The Modern Figures Toolkit

The Modern Figures Toolkit

Another NASA resource that sheds light on one of the “Hidden Figures”–Katherine Johnson–is the Modern Figures Toolkit, a clickable guide to K–12 videos and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) materials related to the achievements of Johnson and the “human computers.” The guide features annotated descriptions of each resource, information about how each supports Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core learning standards, and a link to download the resources. Highlights include activities such as Moon Phases, in which elementary students learn about the phases of the Moon and act out one complete 30-day Moon cycle in 30 minutes, and What Is an Orbit, in which middle level students learn about the shape of an orbit, the effect of gravity on an orbit, and where satellites orbit the Earth. The interdisciplinary activity NASA Langley and Human Computers (high school) examines the social impact of human computers at NASA Langley during the 20th century and can be incorporated into science and history lessons.

Full Link:

Are your students ready to tackle real space study?

Johnson Space Center,HOUSTON TEXAS
Texas Space

Just what does it take to be a rocket scientist?  NASA’s Space University is incredible next-level space education with the experts at NASA’s Johnson Space Center leading the way. With the red planet Mars as your guide, students will experience a 5-day engineering mission to discover some of the most important aspects of planetary exploration.  Pupils will learn what’s required to land a rover on the surface of Mars, how to analyze rock samples with a Reflectance Spectrometer, how to loft a rock sample into Martian orbit, and then discover what it takes to return it safely back to Earth in a rocket of their own design. Throughout their Martian mission, groups will be working within a NASA budget, knowing that funds or supplies for your projects may be decreased at any time due to budget cuts, safety regulations, or any other experience representative of the real NASA world.  Our key focus will be on teamwork, problem solving, fiscal responsibility, communication, adaption to unexpected problems, the drive to be successful and most importantly, the ability to have fun through science, technology, math and engineering.

The exhilarating programming for Texas Space STEM is held at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas and includes out-of-this-world Master Classes, hands-on workshops and no shortage of fun time. Sample programming includes Rover design and parts testing, space suit design with a JSC engineer, neutral buoyancy lab tour, spectrometer presentation, rock laboratory, astronaut training and SCUBA dive session, rocket design, space physiology workshop and more!  All meals are included starting on Day 2 and extra activities include exploring the Kemah Boardwalk, bowling and laser tag, and a very special Awards & Presentation Ceremony. Prepare for take-off and join our team for a week of amazing space discovery!
This incredible tour is available with Sunday departures.  Come join our team for a week of amazing space discovery!
Your 7-day / 6-night program includes:
Design, Build & Launch a Rocket

Engineer a rocket of your own design, including deciding which rocket parts are needed and what they can afford given their own NASA project.

Build a Robotic Mars Rover 
Start with a price list for supplies and given varying criteria, design, build and test your rover.
Engineer a Rover Lander
Working within a budget, design and create a lander which will safely protect its rover payload from the impact of landing on the Martian surface.
Lofting Into Space

Within a budget, students will design an ascent vehicle methodically and with considerable problem solving.
STEM Sisters
Texas - Johnson Space Cente
NASA Tours
See the historic Mission Control Center and the Space Station Mock-up Facility; visit the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory; see the rockets used in the early space program and more.
Talk to NASA Experts
Hear a wide variety of presentations by NASA personnel who are really making space exploration happen.
Our TEXAS SPACE trip includes flights, hotel accommodation, ground transportation, space programming and engineering challenges, all meals starting with Day 2 and ending with breakfast on your final day plus evening activities and excursions. Want more?  Simply ask.
Texas - Johnson Space Cente
Let us help you to craft your personal experience. Our team is standing by.
To download a copy of our full itinerary, click HERE.
To browse our STEM products and events online, click HERE.
To view our STEM Brochure, click HERE.
To ask questions, talk to us, or request a quote, click HERE.

Free Newtown Creek PD Workshop For Teachers!

Newtown Creek Professional Development Training Opportunity with Solar One and NYC Department of Environmental Protection!

