Early in the 2015-16 school year, 6th grade Earth Science teacher Sara Kendrick contacted NASA to schedule a video conference between her 6th graders and a NASA engineer who specializes in Moon Science. That interaction occurred during early March and was a very engaging opportunity for the students involved.
We were able to hold this video conference using our current Zoom platform with no complications or aggravations. Anyone interested in incorporating this type of interaction with NASA into their class can do so very easily. Although NASA is a very prestigious organization, they are very easy to work with and quite eager to help teachers who want to include Aeronautics and Space Science in their classroom curriculum.
An archive of this session with NASA is available on the BCSS STEAM Integration Youtube Channel.
To set session this up, Mrs. Kendrick simply contacted NASA’s Digital Learning Network (DLN), filled out a request form, and received an email stating that her conference was confirmed. You can find a catalog of available DLN programs here, and can access the different NASA availability calendars and DLN request forms here. If you decide to request a DLN session, please include Lee Bane, the STEAM Integration Coordinator, as the system level contact in the request so that I can ensure that any technology requirements are met well before the day of your event.
There are at least two other ways for teachers to incorporate the expertise of NASA into their classrooms. One simple method is to just visit the Educator Section of the NASA website. NASA has incredible resources and lesson plans that are completely free for teachers to use. A second, more personalized, method is to create a NASA Educators Online Network (NEON) account. With a NEON account you unlock a whole other level of personalized support, webinars, and resources aligned with your particular interests, content, and grade levels. Members of NEON also get a weekly announcement email from NASA with current educator opportunities. Here is an example of my most recent one.