National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Engineering Design Challenge: Spacecraft Structures

This web seminar took place on November 14, 2012, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The presenter was Jordan Snyder, NASA Explorer Schools Education Specialist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. In this program Mr. Snyder shared an activity that challenges students to design and construct a strong but lightweight structure that can withstand the launch of a water bottle “rocket.”

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 Engineering Design Challenge: Spacecraft Structures for the 2012–13 school year. In this seminar Mr. Snyder provided background information about NASA launch vehicles and thrust structures. He reviewed the cyclical steps of the engineering design process and shared other tips to help teachers prepare for the lesson. Web seminar participants discussed ways to spark students’ interest in the design challenge, then viewed sample designs, data collection sheets, and modifications to the activity.

Seminar participants received an NSTA SciGuide. 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 really enjoyed the activity that was given. Great stuff to use in the classroom!”
  • “Excellent material and subject; engages students.”
  • “Great content and very class room friendly. Will use this lesson during Space Week at my school.”

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

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