Space Explorers

Florida Space Grant Consortium Initiative for Math, Science, and Technology Education The Florida Space Grant Consortium (FSGC) has teamed up with Space Explorers for an educational initiative in the State of Florida to promote Space Education. Space Explorers offers Internet based science programs that motivate children to learn using methods of discovery, inquiry, and analysis. The Florida Space Grant Consortium Initiative for Math, Science, and Technology Education is a project to improve Earth and Space Science Education in Florida by connecting student’s and teachers with NASA’s unique resources. Through this initiative, 20 schools will be sponsored for a Space Explorers program. The primary focus is third through twelfth grade students. Space Explorer’s mission-based programs are grounded in National Science Standards. They are developed around actual NASA missions and allow students to receive spacecraft data, experience the excitement of the learning process, and become involved in the creation of new knowledge. The mission based programs include: Marslink, based on NASA’s Mars exploration program; NEARlink, based on the Near mission to the asteroid Eros; and Moonlink, based on the Lunar Prospector mission.

Marslink, based on NASA's Mars  exploration program Marslink, based on NASA’s Mars exploration program
NEARlink, based on the Near mission to the asteroid Eros NEARlink, based on the Near mission to the asteroid Eros
Moonlink, based on the Lunar Prospector mission. Moonlink, based on the Lunar Prospector mission.

Each of these programs contain three phases:

PHASE 1: Educational Materials and Mission/Research Preparation.

This phase of the program consists of two parts: the curriculum and mission team selection. The curriculum has been developed by classroom teachers and is modular in nature. This allows a teacher to customize the curriculum to provide the best fit for their class. Each module contains the curriculum framework, lesson plans, student activity and student study guides. The curriculum is based on the National Science Standards and are available for elementary, middle, and high school classes.

PHASE 2: The Student Internet Space Mission.

During the second phase, the students take on the role of the mission team, simulating the launch and control of the spacecraft via the Internet. The team interacts live with a Mission Controller who assists them in their mission.

PHASE 3: Research, Analysis and Reporting.

In the third phase of the program, students will be given access to the data accumulated by the spacecraft. They will receive the tools required to perform preliminary research on the information and have the opportunity to collaborate with student teams around the world.

For more information, please contact Dr. Jaydeep Mukherjee (jmukherj@mail.ucf.edu).

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