Teachers Take on Space Simulation in Space Foundation Professional Development Class
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Jun. 23, 2010) -- This week at the Space Foundation Discovery Institute in Colorado Springs, educators are learning about the biological effects of space travel in, "Biological and Physical Research: Long-Term Space Travel."
This week-long, full-day, graduate-level course allows teachers to earn continuing education credits, graduate credits, or work toward a master's degree in multiple related disciplines. The teachers who attend learn hands-on, minds-on activities and develop lesson plans that they can take back to the classroom. They also gain access to Space Foundation-provided teaching aids and additional lesson plans. The standards-based curriculum is designed to improve students' skills in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and to motivate them to continue to study STEM topics.
One exercise in this week's class involves the Barany Chair, which simulates spatial disorientation by spinning the occupant and was invented to train student pilots. It helps the class learn what astronauts and pilots experience in flight and demonstrates the importance of relying on instruments rather than on their senses.
Pictured: Class partipants take turns in the Barany Chair, learning first-hand about spatial disorientation.