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STELLAR Curriculum

Astronaut Training -- three related STELLAR activities in which students imagine they are astronaut trainees and do "astronaut" performance tests that would help them function even if they became dizzy or got motion sickness during space flight.

    Mannequin Madness (3-5) is a test of spatial recognition; test of ability to distinguish left from right.

    Shazam! (3-5) is a test of reaction time; test of how quickly they can react to a given stimulus.

    Smart and Snappy (3-5) is a test of dexterity with non dominant hand.

Microgravity Visual Perception
    How Many Pencils? (K-4) The students investigate binocular and single (monocular) vision work.

    To Absorb or to Scatter? (5-8) introduces students to the concept of absorption and scattering of light in "transparent" materials.

    The Refractive Index of Water (9-12) deepens understanding of the properties of light.

    Seeing at the Right Angle (4-8) students experience how, in relying completely on visual cues to do a task in an odd spatial environment, confusing optical illusions can occur.

    Straight Ahead K-6: students determine how a person's ability to walk on a line is affected by conditions that confuse the sense organs needed to navigate.

    What You See Is Not Always What You Get (3-6): students will learn about how they receive and process information through their senses and how the principles of light relate to what they see.

Cardiovascular Module
    Why Giraffes Don't Faint (5-8) students investigate how human blood flow and blood pressure are affected in gravity and microgravity conditions. Through classroom discussions, they develop theories about why fainting occurs in humans returning from space and how NASA scientists might find ways to prevent fainting by studying the anatomy and physiology of giraffes.

    Neutral Buoyancy & Simulated Weightlessness (6-8) introduces students to NASA research that uses water immersion experiments to study the effects of weightlessness on the vascular system.

    Heads Up, Heads Down (9-12) What do lying in bed and living in space have in common? That's what researchers for NASA's Life and Microgravity Sciences Spacelab Mission are trying to find out. By studying the performance of test subjects who must lie in bed for 17 days, the NASA researchers hope to better understand how astronauts will perform while in microgravity. In this activity, students conduct a similar study, but without the 17 days of bed rest.

    Effects of a Closed Environment on Living Things (9-12) - students investigate living organisms in a closed environment.

An Idea to a Flight Payload: (4-8) A Simulation in which students will be introduced to the process of how an idea for an experiment becomes a NASA biological flight payload.

The STELLAR Program at NASA Ames Research Center offers K-12 teachers a unique opportunity to experience science in the laboratory setting. It is a "hands-on" science training program for teachers interested in improving their knowledge and skills in science, math and technology.

Through this experience, they create new science classroom activities which become available on the Web, CD-ROMs, video, and printed publications.


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