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ADTO # 65 - May 21, 1999

PART 1: What's a QuestChat
PART 2: How to prepare
PART 3: How to chat
PART 4: What's next?
PART 5: Upcoming Chats
PART 6: Subscribing & unsubscribing: how to do it!


First of all, thanks to all of you who responded to my request for
feedback on QuestChat no-shows. I found among the respondents that there
were many who appear to be unaware of our chats and/or have never actively
participated in one. Based on these, I am devoting this entire special
edition to "How to join a QuestChat." If you are a veteran QuestChatter
please share the information with other teachers in your school.

In brief, a QuestChat is an opportunity for students and the general
public to meet and ask questions of NASA experts using the Internet. From
their own desktop, people can type comments and questions into a "chat

Chats are easy! They're powered by QuestChat software on the Quest
Website. No download is necessary - to participate, all you need is access
to a graphical web browser (like Netscape or Internet Explorer).

With the proper teacher guidance, students will learn to:
* research an area of expertise by reading the expert's profile
* formulate quality questions
* improve writing skills
Additionally, students will experience the excitement and inspiration
accrued from interacting live with someone who works for NASA.


The following are offered as helpful steps in preparing students to
maximize the benefits of this experience.
-We expect that all participants will read the online profile of the
expert (and any journals or previous chats available). This can be done
either individually or with the teacher (depending on students' age).
-Groups of four to six students should then discuss the information
  read and areas of curiosity.
- Each group should record all suggested questions from that group on a
  display board.
-The group should work together to narrow down these questions to the
  best two.
-The class as a whole can then review the question-pairs from each
  group and select the best six questions. These will provide the core
  questions for this chat.
Note: Keep the "second-string" questions handy. If the chat is not too
busy, the QuestChat moderator may invite other questions to be fed into
the room.

If you plan to chat, you must register for the event. Check your schedule
and sign up following the instructions linked from the announcement of the
chat. Below, we detail this process.  If you would simply like to observe,
please do not register. There are a limited number of participants allowed
into the chat room. You may observe without registering from the same
announcement location.

To register: Each chat announcement includes a link entitled:
***Register here for this chat.***
This is your entry to reserve a spot in the chat room for you and/or your
class to interact with the NASA expert.

*Registering for the first time:
Please take the time to do this carefully and completely. You will not
have to repeat the whole process in the future.
-You will need to enter:
        How many people will join you
(maximum is you plus five more, or six total)
Note on number of computers vs. number of students: We ask that you not
put each student at a computer typing questions. It will not only slow
down your system, but our experts will be unable to answer all the
questions received. Not surprisingly, this will frustrate your students.
It will also unnecessarily occupy too many of the available spaces in the
        Your- email address
        Your ZIP code
        Your telephone
-You will also be asked to create your "handle" or your online
  identification. It should include no spaces. We suggest:
  name/organization for example: ScienceClass/KennedyHigh
-You will be asked to read the rules at:
  and confirm that you have done so.
-You will then be asked to create a password.

At this point, please check your work carefully. After you have submitted
your registration, an automatic confirmation will be sent. If your e-mail
address is incorrect, your registration may be cancelled.

-Ready? Click on submit and when you receive it SAVE your
  confirmation so that you'll have your handle and password to enter the
  chat room.

*Registering next time is a cinch! All you need to enter is:
        Your handle
        Your password
        Select number of spots - six maximum (you + 5)

*Cancellation and/or arriving late: This is an important step because
when you register for a chat, you are using one of the limited spots
available. If you cannot make it to a chat please release those
registrations so someone else may participate. To do that, type a note to
the moderator in the chat room. You will not see the note, but s/he can
and will be able to plan accordingly. Or send an e-mail to Oran Cox,
QuestChat manager at ocox@mail.arc.nasa.gov.

The same should be done to notify your moderator if your class schedule is
such that you will arrive later than the scheduled start of the chat. It
would be very disappointing to your class to arrive at 10:15 to a chat
beginning at 10 and find that it's been cancelled due to lack of
participation! Though it is not our preference, because it makes the
experience less interactive for your students, questions may be submitted
early. The moderator will feed them into the Main Room as time permits.


Essentially, you will type your message into a box and submit it. The
question or comment will in turn be posted into the Main Room where the
expert and all chatters can see it and respond to it.

