About Being the Best Teacher You Can Be…. Choose NASA .. the educational resources are great! You will leave dullness behind!!


5206_137672091326_268879_nI love teaching.

How can you fulfill this ? I am a Challenger Center Fellow and a Christa McAuliffe Educator. I went to minority schools. I did not have science in the elementary school. But I had NASA. Courses and workshops. So wonderful.

There are people who have given me immense gifts in the way of mentoring.NASA gave me the universe and project based learning  and the ideas about ecology. I loved learning and helping teachers to learn within the educational groups of NASA. The learning started with projects and went on to large and interesting project based learning, some of these are old, Moon Base America, The Challenger Center Initiative and the online NASA resources. I loved most the programs on Mars. I also use museums to teach with. They have a bigger budget than I have.

What an investment in teachers! You can find resources here. http://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/index.html If you ever do any of the projects and are truly interested, there is much, much more and it is not at costs.


The Challenger Center is a little different but the project based learning is outstanding. You need not go to the Challenger Center, but it would be for kids, a life changing experience. There are lots of teachers who have been prohibited from this type of learning called project based learning  because it is not regurgitative test measured information. Project based learning? I loved wearing an astronaut suit and sharing information with students. I felt as if I was sharing , teaching and giving information to the children that was awesome. Here are some teacher resources. Now there is a different way of being involved.

Challenger Center for Space Science Education offers dynamic, hands-on exploration and discovery opportunities to students around the world. These programs equip students with the knowledge, confidence, and skills that will help better our national social and economic well-being. But the center also offers courses and learning experiences for teachers. There is support and there are resources. There is a cost to some programs.

Our <a href="/teacher_resources/nitrogen_main.html">Traveling Nitrogen Game</a> makes a fun activity for students to learn about the <a href="/earth/Life/nitrogen_cycle.html">nitrogen cycle</a>.  The activity includes a student worksheet ("Traveling Nitrogen Passport"), 11 reservoir signs, and stamps.  The activity is available in our <a href="/php/teacher_resources/activity.php#8">Classroom Activities section</a>, including a free html version, and a pdf version free for  <a href="/new_membership_services.html">Windows to the Universe subscribers</a>.  The Traveling Nitrogen Game Kit is available in our <a href="/store/home.php">online store</a>, including laminated signs and a set of 11 dice.<p><small><em></em></small></p>

A unique and proven teaching model – Challenger Learning Centers – gives students the chance to become astronauts and engineers and solve real-world problems as they share the thrill of discovery on missions through the Solar System. Using space simulation and role-playing strategies, students bring their classroom studies to life and cultivate the skills needed for future success. Learning Centers reach into communities around the globe, engaging more than 400,000 middle school-age students and 40,000 educators each year.

Challenger Center’s teaching model is an effective approach to strengthen knowledge and interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). The McLain 2011 report examined two decades of evaluations from students who experienced a Challenger Learning Center mission, and the findings indicate overall positive gains by students. The study also recognized the psychological nature of career-choice, decision-making embedded in Challenger Center’s model. It found the hands-on simulation experiences are important contributors to that process, perhaps more than any other single experience that might be remembered as extraordinary in a young person’s exposure to STEM. In some cases it is a hard sell to the administrators. They often do not understand this kind of project or are worried about NCLB stats and so well, you are not allowed to do this project based learning. Not on the test they say. In this project you develop sophisticated knowledge that the general public may not know.

We in a 5th grade classroom, knew about the Horsehead Nebulae before the public saw it months later. It helps to talk to astronauts and scientist who care about their subjects.Horsehead Nebula

An assortment of containers and science equipment on a table
The STS-118 crew transported plant growth chambers, seeds and watering devices like these to the space station for an in-orbit experiment.

12682_493292470701096_2082112609_n

With these kinds of experiences, the imagination of children and critical thinking skills are challenged. It is not just the technology, it is the creation of the learning landscape to enhance learning.

It enhances discovery through simulation and exploration of new concepts

Explore this NASA program it is free.. and excellent..

Artists concept of 2 people sitting in a spacecraft on Mars

We connect individuals to new people and ideas and expand content beyond what was previously available.

It promotes equity by providing a diverse array of resources and experiences to those who might not otherwise be able to afford them.

It allows teachers to adapt to and to accommodate different learning styles through modularized , self -paced , just in time learning and non threatening learning

I was challenged to learn new science to be able to teach it well. It was supported with great curriculum and posters and resources.There is also this website

Windows to the Universe  What is different about this web site is that it is on three different levels and it is rich in resources.

If your principal will not let you teach during the school day. Do this.. it is fun!!!

Vic and I took this course, it is great!
Cut a pound cake in half, and what do you have? It is still pound cake, but in two pieces instead of one. What if you keep slicing and dicing the pound cake all the way down to single crumbs? No matter how many times the pound cake is cut, it’s still pound cake.

Three training participants look at materials about the solar systemAfterschool Universe training sessions are offered throughout the year at locations across the United States. Image Credit: NASA

What does pound cake have to do with the universe? Just like the chemical elements that are the building blocks for all the matter in the universe, pound cake retains its identity no matter how many times it’s divided. Pound cake also plays a key role in an activity that’s part of Afterschool Universe, a NASA-sponsored astronomy program for middle school students.

Afterschool Universe is targeted for settings outside the normal school day. The program consists of 12 standalone sessions in which students explore basic astronomy concepts.

“We saw a need for the program because existing astronomy education materials covering such topics were mostly aimed at high school students. Middle school students were fascinated by these concepts but had few options to learn more about them,” said Anita Krishnamurthi, the program’s project lead. “There’s a great potential to engage students and adults in astronomy in the afterschool setting.”

Each session usually begins with a brief introductory discussion facilitated by the program leader, followed by a hands-on activity in which students participate individually or in groups. A session typically runs about 45-60 minutes and culminates with a wrap-up discussion focusing on what was learned through the activity.

In most cases, program leaders must undergo training before they can run the program or train others to do so. Information sessions and training workshops are offered at various locations across the country, including at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

Four training participants look at a light through cardboard tubesHands-on activities play a role in each of the 12 Afterschool Universe sessions. Image Credit: NASA

Upon completion of training, program leaders receive a NASA certificate, a comprehensive program manual, downloadable files, worksheets and evaluation forms, posters, and a kit of materials that are only available from specialized suppliers. Program leaders are responsible for obtaining the basic materials needed to implement the program. NASA encourages leaders to partner with a local scientist.

The manual provides background information and detailed descriptions of how to conduct each session, including listings of objectives, concepts addressed and materials needed. No activities require use of a computer, though the manual gives suggestions for optional Web-based activities.

Afterschool Universe, funded entirely by several grants for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate including the Chandra Mission, was developed by the education and public outreach team in the Astrophysics Science Division at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

Related Resources
Afterschool Universe   → 
Beyond Einstein   → 
Imagine the Universe   → 

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