Teacher Assistant Julie Kemp, 16, uses a gauge to determine
how hight the rockets sour.
Interactive NASA trip
will aid student work
|Tuesday's broadcast on KIXE Channel 9 will coincide
with space-related science projects launched last month by Shasta
High School Students.
By Jeff Munson
R-s staff reporter
For many teens. the final frontier in adolescence is to
graduate from high school.
But a group of Shasta High students is looking to the heavens
and NASA for answers to a series of space-related science
projects launched last month by teacher Brian Grigsby.
On Tuesday, about 60 Shasta students will joint their peers
from around the country in a live, interactive "field trip"
from NASA headquarters in Cape Canaveral, Fla.
The program, called "Countdown" begins at 10 a.m. and will
be broadcast on Redding Public Television KIXE Channel 9.
"Countdown" will focus on the recent launch of the Mars Global
Surveyor satellite and the planned December mission of another
unmanned space vehicle the Mars Pathfinder.
| During the broadcast, students will have a
chnace to ask questions via e-mail to a team of NASA scientists
and engineers who have worked on the two Mars spacecraft.
Tuesday's program marks the first time Shasta students have
"I thought it would be nice for them to see how science is
changing and is constantly pushing the limits of what we know."
Teacher Brian Grigsby
Shasta High School
participated in interactive television broadcasts
carried by KIXE. The public television station plans to offer
more next year.
"For students, the electronic field trips are a unique learning
experience that keeps them curren with the technology of the
times," said KIXE spokeswoman Kathy Coulter.
Teacher Grigsby said he hopes "Countdown" will provide an
engaging way of teaching students about space programs. NASA
and the Mars expeditions.
Shasta student Tobe Marchione, 15, pulls a cord
that uncorks a model rocket. He and partner Jason Norderum, 14,
built the rocket with a two-liter plastic bottle and cardboard.
| "I thought it would be nice for them to see
how science is changing and is constantly pushing the limits
of what we know," he said.
To prepare for the broadcast, students ahve done experiements
related to the Mars projects.
In one study, students placed a tiny camera on a remote
control truck and maneuvered the truck through a "Martian"
obstacle course by watching it on a computer screen.
The experiment was to demonstrate how scientists plan to
maneuver the unmanned space vehicle by way of satellite, as
it roams the Martian landscape to collect samples of the surface.
| In another experiment, students worked in pairs
to build rockets from two-liter plastic soda bottles.
The rockets were launched by compressing 60 pounds of air
into empty bottles and then uncorking them from a launch pad.
In one class, students Harlen Robinson, 16, and Jennifer
Webb, 15, made a rocket that climbed 160 feet before plunging
into a tree. The pair said they used aerodynamic fins that
were stronger than ones used by their classmates.
"The stronger the fins, the higher it flies," Jennifer said.