Tuesday, April 29, 2008

NASA's Digital Learning Network

News Blaze reports that Wednesday, April 30, middle schoolers across the country will connect with NASA astronauts. The Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD, will coordinate and "host" the free event.

NASA's Digital Learning Network (DLN) offers fee webcasts and interactive videoconferences to connect students and teachers around the world with NASA experts. The DLN's primary goal is to bring high-quality and "unique" STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) content to K-12 educators and students. At the DLN website, you can search the catalogue for other free, interactive programs for students at any grade level.

Wednesday, students from Junior High School 145 Arturo Toscanini, Bronx, New York; Brenham Junior High School, Brenham, Texas; South Puget Intertribal Planning Agency, Shelton, Washington; Greencastle-Antrim Middle School, Greencastle, Pennsylvania; Middle School at Parkside, Jackson, Michigan; and other middle school students that have been invited to the Goddard Space Flight Center will participate in the webcast. (Greencastle-Antrim and Middle School at Parkside are NASA Explorer Schools.) The webcast will start at 1:15 PM EDT. All the students will be connected to the space shuttle crew that will service the Hubble Space Telescope. The crew will discuss the STS-125 mission to work on the telescope. They will also talk to students about the diversity of the crew and their educational and professional careers. This highlights one of the great side benefits of these kinds of NASA webcasts -- students get to experience remote mentoring to encourage and tempt them to investigate STEM studies and careers.

At the DLN website, you can search for other free programs, look at event guidelines and register for future events. The site also has links for the event catalogue, podcasts, and additional tools and plugins to make connecting middle schoolers and NASA experts easier. NASA has a lot of other great resources for K-12 education, almost all of them free.

SOURCE: "Astronauts to Make Virtual Connection With Students" 2008
Public domain photo courtesy of Library of Congress via pingnews.

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