Join Solar One and DEP for a FREE two-day professional development training workshop series to explore the water quality and history of the Newtown Creek and the New York Harbor. During the workshop teachers will: Learn to conduct water quality tests, explore Solar One’s K-12 Water curriculum, participate in hands-on interactive activities, receive a classroom set of water quality testing supplies, and learn about the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant with NYC DEP.  Substitute teacher stipends are available through Solar One on an as-needed basis. Light breakfast and lunch will be provided on both days. All teachers will receive access to curriculum resources!
Who should attend?
Any 3rd grade-12th grade NYC DOE teacher is encouraged to attend!
Locations and Dates
Workshop #1Tuesday April 4, 2017 from 9:00am-3:00pm
The Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant Visitors Center
329 Greenpoint Avenue, Brooklyn, NY, 11222

Workshop #2Wednesday May 10, from 9:00am-3:00pm
Hunters Point Community Middle School
1-50 51st Avenue, Queens, NY, 11101



Early Learning and Educational Technology Policy Brief

Produced by ED’s Office of Education Technology, the brief presents four guiding principles for early educators and families on using technology with young children: technology—when used appropriately—can be a tool for learning; technology should be used to increase access to learning opportunities for all children; technology may be used to strengthen relationships among parents, families, early educators, and young children; and technology is more effective for learning when adults and peers interact or watch along with young children. The brief also includes a call to action for researchers and media and app developers, suggesting topic areas for further research and encouraging the development of research-based products.

Full Link:


27 Ideas for Teaching With Topographic Maps

The USGS publishes approximately 57,000 different topographic maps covering the United States. Topographic maps show contour lines (elevation and landforms), hydrography (rivers, lakes, marshes), transportation (roads, trails, railroads, airports), vegetation, boundaries, survey markers, urban areas, buildings, and other features. Teachers from elementary to college levels can use topographic maps to enhance instruction in their science, math, geography, and history curricula. The USGS has an annotated list of 27 suggested classroom activities incorporating topographic maps. The annotations include each activity’s targeted grade level, time required, materials needed, and a description. Activities range from basic exercises teaching students how to read and work with topographic maps (e.g., Analyzing Physical Features of Topographic Maps, Looking at Streams and Rivers on Topographical Maps) to more complex activities exploring geography concepts (e.g., Geographic Coordinate Systems—Convergence, Absolute vs. Relative Location, Site vs. Situation). Other activities provide opportunities for students to make their own maps (e.g., Creating Maps From Aerial Photographs, Construct 3D Models, Create Aspect Maps).

Full Link:

Jefferson Lab’s Science Education Resources

Jefferson Lab, a world-class nuclear research facility, offers STEM resources for middle to college-level teachers and students. Organized by user (Teacher or Student) and by resource type (Games and Puzzles, Science Cinema, and Programs and Events), the web page has something for everyone interested in physics, whether you’re a new teacher looking to strengthen understanding of physics topics; a veteran educator seeking games, hands-on activities, and videos to energize classroom science instruction; or a student searching for homework help or internship opportunities. Notable resources include Physics Out Loud, a video glossary of common words and terms used in nuclear physics research, explained by Jefferson Lab scientists and other experts; and Frostbite Theater, a collection of short, fun video experiments and demonstrations exploring liquid nitrogen, radioactivity, electricity, and the Jefferson Lab.

Full Link:

Science Journal App

Turn your phone into a pocket science lab. Targeted for students in grades 6–12, this Google app allows students to measure sound, light, and motion data in real time using the sensors in an Android phone or tablet. The sensors can record ambient light (lux), intensity of sound in decibels (dB), and acceleration of the phone moving in three planes (m/s2). The app includes several short “Getting Started” activities, including an experiment in which students build and test Wind Spinners to familiarize themselves with how the tool works. Once comfortable, students can design their own experiments and use the app to collect and annotate data.

Full Link:


Visionlearning STEM modules

These peer-reviewed online learning modules explore STEM topics from a process perspective. The NGSS–supported modules—targeted for high school and introductory college learners—address topics in biology, chemistry, Earth science, general science, inside science, math in science, physics, and the process of science. Each module embeds online assessments and has an interactive animation associated with it to provide background information and help convey core concepts on the topic. Registered teachers (free registration) can also customize the modules to create courses to meet their students’ needs.


Full Link: