National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Skeletal System: Human Physiology in Space

This Web Seminar took place on June 12, 2012 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The presenter was Marti Phipps, NASA Explorer Schools Education Specialist at Jet Propulsion Laboratory. In this Seminar, Ms. Phipps talked about the impact of microgravity on astronauts’ bones and shared two related lessons for high school students.

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 first presentation of Skeletal System: Human Physiology in Space for the 2011-2012 school year. Ms. Phipps discussed NASA’s research on the effects of living in space on human physiology. She also described procedures for maintaining the health of astronauts’ bones during space travel and upon return to Earth. Ms. Phipps shared details on two classroom activities that allow high school students to engage with these issues: Predicting Height from the Length of Limb Bones and The Influence of Applied Forces on Different Materials.

Thirty-four (34) participants were present at the live Web Seminar in addition to the presenter and NSTA staff. Participating educators represented the states of Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. In addition, three participants joined the seminar from outside locations outside the United States: Germany, Mexico, 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:

  • “The graphics/illustrations and culminating activities will be a great tool for teaching how astronauts train.”
  • “NASA has some excellent video and lesson plan resources that help me to engage my students.”
  • “I found the seminar very helpful in tying together how the multiple effects of weightlessness affect the body.”
  • “Great to have new Biology related lessons plans from NASA.”

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

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