NASA STEM Educational Outreach Pilot Program at Raul Yzaguirre School For Success

Two core groups of students [8th Grade] from Raul Yzaguirre School for Success [RYSS] participated in the NASA STEM Educational Outreach Pilot Program by setting up three Space Science experiments, or activities in the Technology Applications classroom to explore, and learn Engineering, Science, and Mathematics concepts.

The program is related to the International Space Station (ISS) as a National Laboratory. This new NASA program is about to go through beta testing and review, and Raul Yzaguirre School For Success, and other schools were involved in this PILOT program. The feedback from the students, and teachers will be incorporated into the final Educator Resource Guide that will undergo NASA Education Product Review. As a tribute to the schools involved, the final educational products will list them as participants in this NASA development effort. The curriculum will have an "ISS is Cool" campaign which will focus on making ISS and STEM interesting for children.

Photographs of the two core groups of students follow to indicate the degree of involvement with the Space Science activities:

High Velocity Debris: Spacesuit Protection

Objective:

To investigate the relationship between mass, velocity, acceleration, force, and kinetic energy as described in Newton's Second Law of Motion and the Equations of Motion (assuming constant acceleration).

NASA Challenge:

You are a NASA Space Suit Engineer, and you need to select the best material to be used on your space suit. You need to select a material that can survive an impact by a piece of space debris the size of a marble traveling at various speeds.

Core Group 1

Nathaniel Morales [left], and Fedrick Alvarado are seen constructing the impact box.

Gustavo Rodriguez [left], Gabriel Luevano, and Natali Guajardo [arm extended holding debris] are seen doing a drop test with the simulated debris to test the material for pass/fail. Mr. Arredondo, Teaching Assistant, is seen recording the drop time.

Fedrick Alvarado is seen recording the test results.

As the core group of students work with the experiment, Mr. Cano, Principal, Junior Academy, RYSS, is seen talking with Ms. Chambers, Engineer, Space Suit and Crew Survival Systems Branch, NASA Johnson Space Center.

Christopher Martinez [left], Adrian Castillo, and Nathaniel Morales [arm extended holding debris] are seen doing a drop test with the simulated debris to test the material for pass/fail. Mr. Arredondo, Teaching Assistant, is seen recording the drop time.

Christopher Martinez [left], Adrian Castillo, Tania Nieves, Nathaniel Morales, Sandra Salgado, Natali Guajardo, Fedrick Alvarado, Gustavo Rodriguez, and Gabriel Luevano [arm extended holding debris] are seen doing a drop test with the simulated debris to test the material for pass/fail. Mr. Arredondo, Teaching Assistant, is seen recording the drop time.

Core Group 2

Kassandra Rodriguez [holding the metric stick], and Jainemarie Guajardo are seen doing a drop test with the simulated debris to test the material for pass/fail.

Maria Talavera [left], and Marvelin Martinez are seen recording the results.

Denorah Espinoza [left], Kassandra Rodriguez, and Janiemarie Guajardo are seen doing a drop test with the simulated debris to test the material for pass/fail. Maria Talavera [foreground] is seen waiting to record the results.

The core group of students [left to right: Stepheny Lara, Denorah Espinoza, Kassandra Rodriguez, Jainemarie Guajardo, Marvelin Martinez, Maria Talavera, Eylyana Garza (recording results), Jonathan Ramirez, and Alejandro Contreras] work with Mr. Arredondo, Teaching Assistant, to make sure the results are recorded correctly.

Alejandro Contreras [holding the debris], Stepheny Lara [left], Denorah Espinoza, Kassandra Rodriguez, Jainemarie Guajardo, Jonathan Ramirez, and Eylyana Garza are seen doing a drop test with the simulated debris to test the material for pass/fail. Mr. Arredondo, Teaching Assistant, is seen recording the drop time.

Stepheny Lara [left foreground], Denorah Espinoza [recording results], Kassandra Rodriguez, Jainemarie Guajardo, Marvelin Martinez, Eylyana Garza, Maria Talavera [holding the debris], and Jonathan Ramirez are seen doing a drop test with the simulated debris to test the material for pass/fail.

Launching the ISS into Orbit

Objective:

To investigate the speed required to launch the International Space Station (ISS) into a circularized orbit. To introduce the concept of lateral velocity, and investigate how changes in a spacecraft's lateral velocity affect its orbit.

NASA Challenge:

You are a NASA Rocket Scientist, and you need to find a way to launch segments of the International Space Station (ISS) into orbit at just the right speed to keep the orbit from going too high or too low.

Core Group 1

Edward Lopez [foreground left], Christopher Martinez, Adrian Castillo [tying the string around the eraser to simulate the rocket], Mr. Arredondo [Teaching Assistant], Nathaniel Morales, and Fedrick Alvarado are seen getting ready to test vertical, then lateral velocity to put a rocket into orbit.

