Tuesday, May 13, 2008

NASA Connect

Another great, free program from NASA is NASA Connect, a series of math, science and technology programs made just for students in grades 6-8. Math, science and technology are blended and directly related to work done at NASA by researchers.

NASA Connect offers a series of programs each year that have three different parts:
  1. a thirty-minute television broadcast that your students can watch live or that can be recorded for later use
  2. a hands-on activity
  3. and an interactive web activity to promote use of technology on your classroom.
All three components are created to work together to show how math, science and technology are combined in real-life situations and research. NASA Connect shows are available on 130+ PBS stations, Channel One, and some cable access channels. A search box at the NASA Connect site can help you find your local station. The shows are also available online at NASA's Learning Technologies Channel. Video copies can be ordered from the NASA Educator Resource Center in your state or the NASA Central Operation of Resources for Educators. You can copy and show the shows multiple times as long as it is strictly for educational or classroom use.

NASA Connect is produced by the NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA and is endorsed by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). As with many NASA educational programs and initiatives, the main goal of NASA Connect is to "establish a 'connection' between the mathematics, science, and technology concepts taught in the classroom and the mathematics, science, and technology used everyday by NASA researchers."

Once you register, you have access to the PDFs which describe the hands-on activities for each unit. Unfortunately, the site shows no new programs since April 2006 but the archives are available of past programs such as "Breaking Barriers: Solving Linear Equations©," "Team Extreme: The Statistics of Success©," and "The Right Ratio of Rest: Proportional Reasoning©." Hopefully, new programs are in the pipeline.

SOURCE: "About: NASA Connect" 2007
photo courtesy of Gaetan Lee, used under this Creative Commons license

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