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Workshop Topics


Any subject area can be customized to meet the needs of your educators and your state standards. The topics below are a guide to the areas of study, not an all inclusive list. For information on other subjects, please contact the JSU ERC.

• Mars Exploration – Experience the past and present history of NASA's exploration of the "Red Planet." Discover what NASA has learned about the planet's geology and potential support for life. Investigate the challenges of human travel to Mars.
• Robotics – Learn how NASA uses robotics. Engage in activities that simulate how robots assist astronauts on the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station.
• Space Food – Experience the challenges of preparing, packaging, and storing food for spaceflight. Plan a menu for a voyage in space.
• Space Suits – Examine the characteristics of the space environment and the risks to the human body. Review the history of spacewalking and the evolution of the space suit.
• Toys in Space II – Investigate the effects of gravity and microgravity on common items. Shadow the activities of astronauts as they demonstrate the behavior of selected toys in the microgravity environment of the space shuttle.

Earth Science

• Earth Science – Learn how remote sensing is being used to study Earth from the perspective of space. Explore the characteristics of Earth's atmosphere (air), geosphere (land), hydrosphere (water), biosphere (life), and cryosphere (ice).
• Mission Geography – Develop key geography skills including remote sensing and map interpretation using maps, aerial photographs, Space Shuttle photographs and satellite images.


• Aeronautics – What pilot, astronaut, or aeronautical engineer didn't start out with a toy glider? Learn about basic aeronautic concepts, study the history of aviation, explore the nature of flight and experience some real life applications of mathematics, science and technology.
• Rockets – Dreams of rocket flight to distant worlds fire the imagination of both children and adults. Learn the history of rocketry. Explore Newton's Three Laws of Motion to explain why rockets work and how to make them more efficient and of course, launch rockets.
• Early Childhood Education – A workshop designed specifically for grades PreK-2. Use the theme of rocketry to teach patterning, geometrics shapes, and nonstandard measurement, data collection and graphing through a number of hands-on activities geared for the younger student.

Space Science

• Lunar/Meteorite -Experience the geological approach to understanding the moon. Learn the history of the moon and the clues it provides scientists as they investigate the formation of the earth and moon. Explore meteorites and how scientists use them to tell the story of the solar system from the formation of the planets to catastrophic impacts on Earth. Become certified to borrow the lunar and meteorite samples.
• Space Based Astronomy – Realize the importance of observing celestial objects from outer space and gain knowledge of the entire electromagnetic spectrum. Also included is a review of the Hubble Space Telescope performance and hands-on activities related to the latest data and resulting images.
• Solar System – Engage in activities that explore the relationship between and among the sun, our Earth, and the planets in our Solar System. Compare and contrast the characteristics of objects in the Solar System including asteroids and comets.

Biological and Physical Research

• Microgravity – Define microgravity and study how it affects humans. Experiment with the forces and processes that microgravity scientists are investigating today. Examine their expectations for related research on the International Space Station.
• Student Glove Box – Experiments on board the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station are placed in gloveboxes. Construct a model of a glovebox. Learn how to apply the design process, develop effective experimental methods, and improve critical thinking skills while working in a confined, controlled area.