National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Engineering Design: Forces and Motion -- Balloon Aerodynamics Challenge

This Web Seminar took place on March 5, 2012 from 8:15 p.m. to 9:45 p.m. Eastern Time. The presenter was Kristy Hill, NASA Explorer Schools Education Specialist at Marshall Space Flight Center. In this Seminar, Ms. Hill connected NASA’s work involving data-collecting balloons to a hands-on engineering design challenge for students in grades 6-10.

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 was the second presentation of the Engineering Design: Forces and Motion -- Balloon Aerodynamics Challenge program and it will be repeated in 2012. In the seminar, Ms. Hill discussed the concepts of lift, drag, weight, and thrust, and the application of density and neutral buoyancy to NASA’s research. She shared the steps for a lesson that challenges students to design their own balloons to gather data in the classroom or in the field.

Fifty-one (51) participants were present at the live Web Seminar in addition to the presenter and NSTA staff. Participating educators represented the states of Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin. In addition, three participants joined the program from locations outside of the United States: Dominican Republic, Germany, and Turkey.

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:

  • “Its content was a great refresher course. It was an excellent example for a STEM lesson.”
  • “Loved how the seminar explained how to do everything including extensions.”
  • “Contained some great ideas to incorporate into my middle school program for the summer.”
  • “I can't wait to do this with my 8th graders.”

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

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