Tuesday, April 17, 2012

ENGAGE MMS 2014 Challenge

Students in my community were treated to an excellent learning opportunity with Mr. Tom Chambers students from Houston's   Raul Yzaguirre School For Success.  
As part of a joint effort with NASA and ISTE's collaboration project on the  MMS 2014 Mission, nineteen students from RYSS mentored the entire junior high along with 5th and 6th grade GT students on how to create digital art from reflections on prior scientific research.  

All students in Dublin researched on the following topics before participating in the joint workshop and NASA Summit.  Students completed building block one, which consisted of student led research or completion on the following questions/tasks.  

Week One:  Students were introduced to the topics of magnetosphere, solar weather and MMS 2014 mission.  All students in their science or  GT course watched an engaging short video on Solar Storms and the Earth's Magnetic Shield.  Students then were challenged, via Skype with Sandra Wozniak, to think about How is the MMS mission relevant to our daily lives? How can knowledge about the universe affect our daily lives?  

In groups, students completed individual research on building block one.  Each group member was assigned a question/task and then had to share their findings with their group.  Each group developed a presentation and utilized a presentation tool, (such as Prezi, PowerPoint, or Keynote).  Groups presented material to the entire class.  Research by group included the following:

1. Draw and label the layers of the sun.
2. Find out what a sunspot and CMEs are
3. Explain why the sun is important

Solar weather:  GROUP TWO
1. What is a solar storm?
2. What is the connection between auroras and the solar wind?
3. How does space weather affect us?

Magnetosphere:  GROUP THREE
1. What is a magnetosphere and why is it important?
2. What are magnetic reconnections? Why are they important?

Magnetospheric MultiScale Mission:  GROUP FOUR
1. What are the parts of the MMS mission? How will it work?
2. What is the purpose of the MMS mission?
3. Why is the MMS mission important?

RYSS mentors DISD Junior High Students on Using Gimp to Reflect and Create Art on MMS 2014 Challenge
Week Two:  Mr. Chamber's 19 students, highly skilled and trained in the software GIMP, arrived at Dublin Junior High to kick off the 2014 NASA challenge and mentor Dublin Junior High and Dublin Intermediate Students.   Students were treated to an introduction and challenge led by RYSS students.  Utilizing scientific vocabulary and research, students were mentored in a 2 hour workshop on GIMP best practices and began creating art, which reflects on prior research mentioned above:  Sun, Solar Weather, Magnetosphere, or MMS 2014.
DISD GT student creating with her RYSS mentor using GIMP. 

Students also met and interviewed the "Father of Digital Art" and media pioneer, Laurence Gartel, via Skype.  Students were inspired to think about careers and opportunities available in the field of digital art.  Mr. Gartel was captivating, engaging, and motivating.  His personality and charisma captured the attention of the entire audience. 

Skype with "Father of Digital Art" Laurence Gartel
The experience ended with our DISD and RYSS students challenging the world through the participation on the NASA summit.  Students from New Jersey, El Paso ISD, Corpus Christi ISD, Dublin ISD, and in other locations in Texas were treated to a video summit that included top scientists and professionals from NASA, ISTE, Rice University, and US Diplomat serving in South East Asia.  To view a recording of the summit, please visit http://connect.episd.org/p41864071/?launcher=false&fcsContent=true&pbMode=normal.  The experience will continue and lead to a larger challenge next year. 
DISD GT student challenges the world at NASA Summit
 From this experience, students are now creating art in other core subject areas at Dublin Junior High.  Mr. Chamber's students were also treated with a private tour in 2 of our 5 offsite curriculum museum centers in Dublin, Texas.   A joint traveling art exhibit on the MMS 2014 challenge will be held this summer in Houston, Dublin, and a  media art exhibit in India.  

A special thank you to El Paso ISD, NASA's Troy Cline, Dr. Patricia Reiff  Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and Director of the Rice Space Institute at Rice University and DISD Superintendent Dr. Rodney Schneider.  To learn more about how you can join our challenge, please visit our Livebinder or Epsilen Group.

RYSS learning from historian, author, and EDC Director Karen Wright

Experiencing history at DISD offsite curriculum center and museum from curator and educator Mary Yantis

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