The NASA Education site provides links to resources at ten education centers. An example of the type of services to educators, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory offers workshops for educators applying STEM concepts and experiences from NASA missions in areas such as engineering literacy, space exploration, and the science of sports. Other resources available at centers include guides, videos, images, and SciLinks to text instruction, networking, and application of science. In alignment with the NGSS dimension of Engineering, the Glenn Research Center emphasizes engineering design challenges. These challenges are an integral part of educational content in which students have the opportunity to work on real world-challenges in a collaborative, team-based environment, applying the lessons learned to the technical problems of the workplace. Another section beyond the offered workshops provides resources for teachers and educators. The Glenn Research Center (GRC) Engineering Design Challenges (EDCs) connect students in their classrooms with the unique challenges faced by NASA scientists and engineers as they design the next generation of space vehicles, habitats, and technology.
The NASA Education site promotes the NGSS throughout the collection of resources available here. Highlighted within this resource is the GRC EDCs, which includes a main challenge problem that the scientists and researchers at the GRC are currently studying, along with lead-up investigation activities that go deeper into the content and align directly with the NGSS.
Educators and professional developers will find this NASA resource useful in providing examples of content and data from innovative and relevant scientific work, which is typically unavailable to classrooms. The webinars can be accessed asynchronously, accommodating users’ schedules, or for streaming purposes. Students and educators who participate in any of the centers have access to up to date and relevant scientific information. For professional development opportunities and resources specific to engineering, the Glenn Center offers the opportunity to interact with NASA subject-matter experts and discuss their solutions to the design challenge problem proposed to the students. The EDCs conclude with the students submitting their solutions to the challenge problem in the form of a five-minute response video on the GRC EDC YouTube channel. The link to this site can be found at: http://www.nasa.gov/content/grc-engineering-design-challenges/#.VQHGSEahxfh