K-12 Science 2 Schools Traveling Science Programs: Float
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign Urbana, IL, United States
The Floatn Illini have developed a three-tier program aimed at reaching not only a large audience, but also a variety of ages, cultures, and backgrounds. The program reveals an aspect of space and microgravity that is fun and educational to all. The program not only includes new presentations at familiar places, such as local schools, but also networks to new outlying areas. As previously mentioned, the program is structured into three tiers. The first tier covers a wide range of students and children that have little to no knowledge about space and the possibilities it holds. The second tier sparks interest in the possibilities of space and provides those students who are already intrigued by space further direction. The last tier is directed towards committed space enthusiasts and those who seek more information about the importance of space development. The tiers main audience includes professors, community members, graduate students, and undergraduate students. The Floatn Illini also provides information about the teams activities via the Internet. The web page contains project reports from past years and our past and future activities within the community.
First Tier: K-8: Local Schools
The chief objective of the first tier is to initiate interest among young students. In order to capture their attention, videos, slides, and a small, portable drop tower will be used. With these devices the team will convey the basic concepts of space and gravity. Broad lesson plans have been developed that cover experiments and interactive examples similar to those outlined in NASAs Microgravity Demonstrator and Aeronautics-the Educators Guide with Activities in Science, Mathematics, and Technology. Some highlights of the lesson plans include a video presentation, demonstration with the drop tower, and explanations of gravity. The video presentation uses several video clips from NASAs video Astro Smiles and the teams highlight video from this year and years past.
Second Tier: 9-12: High Schools
The main objective of this tier is to propagate and maintain a fascination with space among high school students. The Floatn Illini feels that high school is the perfect opportunity to assert and provide possible career options for scholars. This will be accomplished through presenting our experiments to high school classes, in one of two ways. The first option is giving a presentation during the fall or spring. The second option is giving a set of presentations. The presentation of our experiments would be in the fall, then a follow-up presentation of our data and conclusions in the spring. Both options will be accompanied by an in-depth look at the applications of science, mathematics, and technology in microgravity and space. The use of NASAs publication, Microgravity - A Teachers Guide with Activities in Science, Mathematics, and Technologies, will ensure all major aspects are covered. By presenting our experiments and experiences, NASAs beneficial opportunities will be revealed to the students.
Third Tier: Adults: Professors, Community Members, and University Students
The paramount objective of the third tier is to carry on the interest in space exploration. This will be accomplished by looking at the opportunities of space and technologies. The presentations will be focused on our current research and future research in microgravity. Accompanying this will be a brief overview of NASAs advancements in space exploration and current developments in space stations.
aeronautical and astronautical engineering, space science, microgravity research
K-12, college, adults
12-36 students. Can do larger groups for college/adults.
The information contained in this page is accurate as of March, 2003.