NASA might not have a flight center in Indiana, but that didn’t stop BSE fourth graders from interacting with a NASA scientist! Through NASA’s Digital Learning Network, Brooks School Elementary fourth graders spent two hours this week with David Alexander, STEM Scientist at NASA’s Neil Armstrong (formerly Dryden) Flight Research Center. Alexander’s lessons focused on physics and aeronautic principles (flight, force and motion) and on NASA’s historical and current work.
Throughout each hour-long session, Alexander interacted with students, asking for their questions and perspectives on aeronautics, space science, and desired careers. Said fourth grade teacher Amy Murch, who spear-headed and organized the NASA lessons, “Students were engaged and intrigued by our Stem Scientist, David. He was very funny, playful and knowledgeable about his work. He encouraged students in the areas of math, science, and the arts. He shared personal stories of his journey to NASA and how much he loves doing what he does. He left students wanting to discover their own passions and helped them to think now about how can they achieve their goals in life.”
The connection that Mrs. Murch’s students have established with NASA isn’t over. “My students are in the midst of their first Genius Hour Projects,” said Mrs. Murch. “They’ll be connecting with STEM Scientist Alexander again later in the year to share their learning. I have students experimenting with robotics, exploring dry ice, creating volcanoes and building video games… all of which David covered in his presentations. The boys and girls were thrilled to discover that the personal interests they are pursuing during Genius Hour have ‘real world’ applications.” Who knows? Perhaps one of these BSE students will take part in a 2035 mission to Mars!