National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Heat, Temperature and Energy: MESSENGER--Cooling With Sunshades

This Web Seminar took place on November 10, 2011, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Presenting was Jordan Snyder, NASA Explorer School Coordinator at the Goddard Space Flight Center. In this Seminar, Mr. Snyder talked about the MESSENGER probe and the sunshade activity and lesson. The information was focused on 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 Heat, Temperature and Energy: MESSENGER--Cooling with Sunshades program and it will be repeated again during the academic year. Mr. Snyder introduced a series of hands-on science and math activities that engage students with learning about basic properties of heat and temperature. Through these activities, students gain an understanding of the materials used in space that are designed to withstand extreme temperatures—like those used for the MESSENGER mission to Mercury. Mr. Snyder also gave some general information about NASA Explorer Schools and the resources available to teachers on the NES website.

Twenty-four (24) participants were present at the live Web Seminar in addition to the presenter and NSTA staff. Participating educators represented the states of California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, and Washington.

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 also a Physics teacher, so I can use the content of this seminar.”
  • “The hands on activity will be effective in teaching these concepts to my students.”
  • “I love the thought of doing some meaningful activities with my students.”
  • “Can use immediately, yes, current topic in engineering class is energy.”

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

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