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IDEAS FOR INTEGRATING NASA QUEST INTO YOUR CURRICULUM

The following ideas are suggestions for creative ways to integrate the NASA Quest interactive projects into your teaching and learning. These ideas can be used in a variety of settings and span multiple disciplines and grade levels. They are meant to be a springboard to launch your own imaginative lessons based on your personal teaching style, methods of facilitation, and unique students. These ideas were developed by Tish Krieg for the Women of NASA project.

Technology Center, Lab, or Classroom

Chatter...

Have each student or group of students research the background of a profiled team member before a scheduled chat. Report out, share, and prepare appropriate questions to ask from the following categories: scientific or technical questions, personal struggles or gender equity issues, daily work and job responsibilities. Have a reader or spokesperson read aloud each question and decide whether this is an appropriate question based on the mentor's background, scientific or technical knowledge, or if it could be answered by another source.

More chatter...

Have each student or groups of students research a particular team member profiled for an upcoming chat. Students divide themselves into three categories based on the type of information they hope to gather from the chat: scientific or technical questions, personal struggles, daily work and job responsibilities. Each group prepares a list of appropriate questions. Groups share questions and decide if the questions could be answered by another source or if they are appropriate questions to ask. After participating in the chat, groups reconvene and summarize the answers they posed to the profiled team member. Were they satisfied with the answers? How could they have reworded their questions to get a more direct answer? Was the chat forum the best means of having their questions answered? Share these summaries with NASA Quest by contacting us.

Become a Team member for a day!

Have interested students choose one featured Team member to role-play. Research the team member's background, education, work experience, and factual information about their field of work -- become an expert on this person and his/her field of work. Invite other students to join in a Web chat with your featured expert. This could be your own class, students in your school, or ask another school to join you online. Reserve an Online Chat room through the project manager for an hour. Host your own Chat with your own expert!

Who am I???

Use the a section of Team bios for a game of 20 questions. This should be done after ample time has been given to study the team members bios - either as a culminating activity, after reading the bios as an assignment, or after a series of Chats. One student begins with the statement, Who am I? Students may ask a yes/no question. (e.g., Does your job entail an engineering background?) For each yes answer, the student may ask another question. Play continues around the room until the correct team member is guessed.

Facts for sale!

Assign each student a person to research (multiple team members can be researched). After reading the bios and any other information sources students can find, list three statements each from the following categories about the team member they researched: education, personal life, on-the-job duties, factual information about their field of work. Divide the class in half. Armed with their facts, students take turns presenting themselves to the opposite team. Each fact the team receives from the other team costs them five points. Teams take turns giving each member a chance to present their team member to the opposite team, the opposite team accumulating points each time they need another fact until they guess the team member. The team with the least points at the end is the winner.

Lifeskills, Lifeskills, Who Uses Lifeskills???

Have students work in pairs. Each pair selects a bio or a bio is assigned. Students read through the bios and list examples of how the team member applied various Lifeskills. Compile a list of the Lifeskills and how they are or were used. Present to the class to see which team bio they have found to have the most examples.

* Take a different twist on Who Uses Lifeskills. Each student pair reads through all the bios and comes up with its own choice for Who Uses Lifeskills. Debate with another team.

How do you go to the bathroom in space???

Have your class brainstorm the 20 most-asked questions of our NASA Quest experts and discuss why or why not these are appropriate questions to ask a mentor during a Chat. Souces of these questions may be found on our Q&A page or from selected chat archives.

How, Why, Where, When, Why not???

Research the technical and/or scientific work performed by an upcoming chat mentor and how this relates to the things you are studying in class. Compose a list of questions for the mentor. Post these questions for the class to research and try to answer from print material, online resources, and/or expert sources. Bring whatever questions you have left unanswered to the chat!

Monet on Mars, Picasso on Pluto!

