New Exhibits for a New School Year
Written by: developer
by Bryan DeBates, Space Foundation Vice President – Education
Now that the new school year is underway, new changes are arriving at the Space Foundation Discovery Center in Colorado Springs to make the experience even better for students and visitors. Two new exhibits have been unveiled, recently. A View from Space, an exhibit from the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, is an amazing, interactive exhibit that shows how we utilize satellites to understand our world.
Mission to Europa is another new exhibit that is centered around our newly restored Scott Carpenter Underwater Station. The station was originally used to understand our world and to prepare astronauts for the isolation of space travel. This new exhibit highlights what it will take once we venture farther into our solar system and explore underwater worlds, such as Jupiter’s moon Europa, which harbors a sub-surface ocean and the possibility of life. Visitors and students will soon be able to pilot underwater drones in our Battelle Underwater Drone Lab while they explore oceans, looking for signs of life. We are very grateful to Battellle for funding this restoration and lab development.
In other news, the Space Foundation education team is in year two of a grant from the Project Management Institute Educational Foundation. This grant is focusing on a transformational change in how students are taught. The grant teaches students 21st Century skills, such as collaboration, teamwork, problem solving, critical thinking, technology integration and leadership, as well as, project management. Students participating in this program utilize project management techniques in planning, developing and executing one of four Mars missions. Students, depending on the skills of their team, can choose a mission that searches for water, searches for life, searches for a possible Mars base location, or an engineering design challenge where they must build bridges or a satellite with an infrared camera. In addition to choosing five teachers and their students from around Colorado Springs, five teachers from Pune, India, and their students, will participate in this program. The students will conduct their missions on-location in Pune, but will drive the rovers, remotely, in the Mars Robotics Laboratory at the Discovery Center in Colorado Springs.
Our education team continues to conduct other outreach programs that engage students and families, such as our Family Star Party, Tesla’s Toolbox and Homeschool Days at the Discovery Center. Grants from outstanding organizations such as Verizon allow us to conduct amazing programs for groups, including the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.
During World Space Week in October, we conducted an Audience with an Astronaut™ for 300 elementary students at the U.S. Air Force Academy. The program featured a presentation by former NASA astronaut, Lt. Col. Duane Carey, USAF (Ret.), and the students who were selected to attend were those of some of our Teacher Liaisons.
This article is part of Space Watch: November 2017 (Volume: 16, Issue: 11).
Posted in Education