National Geographic and NASA Collaborate on Exclusive Mars AR Activation for @natgeo Instagram

The excitement of NASA’s Perseverance rover touching down on Mars continues with National Geographic’s new augmented reality (AR) experience on the @natgeo Instagram account. In what is another historical moment, National Geographic is offering users one of the first opportunities to be the Perseverance rover through this brand-new Mars AR activation, which offers an immersive 360 look at the panorama from the robot’s point of view (and even lets you take a selfie with the rover!).

Through this new activation, Instagram users can expect to truly become one with the rover, seeing through its eyes, observing its first panorama, searching for ancient signs of life on the red planet, and operating its extremities.

To increase the accuracy of the immersive experience, National Geographic collaboratedwith NASA on the Mars AR activation, consulting scientists and engineers who worked to design and build the rover, including Roger Weins (SUPERCAM), Christina Diaz (PIXL), and Jim Bell (Mastcam-Z).…Read More

NASA and Discovery Education Invite Educators and Students Worldwide to Join the Exploration of Mars Through a Special Livestream of the Perseverance Rover’s Landing

On February 18, 2021,  NASA’s Perseverance rover is set to touch down on Mars and begin exploration of the Red Planet. To commemorate this historic occasion,  Discovery Education—the global leader in standards-aligned digital curriculum resources, engaging content, and professional learning for K-12 classrooms—is partnering with  NASA to bring students worldwide a special no–cost livestream of this momentous event.

This special livestream of the Perseverance rover’s landing on Mars is scheduled to begin on Thursday, February 18 at 2:15 p.m. ET.   Featuring insights from NASA experts and a behind-the-scenes look at the activities of the Perseverance mission control team, the livestream will culminate with the rover’s real-time touchdown on Mars. To register to attend this event, visit Discovery Education’s  Mars Landing Livestream homepage.

In addition to the livestream, Discovery Education and NASA are making available exclusive resources supporting the integration of NASA’s latest mission to Mars into classroom instruction.  Among these helpful resources is a 3-2-1 Pyramid graphic organizer to help educators build students’ summarization and critical thinking skills while watching the Countdown to Mars livestream.  Another resource available to support educators sharing this event with students is a ready-to-use Studio Slideshow.  Using this Slideshow, educators can fuel student interest in space, build knowledge, and check for understanding about relevant topics.  These resources and others being made available to educators and students are designed to be used in any learning environment and can be found on Discovery Education’s  Mars Landing Livestream homepage.…Read More

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex announces Virtual Camp KSC

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is taking camp to the ionosphere. This year’s Virtual Camp KSC will launch its first three-day session July 28. The three-hour Zoom conference will be held from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. A second session will run from August 4 – 6 from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Designed for elementary-age students, Virtual Camp KSC offers hands-on science, technology, engineering and math activities. Included in the $65 cost is a kit with materials campers will need to complete the activities and experiments centered on NASA-based science and engineering from home.

“Virtual Camp KSC allows us to connect with the next generation of space explorers, and share our love of science, technology, engineering and math,” said Therrin Protze, chief operating officer, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. “We’re excited about this new opportunity for kids to learn, and explore, at home.”…Read More

4 considerations for your first makerspace

The benefits of hands-on, active learning are firmly established, yet a lot of difference exists between being able to touch something and being able to create something. The latter allows students to practice skills in demand in the modern economy.

The exhibitor floors at ed-tech conferences provide an inspiring snapshot for the rise of skills-based learning options and environments across the American educational landscape. Educators and schools are realizing they need to provide more experiential learning experiences for the next generation of makers. One way is through learning environments called makerspaces.

What is a Makerspace? …Read More

NASA sows seeds of science for children

NASA is teaming with the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association to cultivate agricultural innovations for space, and tapping classrooms across the country to help. The culmination of the project will be a coffee-can-sized cylinder with basil, turnip and Arabidopsis seeds that will feed on a combination of air and nutrients from Earthen soil, as well as natural light from the sun. The growth pod will be deposited on the moon in 2015 courtesy of the winner of Google’s Lunar XPRIZE, via the Moon Express spacecraft, and will be studied for five to 10 days alongside a control groups of seeds here on Earth, which is where the kids come in…

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Skype in the classroom teams up with NASA to connect students, astronauts

(Christopher Halloran / Shutterstock.com)

In celebration of World Teacher’s Day on Oct. 5, Skype in the classroom—the education outreach program of Skype, the Microsoft-owned service for making free voice and video calls online—has announced new partnerships with NASA and seven other organizations.

These new organizations will join more than 38,000 teachers already working together on 1,800 global educational projects through Skype in the classroom, the organization said Oct. 3.…Read More

Microsoft and NASA team up On 3-D space images

WorldWide Telescope, Microsoft’s galactic version of Google Earth, has been steadily increasing its fidelity ever since it launched in 2008, TechNewsDaily reports. Now, thanks to a new collaboration with NASA, WorldWide Telescope has produced the most detailed spherical image of the heavens to date, along with a new 3-D, true color map of the surface of Mars. As part of the new user experience in the WorldWide Telescope, Microsoft is also announcing a first of its kind: a high-resolution spherical TeraPixel sky map now available to viewers within the virtual telescope. The sky map is the largest and highest-quality spherical image of the sky currently available and was created from data provided by the Digitized Sky Survey, a collection of thousands of images taken over a period of 50 years by two ground-based survey telescopes. When those images are combined and processed, the TeraPixel image provides a complete, spherical, panoramic rendering of the night skies that, if displayed at full size, would require 50,000 high-definition televisions to view. The new high-quality image will give scientists with the ability to navigate through space dynamically to make their own discoveries…

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Project lets users explore the cosmos from a PC

Terapixel enables seamless panning and zooming over the entire night sky.
Terapixel enables seamless panning and zooming over the entire night sky.

In a project that aims to pull a new generation of students toward science and technology, Microsoft and NASA have teamed up to create what they say is the largest seamless, spherical map ever made of the night sky, as well as a true-color, high-resolution map of Mars that users can explore on their computers in 3D.

The mission, Microsoft and NASA say, is to inspire today’s students and spark interest in the STEM fields, and it appears to be working: In studying photos of Mars taken by a NASA spacecraft, a group of seventh graders in California earlier this year discovered a previously unknown cave, as well as lava tubes that NASA scientists hadn’t noticed.…Read More

NASA funds initiative to aid students

NASA says it is organizing an initiative to help U.S. graduate and undergraduate students apply for space agency internships or fellowships, UPI reports. NASA officials said the program will give students access to information about all NASA opportunities at one web site. The space agency says it has awarded cooperative agreements to five organizations to help create a recruitment, application, selection, placement, and career development system to engage students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) research, aerospace education, and space exploration. The effort will consolidate announcements and information now found on multiple NASA web sites…

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