If possible, visit the NASA Ames Gift shop or other NASA center shops to purchase sample mission patches. Or gather pictures of mission specialists wearing patches and discuss the significance of mission patches. Brainstorm NASA missions -- past, current, and future -- by reading through the profiles and other NASA online resources to generate ideas. Have small groups of students choose a mission that they would like to design a patch for. Students can design patches in various degrees of artistic creativity from pencil drawings to actual sewn patches. Get your home economics class involved and have them take student creations to a finished product.

Design your own Research Project

Brainstorm with the class various NASA research projects -- past , current, or future. Divide students into groups. Begin with the online bios to get a sense of the various jobs at NASA that contribute to a successful research. Use other NASA resources to expand this research project. Have student groups choose a project. First write out the objectives of their project. Next, use the profiles to put together a successful mission team. Use other NASA project profiles as well. Write up short bios of each team member and their responsibilities. Don't forget the "behind the scenes" integral team members.

Individual Student Use

Lifeskills in Practice

Read through the biography of a team member.
* List 5 Lifeskills he or she has practiced to get to where she is and briefly explain.
* List 5 Lifeskills he or she uses in her career and/or personal life daily and briefly explain.
* List 3 Lifeskills you both share in common and how you both use them similarly.

 

I need a career change!!!

Each student selects a team member they want to fictitiously portray. They then decide why they want/need a career change from the following choices:
* want more money
* want less stress
* want to spend more time with their family
* want to fulfill a lifelong dream/desire
* want to work part-time
* talents aren't being used
* position terminated

Students then come up with an alternate career. Briefly describe the new career and list examples of how this career change has or will affect the following areas: personal/family life, financial situation, level of stress, hours spent working, personal satisfaction/fulfillment.

So you want to be an NASA Engineer!

Prepare to participate in an upcoming Chat with one of our engineers. Read through the biographies of all the profiled mentors who are aerospace engineers. Create a flowchart of your education, work and how you plan to arrive in this career. Compose thoughtful questions to the mentor that will help guide you along the right paths in your education, employment, and a successful career.

NASA Quest Team of the Future!

Have students read through a selection of bios to generate ideas for their own future. Have them put themselves 5, 10, 15, or 20 years into the future and create their own biographical profiles based on the following questions:
* What is your job title? What is it that you actually do?
* What is an average day like in your field?
* What is the most exciting and/or most enjoyable thing about your job?
* Were you always good in school?
* Did you ever feel pressured to pursue another career?
* What are some of the obstacles you have had to overcome to get where you are right now?
* What are some things that you do outside of your work?

Add a multimedia dimension to the bios for a graduating class of 8th or 12th graders. Have each student scan their yearbook photo into their bio. Put all bios on a CD and give them to the students as a graduation gift that they can look at in the future. Keep a copy for yourself - you never know which students will end up at NASA!

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner???

Have students give Martha Stewart a run for her money! Host a (fictitious) NASA theme tea party. Students plan a tea party for eight, inviting their own chosen guests from the featured NASA Quest Team Online. This could include spouses, children, or individual women. A successful tea party should include all of the following:
* Guest List - Select a guest list to ensure an interesting mix of people and why you think this group will enjoy each other's company.
* Menu - Plan your menu in line with your theme: How about Wind Tunnel Watermelon, Computational Cookies, Simulation Shrimp Salad, Flight Test Fudge!
* Invitations - Be creative with the design and wording - a poem, or riddle.
* Seating arrangements - A good host/hostess puts much thought into the seating arrangement. Draw out your table design and seats and briefly explain your reasons.
* Music - Fly me to the Moon, Around the World in 80 Days, Off we Go!!
* Miscellaneous - table decor, suggested dress, entertainment

Submit your own quizzes and puzzles.

Encourage students to take notes during the Chat. Have students design a quiz, puzzle, or activity for their classmates based on the questions and answers during the chat. This could also be done based on archived chats.

    Crossword puzzle #1 Explore the NASA Quest Team bios.

    Crossword puzzle #2 Explore the online resources.

    Crossword puzzle #3 Think about your own education, career plans, and future.

 
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