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Buzz Lightyear in Orbit

What it is: Buzz Lightyear in Orbit is part of NASA’s website for kids. The site uses the popular Toy Story character, Buzz Lightyear, to teach kids about the next space mission with Atlantis. It also introduces kids to the Discovery team and the mission that has just been completed. Kids can go on 5 space “missions” of their own by playing some fun educational games on the site. Games are math and science based and separated into grade level. Grades k-2 can play games appropriate for that age group and grades 3-5 can play at a more difficult level. How to integrate Buzz Lightyear in Orbit into the classroom: Use Buzz Lightyear in Orbit as part of your space unit or even as a current events topic. Students can read and learn about the current space missions on the Buzz Lightyear home page. The games are great for reinforcing math and science skills that you are teaching in conjunction with or even separate from the space unit. Your students will love the fun look and feel of this site and especially the familiar Buzz Lightyear character. Tips: At the bottom of the game screen, you can download worksheets that correspond perfectly with the games and information on the site! Leave a comment and share how you are using Buzz Lightyear in Orbit in your classroom!

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Eyes on the Earth 3D

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Evaluate, Geography, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Understand (describe, explain), Websites | Posted on 06-05-2011

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What it is: I’m still on my NASA/space kick, this time with Eyes on the Earth 3D from NASA.  This is a neat website that lets students track missions as they are happening with the satellites that are collecting information about the Earth from space.  Students can learn about the earth by choosing a mission to follow, zoom in and out of the globe, view satellite paths, view city and location labels on the map, replace the sun with an “artificial light” and see the view from Earth’s surface.  As students click on the satellite, they will be able to view and discover more information about the mission.  Students can choose to view the 3D Earth in real-time or speed up/slow down the Earth with a time control.  Students can choose to learn more at any time by viewing the official mission home page linked at the bottom of each page.

How to integrate Eyes on the Earth 3D into the classroom: This is a way for students to assume the role of NASA scientist to learn more about the Earth and collect data.  Students can view real data about sea levels, the Arctic sea ice minimum, carbon dioxide readings, global temperature and the ozone hole.  Students can study each mission to gain a better understanding of  what NASA scientists do and study.  If you teach younger students, the 3D globe is a great way to help students understand continents, oceans and earth rotation.

One of the features that I enjoy about Eyes on the Earth 3D is the ability to view the Earth from the satellite view or the satellite from the Earth view.  This will help young students better visualize and understand how satellites work and orbit the Earth.

If your students are studying satellites or NASA missions, assign each student a different mission to study in-depth.  Students can present what they have learned to the class as an oral presentation using the Eyes on the Earth 3D site as a visual.

Tips: Missions can be viewed by what their focus is: atmosphere, oceans or land.  If you are studying any of these, the missions would be a nice tie in.  Students can read or hear about all of this data but I think it is just as important to understand where it all came from and how it was collected.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using  Eyes on the Earth 3D in your classroom!


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