Randolph students hear direct from NASA
On December 20th, third, fourth and fifth graders at Randolph Elementary gathered in the gymnasium to connect to a virtual field trip with NASA for the program "Our Solar Neighborhood" presented by Lisa Illowsky from NASA's Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, California.
The two-way interactive program from NASA was arranged by Bryan Ebeler, the computer teacher at Randolph, engaged students in learning how NASA uses the information gathered by spacecraft to piece together our understanding of our solar system and beyond.
Students were asked to distinguish the difference between planets and stars, categorize the planets as major and dwarf planets, and examine the reasons why planets are different sizes by applying their knowledge of the states of matter.
Demonstrations showed students differences between planets in relation to their distances from the Sun, and allowed plenty of Q & A time.
"It was really fun to see students at Randolph engage fully with a NASA scientist without having to leave their school through a virtual field trip," said James Blake, K-12 science curriculum specialist. "I will be exploring ways to continue to expand these free digital offerings to classrooms as they greatly enhance the science curriculum using tools that all teachers have access to."
An impressive question from one student was, "What college degree do I need to have to get a job at NASA?" The NASA educator assured students they could get a degree in almost any field and find a place at NASA.
"It was wonderful to hear that these young students were thinking about a future career supporting NASA research and missions," commented LPS distance learning manager Linda Dickeson.