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Exploration through Navigation Challenge
Welcome to the Fall 2008 NASA Quest Challenge!
Explore Earth and Space Navigation Part I
Charting a Course at Sea

See Part II: Charting a Course to the Moon

Navigation Challenge logo

During this Challenge, students will first be tasked to chart a course from the Big Island of Hawai’i to Rapa Nui (Easter Island) using ocean navigation skills that were used in early Polynesian exploration. Then, in Part II of the Challenge, students will be tasked to chart a course from Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Florida to one of the lunar poles using navigation skills appropriate for outer space. For both tasks, students will submit their idea (as a class) to NASA for experts to review. At the end of the Challenge, students will be asked to compare and contrast methods of navigating on Earth (at sea) and in space. For both parts of the Challenge, the essential question that will keep students on task will be “How do you stay on course?”

See the growing calendar of events below for planning purposes. Weekly challenge questions will be posed for 5 - 8th grade students to compete for prizes to deliver the best answer to us first. Outside of the classroom, students will track the star Enif and as results are posted from around the world students, will determine if there is a relationship between the latitude of the observation site and the star’s altitude at its upper culmination.

Calendar of Events

Registered Yet? Don't miss out on any part of this adventure!
Fall -- PART 1: Charting a Course by Sea (Educator Guide Available to Registered Teachers)
As soon as you are registered.

Begin preparation, understanding:

Educator Guide (31 pages) is now available in .pdf format
Task:
Student will be guided in charting a course from the Big Island of Hawaii to Rapa Nui (Easter Island) using ocean navigation skills and using only ancient tools.
A map is provided on p.30 of the Educator Guide as well as in the Nav_Plan_Template
See also links to other online resources for research purposes.

Good preparatory video on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4suY4EmVrM&feature=related
National Geographic Light at the Edge of the World: The Wayfinders Part1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DwJISP526yo&feature=related
National Geographic Light at the Edge of the World: The Wayfinders Part1I

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ArEcLOQvpg
Hokule'a Voyage 2007

One per week

 

See Winning content on the Challenge Question page.

November 2-16
between
7:30–8:30 pm
Star Tracking Activity: Track the star Enif with students around the world.
Instructions are available here in .pdf document.
Here's the compiled data for you to analyze and then draw conclusions.

November 3
Webcast

webcast icon
Archive


Watch the archive of this informative webcast designed to help you in your design.
Meet Kälepa Baybayan Polynesian Captain and Navigator of Hawaiian deep-sea voyaging canoes and learn more about this art that lives on.

December 3

Deadline: Receive student final submissions and post to website
A template is linked here and is on p.29 of the Educator Guide and
a "sample plan" is on p.28 of the Educator Guide
A map is provided on p.30 of the Educator Guide as well as in the Nav_Plan_Template
For help on how to send your designs, see Sending Materials for the Website
Final designs are being posted as received

December 9
Webcast:
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9:00 Hawaiian time
(11 am Pacific,
2 pm Eastern,
1900 GMT)

Join us as experts comment on your designs, including:

  • Remarks from our expert panel,
  • Astronomical content from Astronomer Brian Day, and
  • Overall route and special considerations from Navigator Kälepa Baybayan

Kälepa shares with us his trip and commends our students for taking on "the most difficult challenge that (he) and any of (his) voyaging companions have faced"

Brian also gives us a preview of Part 2 of this Challenge: Charting a Course to the Moon!

December 12

We value your comments! After you have watched the Webcast, we would appreciate your feedback at Teacher Post-Challenge Survey (online) -- Due by end of calendar year.

Certificates will be made available to those who have completed the challenge.

 FirstGov  NASA


Editor: Linda Conrad
NASA Official: Liza Coe
Last Updated: October 2008