National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Messenger: Cooling With Sunshades
All web seminar participants use online tools that allow them to mark-up presenter's slides or share desktop applications in addition to engaging in chat with others online and answering poll questions

This Web Seminar took place on September 27, 2010, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Presenting was Alicia Baturoni Cortez, Education Lead for the Ames Educational Technology Team. In this Seminar, Ms. Cortez talked about the MESSENGER probe and the sunshade activity and lesson. The information was directed at the high school lessons, but the information can be adapted for instruction at lower grade levels.

The PowerPoint, related resources from the NSTA Learning Center, and web links from the presentation are now contained in the above resource collection. Clicking on the collection link will place it in your Learning Center, My Library, neatly organized under the My Resource Collections tab.


This is first presentation of the MESSENGER: Cooling with Sunshades program and it will be repeated throughout the academic year. Ms. Cortez gave an overview of a classroom activity which focuses on students creating sunshades out of readily available and inexpensive materials. The activity incorporates a large mathematical component as students look at the budget of their design as well as its effectiveness. Ms. Cortez also gave some general information about NASA Explorer Schools and the resources available to teachers on the NES website.


Fifteen (15) participants were present at the live Web Seminar in addition to the presenter and NSTA staff. Participating educators represented the states of Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.


Seminar participants received one of the NSTA SciGuides. A certificate of attendance was deposited into participants My PD Record and Certificates area in the NSTA Learning Center for completing the evaluation form at the end of the program.


Here are some comments provided by the participants at the end of the Web Seminar:

  • “I am currently working on the scientific process with my students, and this activity does a great job of teaching that within a real world dynamic.”
  • “Concepts are covered or would be, great lab idea that students will enjoy.”
  • “Great resource for classroom experiments and lesson plans.”
  • “I found it very interesting to hear a science experiment that was related to an actual event occurring in the present. I also feel like I will be able to adapt this lesson to my grade level.”

Thanks to the participants and the presenter for the learning opportunity, the interactions, and a job well done!


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