CBEC, NASA launch new stu­dent STEM pro­gram

Record Observer - - Schools -

GRA­SONVILLE — The Ch­e­sa­peake Bay En­vi­ron­men­tal Cen­ter in a co­op­er­a­tive agree­ment with NASA added a cut­ting-edge STEM (Sci­ence, Tech­nol­ogy, En­gi­neer­ing and Math) pro­gram to its ed­u­ca­tional en­deav­ors. This pro­gram is de­signed for mid­dle and high school stu­dents.

The pro­gram con­sists of en­vi­ron­men­tal sam­pling tech­niques us­ing NASA ap­proved equip­ment and as­so­ci­ated tech­nol­ogy. Stu­dents will learn types of equip­ment and com­puter-re­lated de­vices for sam­pling the lo­cal at­mos­phere and wa­ter. The stu­dents will col­lect, in­ter­pret and record data for use by sci­en­tists, in­sti­tu­tions, agen­cies and gen­eral cit­i­zenry. The lo­cal data will be down­loaded to the GLOBE web­site (Global Learn­ing and Ob­ser­va­tion to Ben­e­fit the En­vi­ron­ment — GLOBE.gov) and be avail­able for re­searchers world-wide.

The stu­dents will col­lect at­mo­spheric data on CBEC prop­erty by fol­low­ing guide­lines in the AEROKATS (Ad­vanc­ing Earth Re­search Ob­ser­va­tions with Kites and At­mo­spheric/ Ter­res­trial Sen­sors) pro­gram. The AEROKATS pro­gram in­volves fly­ing kites out­fit­ted with data col­lect­ing tech­nolo­gies and cam­eras. They will cap­ture and process their own data about near-sur­face rates of tem­per­a­ture, pres­sure, rel­a­tive hu­mid­ity and re­mote sens­ing. They will be ex­posed to the world of dig­i­tal lit­er­acy through use of the equip­ment and data col­lec­tion. This skill set will ben­e­fit stu­dents in both aca­demic and work ex­pe­ri­ences.

The ROVER (Re­motely Op­er­ated Ve­hi­cles for Ed­u­ca­tion and Re­search) pro­gram is as­so­ci­ated with lo­cal wa­ter mon­i­tor­ing. The ROVER is a re­motely op­er­ated aquatic plat­form to mea­sure and an­a­lyze data, such as oxy­gen lev­els, tem­per­a­ture, nu­tri­ents, and pH of wa­ter. Stu­dents will op­er­ate the ROVER on lo­cal wa­ter­ways and col­lect data for down­load­ing to the GLOBE web­site.

Stu­dents will learn how to in­ter­pret the data and de­ter­mine lo­cal at­mo­spheric and wa­ter con­di­tions, iden­tify po­ten­tial prob­lems and so­lu­tions un­der the guid­ance of CBEC staff and NASA re­source part­ners. Stu­dents will have the op­por­tu­nity to work with pro­fes­sion­als in the field.

Field trips to CBEC will give stu­dents the op­por­tu­nity for hands-on ex­pe­ri­ence with the AEROKATS and ROVERS and meet STEM re­quire­ments. All ac­tiv­i­ties are Next Gen­er­a­tion Sci­ence Stan­dards aligned and in­cor­po­rate STEM ed­u­ca­tion us­ing real-world set­tings. For more in­for­ma­tion go to bayrestora­tion. org/AREN and see what ac­tiv­i­ties are avail­able or con­tact jwink@bayrestora­tion.org.

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