Attendees will be provided with a high-level overview of NASA’s Artemis Missions to the Moon and Mars, Next Generation Science Standards, and gain insights on how Engineering Design fits within the NGSS. This session highlights an activity from NASA’s Next Gen STEM - Moon to Mars Educator Guide titled, "Landing Humans on the Moon" (https://www.nasa.gov/stem-ed-resources/landing-humans-on-the-moon.html) which is part of a series of standards-aligned educator guides designed to help students reach their potential to join the next-generation STEM workforce and learn about sending humans to the Moon, Mars, and beyond.
The focus of the “Safe Landing on the Lunar Surface” activity engages participants to understand how a spacecraft’s engines can provide downward thrust to counteract the force of gravity not only at launch, but also during a landing to slow its descent. Utilizing the engineering design process attendees will use household materials to better understand the difficulties in landing a lander on the surface of a terrestrial body that does not have an atmosphere (no atmospheric braking, no use of parachutes, and no aerodynamic control surfaces). Participants will design, build, and improve a model of a lunar lander that can slow its descent using the downward thrust of a balloon; graph the speed with respect to elevation of a model lunar lander.
1. Attendee will explore NASA STEM Educator Guides that are standards-aligned and provide detailed information and resources on how to implement STEM engagement learning experiences in the classroom to help students learn about sending humans to the Moon, Mars, and beyond.
2. Attendees will gain hand on minds on experience with implementing NASA STEM engagement activities in their classroom. Then, using engineering design principles, attendees will mirror the process that NASA engineers follow to brainstorm a human lander design, ultimately building an actual model that they will test.
3. Participants will gain insights into the difficulties in landing a lander on the surface of a terrestrial body that does not have an atmosphere (no atmospheric braking, no use of parachutes, and no aerodynamic control surfaces).
LaTina Taylor (NASA Educator Professional Development Collaborative (EPDC): Flossmoor, IL)