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Learning from the Challenger Tragedy

Challenger CrewTwenty five years ago, on January 28, Americans watched in horror as the space shuttle Challenger exploded, barely a minute after takeoff, killing all seven crew members. Schools nationwide still honor the memory of Christa McAuliffe, a New Hampshire high school social studies teacher who was aboard the ill-fated flight that morning as NASA’s first Teacher in Space Project participant.

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Website: NASA Quest

NASA QuestThe NASA Quest Website offers a range of online resources for teachers, students, parents, and others, so that the public can share the excitement of NASA’s authentic scientific and engineering pursuits, like flying in the Shuttle and the International Space Station, exploring distant planets with spacecraft, and building the aircraft of the future.

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Event: Mission to Jupiter Live Chat

Jupiter (and Io)NASA is launching a new robotic mission to Jupiter in 2011. Classrooms are invited to join NASA/JPL engineer Tracy Drain as she discusses why NASA is sending the Juno spacecraft to Jupiter, how it will get there, and what it will study. The conversation will be geared to students in grades 6 through 8. The live web chat on June 3, 2010, at 1:00 p.m. Eastern/10 a.m. Pacific, can be watched online.

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Website: NASA’s Virtual Skies

Virtual SkiesNASA’s Virtual Skies website provides an engaging yet informal way to present aviation topics to high school and academically advanced middle school students. The Aeronautics, Navigation, Weather, Air Traffic Management, Communications, Airport Design modules involve students in decision-making and collaborative skills using principles of algebra, geometry and calculus. Each section includes on-line activities complemented by downloadable print materials that can be used in the classroom to supplement the geography, mathematics, and science concepts.

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Website: Aeronautics and Astronautics

AIAA, dedicated to the global aerospace profession, supports a Website with a number of helpful resources for teachers, including: a 1903 Wright Flyer Simulation, Interactive Activities
Fun Activities, Puzzles & Games, Books & Movies, Homework Help, Engineering Links, and K-12 Curriculum.

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Web Resources: Rockets for Schools

Rockets for SchoolsThe Great Lakes Spaceport Education Foundation, Inc.’s Rockets for Schools program allows students to experience the excitement of building-high power rockets, coordinating a rocket launch and working hands-on with industry professionals. This program is open to students of varied socio-economic backgrounds in grades 6-12 from a five state area in the Midwest. Rockets for Schools 2010 is scheduled for Friday, May 7th and Saturday, May 8th in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.

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Fluttering in Space: The Butterfly Project


When NASA’s space shuttle Atlantis takes off for the International Space Station, a University of Colorado at Bolder butterfly experiment will be aboard, monitored from Earth by thousands of K-12 students.

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Web Conference: Apollo Space – Nov. 10

Participants of this free, one-day online conference join in interactive discussions on the Apollo program and its historical impact. Teachers are invited to explore ways to teach the use of primary source materials. All sessions will be archived and available for future replay.

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