NES Student Challenge: Inspired Science

Well we just got the results back. The kids did not get picked for the winning entry. But it was well worth the effort for them and me.  Actually it has encouraged the students to investigate their topic a bit more. I enjoyed watching them get excited (even high school students can get excited once in a while).

I gave my students a choice of doing a project later in the semester or doing the student challenge. Three groups picked the challenge. Below are the instructions for the challenge:

“ NASA Explorer Schools invites you and your students to think “off the sphere” as you investigate the principles of physical science in microgravity! In this challenge, you will use astronaut Don Pettit’s “Science off the Sphere” videos from the International Space Station to inspire your own student investigations in 1g.
Students, as individuals or in small groups, create a 3- to 5-minute video to enter the challenge. See Video Production Tips for more details. Each video should:
•Introduce the students, school,and grade level.
•Give the title of the investigation.
•Explain how one of Pettit’s videos inspired
the investigation.
•Demonstrate the investigation.
•Explain the results of the investigation.
•Explain the students’ understanding of the
science concept.
•Optional: Suggest an idea for a simple microgravity
Demonstration video on the International Space
Station related to the investigation.


One of the projects worked with ketchup and sound.

Red Bubbles

After submitting the experiment, I had other students wanting to do the challenge. A bit late but encouraging.  We are in the process of setting up the experiment on a larger scale. The students felt the small speakers didn’t have enough energy. We actually had teachers donate old speakers to us.

Definitely a future project if NASA still has the opportunity. If I do this next year I would make sure the students would check in more often and have them finish the presentation a bit earlier. I think they were a bit rushed. Nothing like last minute.

Overall I would recommend this to anyone interested in getting your students hooked on STEM. Now I have them asking when we are going to use the big speakers!! Newtonian Liquids, great topic.


About rippie77

Science Teacher at Cardinal Gibbons High School, Raleigh NC.

Posted on March 27, 2013, in Class Ideas, NASA, NASA explorers school and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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