National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Algebraic Equations: Transit Tracks—Finding Habitable Planets

This Web Seminar took place on September 19, 2012 from 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 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 talked about an activity that gives high school students the opportunity to analyze light curve data from NASA’s Kepler mission.

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 Algebraic Equations: Transit Tracks—Finding Habitable Planets for the 2012-13 school year. In this seminar, Mr. Snyder shared teacher strategies for implementing an activity that allows students to analyze NASA data collected in the pursuit of discovering planets in habitable zones of solar systems. Participants watched a video featuring NASA scientists providing real world information related to the lesson. They also viewed a clip of a demonstration of an Orrery, a physical model of the Kepler mission that can give students a better understanding of the math and physical science concepts explored in this lesson.

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:

  • “Really enjoyed the movie shorts presented during the seminar. This presentation was excellent. Looking forward to the next ones!!”
  • “What a great experience this lesson will be for my students.”
  • “I liked working through the problems, it gave me a clearer understanding of what I need to know!”
  • “This is a very practical lesson. I love how I can incorporate real NASA data into my unit to show students how Kepler finds habitable ‘Earth-like’ planets.”

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

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