Sandra Salgado [back to camera] works with lateral velocity to keep the eraser [rocket] going around [orbiting] the ball [Earth] as Gustavo Rodriguez [left], and Mr. Arredondo, Teaching Assistant look on.

The students are seen working with lateral velocity to keep the eraser [rocket] going around [orbiting] the ball [Earth].

Mr. Chambers, Technology Applications teacher, is seen having a discussion with the core group of students [Karen Pena (left foreground), Nathaniel Morales, Christopher Martinez, Edward Lopez, Adrian Castillo, Fedrick Alvarado, Gabriel Luevano, Natali Guajardo, and Tania Nieves] about the experiment to see if they understand the concept of lateral velocity.

Core Group 2

Eylyana Garza [left] is seen holding the string while Maria Talavera begins to pull the string/eraser [rocket] away from the ball [Earth] to demonstrate that gravity will pull it back due to no velocity. Janiemarie Guajardo [left holding handout], and Marvelin Martinez look on.

Students work with lateral velocity to keep the eraser [rocket] going around [orbiting] the ball [Earth].

Mr. Arredondo, Teaching Assistant, demonstrates lateral velocity as the students [Marvelin Martinez (left), Eylyana Garza, Maria Talavera, and Janiemarie Guajardo] look on.

A student works with lateral velocity to keep the eraser [rocket] going around [orbiting] the ball [Earth].

Saving Space Station Power

Objective:

To calculate surface areas, then use solar array performance per unit area to calculate total power generation capacity. The goal is to apply these calculations to solve a scenario-based challenge.

NASA Challenge:

You are in space as the Commander of the International Space Station, and one of your solar arrays has been torn by a damaged deployment mechanism. If you can't provide enough power, you might have to shut down science experiments onboard the International Space Station. You need to figure out if you can still charge the batteries using this damaged solar array, by calculating how much power it produces.

Core Group 1

Ms. Chambers, Engineer, Space Suit and Crew Survival Systems Branch, NASA Johnson Space Center, is seen recording her observations of the problem-solving activity.

Adrian Castillo is seen making his calculations to solve the solar array power problem. Notice the small piece of paper torn from the standard-sized paper he is making his calculations on. It represents the 10% damage of the solar array panel to make the problem solving easier via visualization.

Gustavo Rodriguez holds his damaged part of the solar array as he is making his calculations.

Fedrick Alvarado looks on as Mr. Arredondo, Teaching Assistant [out of camera range] demonstrates the damaged solar array, and discusses the calculations. In the background, Edward Lopez [standing] helps Nathaniel Morales with his calculations.

Ms. Chambers, Engineer, Space Suit and Crew Survival Systems Branch, NASA Johnson Space Center is seen getting the students' feedback on the activity, and talking with them about Space Engineering at NASA.

Ms. Chambers is seen continuing the discussion with comments about her education, and career as an engineer at NASA as Mr. Cano, Principal, Junior Academy, RYSS looks on.

Mr. Chambers' evaluations [NASA forms] of the three Space Science activities for the RYSS students can be read at the following links:

High Velocity Debris: Spacesuit Protection

Launching the ISS into Orbit

Saving Space Station Power

Mr. Chambers' follow-up.

Mr. Arredondo's evaluations [NASA forms] of the three Space Science activities for the RYSS students can be read at the following links:

High Velocity Debris: Spacesuit Protection

Launching the ISS into Orbit

Saving Space Station Power

Student comments were made on all activities via handwritten notes, and they were sent - along with their data records, and calculations - to Ms. Chambers at NASA so she, and her team can begin the process of reviewing the effectiveness of the Space Science experiments. The comments can be read here in PDF format.

Mr. Chambers' general feeling about the overall process is positive, and satisfying since the activities were engaging for the students, and "brought them out" to be able to not only understand, and talk about the concepts among themselves, and with him and Mr. Arredondo [Teaching Assistant], but also have an extended conversation [Core Group 1] with Ms. Chambers.

Note: these activities bring back great memories for Mr. Chambers. He was a Research Analyst at NASA during the Apollo Program, 1969 - 1972. He worked in the Biological Sciences section at the Lunar Receiving Laboratory [Building 37], NASA Johnson Space Center where he, and his colleagues tested the Lunar soil for organic content that might have caused infections.

In the above photo, Landrum Young injects a quail with a Lunar soil suspension [fines] as Mr. Chambers looks on. The suspension was prepared from the soil brought back from the Moon by the Apollo 12 astronauts. Notice the containment cabinets [The Lunar Quarantine Program] that Mr. Chambers and Mr. Young are working in. Mr. Chambers and Mr. Young co-wrote a scientific article on the exsanguination of the mouse to obtain a blood sample for testing after exposure to the Lunar soil suspension. It was published in the Journal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (JAALAS), and it received "Best Technical Paper" published in the journal for 1971 by the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS).

Lunar Receiving Laboratory Project History

Apollo Missions:

1 [204], 2, 3 [AS-202], 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17.