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Attendees will be provided with a high-level overview of NASA’s Artemis Missions to the Moon and Mars, Next Generation Science Standards, and gain insights on how Engineering Design fits within the NGSS. This session highlights an activity from NASA’s Next Gen STEM – Moon to Mars Educator Guide titled, “Landing Humans on the Moon” (https://www.nasa.gov/stem-ed-resources/landing-humans-on-the-moon.html) which is part of a series of standards-aligned educator guides designed to help students reach their potential to join the next-generation STEM workforce and learn about sending humans to the Moon, Mars, and beyond.
The focus of the “Safe Landing on the Lunar Surface” activity engages participants to understand how a spacecraft’s engines can provide downward thrust to counteract the force of gravity not only at launch, but also during a landing to slow its descent.
Utilizing the engineering design process attendees will use household materials to better understand the difficulties in landing a lander on the surface of a terrestrial body that does not have an atmosphere (no atmospheric braking, no use of parachutes, and no aerodynamic control surfaces). Participants will design, build, and improve a model of a lunar lander that can slow its descent using the downward thrust of a balloon; graph the speed with respect to elevation of a model lunar lander.
LaTina Taylor is a NASA EPDC Education Specialist with the NASA Educator Professional Development Collaborative (NASA EPDC) at Texas State University. With over 24 years of experience in education with the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) her workshops focus on culturally responsive teaching, experiential learning using inquiry-based strategies; Engineering Design Processes; and NASA STEM engagement resources. LaTina is a National Board-Certified Teacher with a master’s degree in Educational Leadership. Ms. Taylor has worked in STEM Education in various capacities - as a STEM Technology Specialist, STEM professional developer, and STEM Program Director. She has also been a presenter at numerous science, math, and technology conferences at the local, state, and national levels.