the purpose of following education sources like this would be so fun..a different student could be assigned to check it out in class each week and find something for us to look into that can relate to what our weekly lessons/goals are!

  • Lisa Ritt   April 4, 2013, 10:28 a.m.


    Week 12:

    Task 1:
    In this article: U.S. poll asked “Should space exploration be a priority for federal funding?67% said YES & 37% said NO The article has great comments on both sides (especially the YES side in my opinion)

    The is a great website….its not so much of an article, but a forum for folks to really express their opinion about a subject matter. The main argument for YES is the discoveries that help life become more convenient and also the amazing possibilities of cures and saving lives as well as the stopping of danger that may be out there for earth as we know it!

    I wholeheartedly am I YES!

    Below here is another article:

    Went off on a tangent here. This article above here mentions 10 inventions that people use everyday that were founded through NASA and space exploration research J


    On your final task question:
    When we explore space in Math and Science class, it will have a positive effect on the future of space exploration and all the benefits we can enjoy from new discoveries. Space exploration is a wonderful example of thinking outside the box…literally…you’re thinking outside the GLOBE.

    We want to instill and foster in our students their ability and confidence to move in unknown directions and then, also we can show historically all the benefits of this. Math of course has so many relatable concepts related to space so it’s natural and exciting territory to cover!

    I've already learned so much about where the U.S. stands internationally and what we are doing and not doing is kind of scary compared to past years for sure!!