Daily Archives: February 3, 2012

Challenge to Innovate: Gaming Challenge – Deadline March 5, 2012

Do you have an idea for how interactive technology and game-based learning can improve teaching and learning? Enter your idea in the Challenge to Innovate, or C2i: Gaming Challenge.

Proposed ideas must effectively incorporate game-based learning. Registered participants can review, comment and vote on submitted ideas. At the end of the review period, up to 10 ideas will receive $1,000 cash awards from the National Education Association’s NEA Foundation.

Submissions must be received by March 5, 2012.

The C2i: Gaming Challenge can be found on the U.S. Department of Education’s Open Innovation Portal. Co-sponsored by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, this Portal has been developed as an online forum where key stakeholders in education can share their innovative ideas and collaborate to turn those ideas into a new reality. The Department of Education will play a role as convener of these diverse ideas and facilitator of partnerships.

For more information and to submit your ideas online, visit https://innovation.ed.gov/challenges/gaming/show

Tagged ,

Smart Skies Releases New Air Traffic Control Game – Sector 33

NASA’s Smart Skies team announces a new application available for iPad®, iPhone®, and iPod touch®. Sector 33 is an air traffic control mobile game designed to interest students in aeronautics-related careers and to connect mathematics and problem solving to the real world.

In Sector 33, the player role-plays as an air traffic controller and guides two to five airplanes through a sector of airspace by changing the planes’ routes and speeds. The challenge is to get the planes through the sector in the fastest time possible, with the player’s performance scored according to the planes’ final spacing. The game consists of four levels and is played in live mode without a pause feature.

The app is free and available for download from the App StoreSM. An Android™ version of the app is currently under development and will be made available in the Android Marketplace once it’s ready for release.

Sector 33 was developed as a companion piece to NASA’s Smart Skies LineUp With Math, an educational product used in formal middle school classrooms. LineUp With Math teaches students to solve distance-rate-time problems in the context of air traffic control. Problem solving, decision-making, and proportional reasoning are skills that students apply in LineUp With Math as they learn to solve distance-rate-time problems using both paper-and-pencil activities and a Web-based air traffic control simulator. The Sector 33 app serves as an extension to the LineUp With Math air traffic control simulator by taking on a game-like quality and giving players both a stronger role-playing experience and a greater problem-solving challenge.

To learn more about Sector 33, visit http://www.nasa.gov/Sector33.

Tagged ,

New Space Science Educational Materials Available at NASA.gov

The Educational Materials section of NASA’s Web site offers classroom activities, educator guides, posters and other types of resources that are available for use in the classroom. Materials are listed by type, grade level and subject. The following space science-related items are now available for downloading.

Comet Mystery Boxes – Grades K-8

Introduce students to the physical characteristics of comets by using a tactile learning experience. Using only their hands, students reach into a series of boxes and feel the variety of materials and structures within. Each box contains an object that represents a quality of comets.


A Dusty Dilemma – Grades 8-10

In this lesson, students learn the concepts of averages, standard deviation from the mean, and error analysis. Students explore the concept of standard deviation from the mean before using data from the Student Dust Counter, an instrument aboard the NASA New Horizons mission to Pluto. This data is used to determine the issues associated with taking data, including error and noise. Questions are deliberately open-ended to encourage exploration.


Signals and Noise Ratio – Grades 6-8

Students are introduced to the terms “signal” and “noise” in the context of spacecraft communication. This hands-on activity includes an online interactive to explore the Signal-to-Noise Ratio, a fundamental concept in spacecraft communication. The lesson’s pencil-and-paper component addresses relevant topics such as proportions and ratios.


Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation (CRaTER) Educational Kit – Grades 6-8

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is a spacecraft orbiting the moon. The primary instrument on LRO for analyzing the moon’s radiation environment is the Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation, or CRaTER. This educator guide includes lessons to introduce to students to cosmic rays and their effects on humans.


Earth Calling… Activity from New Horizons – Grades 6-8

Some spacecraft return to Earth with valuable data as part of their cargo, but all require some periodic remote communications as they travel. And for those spacecraft that do not return to Earth, the communication system is the only link to the valuable data collected during its journey. In this activity, students simulate spacecraft radio communication concepts, including the speed of light and the time-delay for signals sent to and from spacecraft.


Star-forming Nebula NGC 3603 Lithograph and In Search of Stellar Evolution Education Activity – Grades 11-12

Some of the heftiest known stars in the universe reside in the nebula NGC 3603, a large gas cloud in the Milky Way galaxy. The image of the nebula is on the first page of the lithograph and background information is on the second page. The lithograph includes a Level One Inquiry activity entitled “In Search of … Stellar Evolution” in which students research how stars form.


%d bloggers like this: