By Linda Childs on February 27th, 2019
Love space science? Follow us on Instagram for live STEM events throughout the year, including the SpaceX Crew Dragon test flight on March 2, 2019.
Two and a half years ago on September 8, 2016, I was able to witness the launch of OSIRIS-REx to share with our school community.
I’m sure you’re wondering what that means, right? OSIRIS-REx is a NASA asteroid study and sample return mission. OSIRIS-REx stands for Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security Regolith Explorer. Its main goal is to obtain a sample of at least 60 grams of rock from an asteroid called Bennu, a near-earth asteroid with lots of carbon in it. Now if you’re wondering exactly how much 60 grams is, one candy Skittles is approximately 1 gram. Imagine 60 of those and that’s how much of Bennu we will be bringing back to the Earth. And wait for it…it will take seven years before the mission is completed!
During our live lessons for Earth Space Science, we’ve been discussing current science events and all things space – including updates from Bennu. Continue reading
By Linda Childs on April 22nd, 2017
Earth Day is full of reminders to take time to protect our planet.
Across the state of Florida, local events are planned to pick up trash on the beach, recognize local farmers, and celebrate science and its contributions to ensuring everyone has access to clean water, soil, and air.
Search local events on Facebook to find fairs, speakers, art vendors, and other resources that promote an awareness of sustainable life choices.
Are you volunteering anywhere for Earth Day? Tell us where in the comments below!
Whether you’re heading out for the day or plan to stay at home, these tips can help you make a difference on Earth Day – and every other day too! Continue reading
By Linda Childs on December 7th, 2016
On Saturday, November 19, I had the privilege of watching the GOES-R weather satellite launch from Kennedy Space Center.
Now you may be wondering what GOES-R stands for. It’s the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite, a satellite system that orbits the earth and sends data back to National Weather Service computers. The R indicates what number or version the GOES satellite is on, so there have already been versions A-R. GOES-S is slated to launch next year and is the twin to GOES-R.
Of course, weather satellites get launched all the time, so why would this one be any more special than the others?
Well, right now we receive images of satellite scans every 30 minutes or so. The GOES-R satellite will provide data at least every five minutes, and in some circumstances every 30 seconds! So not only will it be five times faster than current weather satellites, but it will also gather three times more data and it will have four times better resolution. Continue reading
By Linda Childs on September 29th, 2016
Hello FLVS peeps!
I had the distinct honor of representing FLVS at the OSIRIS REx rocket launch a few weeks ago.
Now if you’re wondering what exactly that means, OSIRIS REx stands for NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer. That’s a mouthful, right?
In a nutshell, NASA is sending a spacecraft to an asteroid named Bennu. Once it reaches Bennu (after a trip lasting two years), the spacecraft will orbit the asteroid for about a year, find the perfect place to collect about 80 grams of the rock, and head back home, arriving back to Earth in 2023.
It won’t actually land on the asteroid, but instead hover over it – and with the help of Canada and their amazing knowledge of spacecraft arms – will grab a small sample. (To put this in perspective, 80 grams is about the equivalent of 80 Skittle candies.)
So why are we going to Bennu? Continue reading
By Linda Childs on August 22nd, 2015
Crazy idea, right? It’s one that Mars scientists are doing on the MAVEN mission.
MAVEN stands for Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN and the goal is to try and figure out what happened to Mars’ atmosphere millions of years ago.
Scientists know Mars at one time resembled Earth, with an atmosphere and flowing water. With MAVEN, they will attempt to work backwards and find out how the atmosphere and dynamo was lost.
I was lucky enough to be accepted into the MAVEN Ambassador Class of 2015 and I attended a week-long workshop with 29 other teachers to find out more about this cool mission. Continue reading
By Linda Childs on January 30th, 2015
NITARP, short for the NASA/IPAC Teacher Archive Research Program, pairs teachers with astronomers from Caltech and NASA, and allows the teachers to do authentic astronomical research.
I thought this program would be something that was a little out of my comfort zone, as I only had classroom experience (like most science teachers), but I decided to apply anyway as it would be an educational experience. To my surprise, I was one of eight teachers that was accepted out of hundreds of applicants.
The teachers were split up into two teams, each with an astronomer to lead them. My team had educators from Boston, Colorado, and California and my astronomer, Varoujan Gorjian, was from Caltech and NASA. Continue reading