Distance Learning Network

 Posted by on January 24, 2013
Jan 242013

Fourth grade students at Merrymount Elementary School in Quincy have had a unique learning experience.  4th Grade Teacher Lorie Hammerstrom has teamed up with NASA Scientist Michael Hare at the Johnson Space Center in Texas to teach interpretive skills and learn how to look at space-based photography the same way. NASA Earth observation scientists do.  NASA researchers collect data relating to climate change, weather events, pollution, and land use through Earth Observation Satellites.

 In the lesson, “A View From the Top” students learn how scientists use this information to observe and predict various events on Earth, such as precipitation, urban development, natural pollution, and uncovering lost ancient civilizations.  Students learned how satellites are used in many careers, such as archaeology, weather forecasting, architecture and urban development. The 4th graders studied new geographical and scientific vocabulary. They also had a video tour of the International Space Station give by Sunita Williams. Many photos sent back from the  International Space Station are remarkable.

Students studied photos of Mt. Vesuvius, the Bahamas, the Great Pyramids and much of Canada among others which were posted on Twitter by the first Canadian commander of the International Space Station, Chris Hadfield.  Many of the students were very excited to communicate with a NASA Scientists via the web conference.  Students had hundreds of questions that they wanted to ask about remote sensing, curiosity, and various other things that they have learned about space exploration and NASA.  Twenty one of those questions were asked by students and answered by Michael Hare. Michael was very comfortable with the students and seemed to be enjoying himself  almost as much as the fourth graders.  NASA is taking bold steps at the K-12 grade levels to prepare the next generation of  explorers. Building on previous accomplishments, NASA has established a series of innovative programs designed to stimulate student interest in order to motivate higher levels of study in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, subjects.  These activities provide unique learning experiences for students, teachers, administrators and families.

Teacher,  Lorrie Hammerstrom is pleased to announce that she has been accepted for another NASA event, Roving on Mars with Curiosity. It ties in current integration with earth, space and physical science standards. The next event will take place on February 15, 2013 at 12:15 P.M.