Sen. Bennet at Space Foundation Discovery Institute
U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado toured the Space Foundation Discovery Institute and adjacent Jack Swigert Aerospace Academy just one week after making an impassioned seven minute speech on the Senate floor regarding the new education bill and the needs of minority students.
The Space Foundation is meeting those needs by providing onsite teacher support and student programs for Jack Swigert Aerospace Academy, a Colorado Springs public middle school that opened in 2009 with a space-themed curriculum. The school is a joint project between Colorado Springs School District 11 and the Space Foundation.
Sen. Bennet toured classrooms and observed students learning about the X and Y axis used in math and science. Then he visited the adjacent Space Foundation Discovery Institute Mars Yard to see how students applied their classroom learning by using robots on a simulated Mars terrain for lessons such as programming robots on an X and Y axis to accomplish specific mission objectives.
Sen. Bennet also toured the AGI Space Missions Simulator at the Space Foundation Discovery Institute, which serves as "mission control" for the Mars Yard and where students use Satellite Tool Kit (STK) software for various learning objectives with the simulation software. On the day that Sen. Bennet visited the students were manipulating a satellite on the X, Y and Z axes to move it around in space.
AGI, headquartered in Exton, Pa., donated the software, licensing and computer equipment valued at more than $3 million to establish the education lab, which simulates launch, flight and landing of a variety of space missions. The lab runs AGI’s STK, Orbit Determination Tool Kit (ODTK) and STK/Astrogator software, allowing students and teachers to learn about satellite orbits, design their own satellite orbits, track their satellites and plan a simulated Mars mission.
Learn more about the Space Foundation Discovery Institute here.
Pictured: U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado toured the AGI Space Missions Simulator at the Space Foundation Discovery Institute in Colorado Springs and spoke with students from the adjacent Jack Swigert Aerospace Academy who use the lab. Photo courtesy of Colorado Springs School District 11