Before I even get to the last day I need to talk about the Marshall Space Flight Center Tour. We did this on the second day. Things have gone very quick, and I tried to keep the entries short. But this tour was pretty cool and thought people might like to see pictures. We got to see the ISS payload operations center control room and visit the Redstone Test Area. The tour took around the center and we saw different test towers and buildings used during the Apollo missions.
With the little time I have before my next summer experience, I’m trying to catch up with my entries. The last day of the Academy was filled with information for classroom. A NASA representative introduced us to the BEST curriculum. I haven’t used this yet but the engineering design packet we used in our Lunar Egg Challenge. It worked great, we did tweak it a bit when we used the rubric.
Our design challenge in the workshop was to build a solar sail, using materials supplied. We did pretty good. There are tons of resources on the NASA website, and BEST has guides for different challenges and age groups. Check out the site to get more information. I’m already thinking about how I can change this around to suit my class. Maybe add some solar panels and integrate with alternative energy topics. Again more resources that can be used to integrate the Next Generation Science Standards in the classroom. NASA always comes through and you can pretty much implement the information in class during any part of the curriculum or find something that will fit.
After this we worked on our mission patch. An awesome treat like always. Honestly it was pretty easy to get everyone to agree on what we wanted on the patch. 14 stars 14 people. Strangers who came together and became friends through challenges, laughter and acceptance. Oh and lets not forgot meals, they were interesting to say the least (LOL).
The day continued with a presentation on the Distance Learning Network that Space Camp was offering. Something new, now you could bring space camp to your classroom or after school activity. Sounds like something I might look into for our Science Festival. We will have to see.
Another resource we obtained was the Design Squads new mission booklet. The book offers resources on NASA missions and challenges. These challenges are great STEM PBL’s. What’s really great about this resource is that it corresponds to the Next Generation Science Standards. Design Squad has been around for a while, but I believe it will get more popular as the Next Gen standards are implemented.
After a day of PD resources, we went and did some robotics. By this time of the day I will admit that I was a bit fried. But everyone had fun with the competition. We used Lego NXT Mindstorms, what was different is that they used the Kinect to control the Mindstorms. We didn’t use this for our exercise instead we used remote controls that looked like they were made for the xbox 360. Pretty Cool. Sorry no pictures completely forgot. I’ll have to look into this and figure out something it looked really cool and would be a great idea for the Science Club. I know the new EV3’s are coming out soon, because I ordered some for robotics.
Next was graduation. Bittersweet, we had made it through everything but were sorry to see it end. It had been an experience I would never trade in the world. Not only did I challenge myself as a person and teacher, I now have tons of information to bring back to the classroom and implement different projects. Scuba diving and the pamper pole will always be in top 10 items on my bucket list. And the people, they made it the best. Now I have new friends and colleagues to get ideas from and share experiences.
Special thanks to all the people at Space Camp for making this a wonderful experience.