Crestwood Eighth Grade students work with NASA


Crestwood Eighth grade students under the guidance of Mrs. Kellner and Mr. Gerrity have done several projects with NASA and have more to come.

CMS Earth and Space Science students will be participating this Spring in the very special MoonKAM mission. The pictures of the Moon will be taken from the two GRAIL satellites, Ebb and Flow, which are in orbit around the Moon right now. 

In October and February students participated in an EarthKAM mission.
NASA has a camera aboard the International Space Station, or ISS for short.  
Three times a year they allow students to use the camera for educational purposes.
In order to get this opportunity, the teachers, Mrs. Kellner and Mr. Gerrity, must submit a written request on behalf of their students and must get administrative support.
Mr. Baddick gladly supported students participating in a NASA mission (as long as they stayed on the ground).
The October mission involves students learning about the International Space Station and orbital mechanics and latitude and longitude then submitting requests for photos.  The requests are submitted via the web to the University of California at San Diego where undergraduate students check them to make sure they are valid prior to uplinking them to the ISS astronauts. The astronauts make sure the pictures are taken and downlink them to the web for the students to use in their classes. Check out the Crestwood student's pictures during mission 12_01 and 11_10.
Global Cloud Observations
NASA needs people to help make ground observations to confirm the data they are receiving from the CERE's satellites are accurate.  CERE's is designed to analyzed cloud coverage, but snow cover and other factors can lead it to get inaccurate results.  That is where the Crestwood students come into action!  As part of the state and national standards, students are required to be able to recognize clouds and what better way to learn then to make cloud observations with a purpose.  Students used the NASA resources to learn techniques for making accurate weather observations with simple tools such as a barometer, a thermometer and their power of observation.  This data is then compiled and sent to NASA via the web. Students can then check how their data compared to and aided with satellite tracking of the Earth's environment.
Seeds from Space 
This spring students will be planting two sets of seeds in identical conditions and closely monitoring their growth.  One set of the cinnamon basil seeds were kept here on Earth, the other set flew with NASA in space.  The students job is to see if their is any significant difference in the growth of seeds which flew in space versus those that did not.  This is important research.  If the unfiltered radiation of the space environment is detrimental to the ability of plants to grow, it would make it difficult to colonize another planet.
NASA Endeavour Teams
Six students from each 8th grade team, red and white, where selected to represent Crestwood as two separate Crestwood NASA Endeavour teams. Students had to go through an application process to be selected for their team by committee. Students were advised by Mr. Gerrity and Mrs. Kellner.
The selected students have been participating in meetings at LIU18 in Kingston and have been participating in NASA design competitions. The first national design competition they entered was known as WING (What If No Gravity). For the WING competition students designed an experiment to show the effects of microgravity to be dropped in the NASA Glenn microgravity drop tower. Both of the Crestwood Endeavour Teams experiments won the competition and were chosen to be dropped!
Crestwood Middle School students placed in the top twenty in the nation in the Waste Limitation Management and Recycling Design Challenge (WLMR). For this competition the students designed a water recycling facility for the moon colony. Only one entry was allowed per school, so the two teams competed against each other in this competition. Instead of reinventing the wheel, they decided they would see how water recycling is done on Earth, so they made a visit to the Mountaintop Joint Sanitary Authority. Thanks to Thomas Zelinsky, the superintendent of the facility, for an excellent and informative tour. Only one 1st place winner across the nation was chosen for this challenge and the first place winners get a trip to Kennedy Space Center with VIP tour. Congratulations to placing so high in the nation to Gabrielle, JC, Meghen, Danielle and Ryan.

Space Shuttle Discovery Mission STS 119 which launched this year would have been the mission that Mrs. Kellner would have been on had she been chosen as an astronaut when her students nominated her back in 2004. Although she is disappointed not to be going on the shuttle, she is happy to be sharing NASA excitement with her students. She is pictured with Educator Astronaut Joseph Acaba while on a trip to Houston as part of the Network of Educator Astronauts.

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Uploaded: 25 July, 2012
by: brian.wildsmith