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

This Web Seminar took place on May 7, 2012 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The presenter was Kristy Hill, NASA Explorer Schools Education Specialist at Marshall Space Flight Center. In this Seminar, Ms. Hill shared a hands-on activity that gives students the opportunity to explore the concepts of neutral buoyancy and density.

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 third and final presentation of the Engineering Design: Forces and Motion -- Balloon Aerodynamics Challenge program for this academic year. Ms. Hill linked NASA’s work with research balloons to an engineering design challenge that allows students to learn about basic aerodynamic forces. She shared several videos that provided background information and showed students working on the challenge. After answering questions from participating educators, Ms. Hill described how to access additional resources and support materials by signing up for the NASA Explorer Schools program.

Forty-eight (48) participants were present at the live Web Seminar in addition to the presenter and NSTA staff. Participating educators represented the states of Alabama, Arizona, California, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia. In addition, three participants joined the program from locations outside of the United States: Bermuda, 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:

  • “Awesome lesson ideas to incorporate into our STEM school.”
  • “It matches our standards perfectly... Practical engineering design ideas!”
  • “I will definitely be using this lesson in either my general classes or within science club! I think the kids will love it in 7th grade.”
  • “I love the engineering design challenge web seminars! They are always well-presented and full of great classroom-ready information.”

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

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