Enter the chat room either from the address provided in your confirmation
or from the link provided at the chat announcement online entitled:
"Already Registered? Chat with Name of Expert!"
In the room you will see:

*Main Room
Messages submitted are posted automatically unless the room is in
moderation. Typically your moderator will have left instructions in the
Main Room 24 hours before the chat. You may then post comments or
questions that will be seen only by the moderator (like the late arrival
or cancellation information mentioned previously).

*Moderation Room
In the interest of student safety and appropriateness, QuestChats are
almost always moderated. This means your questions or comments appear in a
queue that is only visible to the moderator. From this list the moderator
selects and posts appropriate questions and comments into the Main Room.
Note: Please notify your students of this process. Often students will
repeat questions with irritated remarks if they don't see them immediately
in the Main Room. If it happens repeatedly, the moderator will "block" the
originator. This means that an individual or group will not be allowed to
submit any more questions or comments.

Below the Main Room (you may have to scroll down) there is a large box.
Directly under or beside that box is a button entitled "Refresh Screen or
Submit New Message". Both are key to your end of the chatting:

Use the box to type your message (It accommodates no carriage returns -
one question per message please). The "Refresh Screen or Submit New
Message" button both submits your message and also updates the Main Room.
So, even if you aren't posting a message, in order to see new messages you
must remember to click on this button frequently during the chat.

Below these are two additional entry areas:
"Show at least" with space for a number controls how many messages you
will see each time you refresh the screen. It is set at a default of 10,
but you can change this number to accommodate your needs or screen size.
"Scroll back __ messages" allows you the one-time option of reviewing
however many messages you like. For instance, say you are showing 10
messages each refresh, and you'd like to look back 15 messages without
changing your permanent setting. If you type in 15, for that one click of
the refresh button you will go back 15 messages.

As you enter the room, you will be offered the opportunity enter your
first name. This is a good chance for a student or group to take on their
own identity. Example: George/KennedyHigh

If you arrive after the chat has begun, please read all submitted question
and answer pairs so that you will not duplicate what has already been
answered. We try to avoid submitting the same question twice, even if the
originator is different.

Have one representative type a message that lets us know that your group
has arrived. Include the name of the school (if appropriate), the area of
the world you're from, and how many are "really" in your group (not
necessarily how many computers are being used). Example:
        "Hi, thirty five students from Kennedy High School in New York are
        here to chat with you."

Then you're off and chatting! Please remind your students to be courteous,
and when you are finished, I know the experts love to have you say goodbye
and thanks.


When a chat is over (and several times before), you will be reminded to
respond to our survey. Your response is very important! It is from these
surveys that we continue to improve and provide feedback to our experts
and our funding agencies. Here's a fun way to do it:

Class debrief:
Have a lively classroom discussion as soon after the experience as
- discuss their experience with them, recording comments on the board
- ask what, if anything, they learned
- discuss what they might like to chat about in the future
- ask who else they might like to get to know from the team page
- send us their feedback, and yours.
We suggest bookmarking the survey page so you can use it after
participating in other chats. The address is:

Then check the chats schedule for future chats. We hope this becomes an
oft-repeated highlight to your classroom experience.
Aerospace Team Online chats may be found at:
NASA Quest-wide live interactions including chats may be found at:


QuestChats require pre-registration. Unless otherwise noted, registration
is at:  http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/chats/#chatting

Wednesday, May 26, 1999, 10 AM Pacific Daylight Time:
The Wright Brothers, inventors of the first powered plane

The Wright Brothers were introduced to flying when as little boys they
were given a small toy helicopter. When Wilbur was 32 and Orville was 28,
they began their work on inventing the first powered, human-carrying

Read the Wright Brothers' profile prior to joining this chat.

Wednesday, June 9, 1999, 10 AM Pacific Daylight Time:
Mary Reveley, aerospace engineer

Mary works in the Propulsion Systems Analysis Office (PSAO),
which is a systems analysis group. The group uses different methods to
try to predict how aircraft and engine designs will perform. Mary is also
responsible for determining the cost of manufacturing new propulsion and
aviation technologies, as well as how they will affect the environment.

Read Mary Reveley's profile prior to joining this chat.


If this is your first message from the updates-aero list, welcome!

To catch up on back issues, please visit the following Internet URL:

To subscribe to the updates-aero mailing list (where this message
came from), send a message to:
In the message body, write ONLY these words:
        subscribe updates-aero


To remove your name from the updates-aero mailing list, send a
message to:       listmanager@quest.arc.nasa.gov
In the message body, write ONLY these words:
        unsubscribe updates-aero

If you have Web access, please visit Aerospace Team Online
site at         http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero

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