Tag Archives: Science

NASA Asteroids!

Screen shot 2013-02-27 at 10.27.18 AMPatty Marina & Ashley Connington Grade 6 Science classes learned about planetary science in a fantastic video conference about Asteroids with Dave Mazza from NASA’s Glenn Research Center

“This module helps students learn about NASA missions to study asteroids so they can gauge for themselves the threat of future asteroid collisions.” http://www.nasa.gov/centers/glenn/home/index.html

See more of NASA’s educational video conference programs on their distance learning network (DLN) site.

Mr. Mazza encouraged the students to study math. He said that we live in a very exciting time in which there is a lot to be discovered about asteroids and planetary science. He emphasized that math is a critical subject to master if you want to become an astronaut or research scientist.

Think about working for NASA someday:
NASA Facilities and Centers around the country

  • Jet Propulsion Lab is in Pasadena, California
  • Train to be an astronaut at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas
  • Launch into space at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida
  • Be a research Scientist at The Glen Research Center Cleveland, Ohio


A few famous asteroid hits:

Interesting Facts:

  • NASA was created in 1958
  • 1972 –  The last time we were on the moon
  • Most of our asteroids are located between Mars and Jupiter
  • The largest asteroid is about 330 miles in diameter
  • The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs was 7 miles in diameter, but most asteroids are very small
  • Number of asteroids in the main asteroid belt over 1 kilometer in size is: 1 to 2 million
  • First asteroid was found in 1801. Today we know of 500,000
  • You can name an asteroid if you can find it
  • Asteroids are made up of different materials which may prove to be very useful: special minerals
  • All the asteroids together weigh 4% of the moon
  • For every impact on the moon, the earth has been hit 25 times.
  • Meteorite showers are remnants of a comet that we see as the earth passes through the comet’s tail.
  • You could probably find dust from a meteor on the roof of your house.
  • In 2003 Japan landed an unmanned spacecraft on a small asteroid named Itokawa.


A Sampling of Student Questions:

How would you get rid of an asteroid approaching earth? You don’t want to blow it up because all the pieces would cause more damage. You would send something up to try to move its orbit so it would pass by and not hit earth.

Are aliens real? We have not found any evidence. But if there are aliens, they will read your texts someday. Texts go up to a satellite and some keep traveling through space so our sounds go through space and could be heard. But we have not found any evidence yet.

Will space mess up communication? Solar energy interferes with communications in space and on power grids on earth.

Did you want to be an astronaut? When Dave was young they only took military test pilots and you had to have perfect eyesight. Therefore, he decided to become a scientist! today you just need your degree in one of many sciences and you can become a mission specialist. We need more women astronauts!

How do you get a career at NASA? Look for shadowing opportunities. Look for an internship in NASA when you are a senior in high school.

What are you doing to advance the technology that we don’t know about? We need you! We have the James Webb Telescope due to launch in the next few years. “

The James Webb Space Telescope (sometimes called JWST) is a large, infrared-optimized space telescope. The project is working to a 2018 launch date. Webb will find the first galaxies that formed in the early Universe, connecting the Big Bang to our own Milky Way Galaxy.

james webb

“Asteroids present a mysterious, ancient, and potentially Earth-damaging threat within our Solar System. Many formed during the beginnings of our Solar System, 4.5 billion years ago, and some of them have very different, and sometimes eccentric, egg-shaped orbits. Occasionally their paths do cross the Earth’s orbit, and at times they enter the atmosphere where they either burn up as meterors or land as meteorites. Asteroids have created large features on the Earth, such as craters and water basins. This module helps students learn about NASA missions to study asteroids so they can gauge for themselves the threat of future asteroid collisions.”

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The Bronx Zoo

May 10, 2011. Lisa Passudetti’s grade 8 Life Science

Leaping Lemurs! Conservation on the Edge

Grades 6-8, Approx. 50 minutes
Take your students to the heart of Madagascar. Visit diverse habitats and explore the relationships between lemurs and their environments. Live cameras will transport your class to the Bronx Zoo’s new Madagascar! exhibit, where students will observe lemurs, fossas, and a ring-tailed mongoose, and make decisions on how to best protect them and their native habitats.

Madagascar, Conserving Biodiversity

Grades 9-12, Approx. 50 minutes
How do scientists protect the future of a species? Students will answer this question as they explore the diverse world of lemurs at the Bronx Zoo’s new Madagascar! exhibit. Live cameras will transport your class to our lemur exhibits, where students will explore the world of biodiversity. Through observation and classroom activities, students will learn what it takes to ensure a future for lemurs. This program has a strong focus on the role of genetics and geography in wildlife conservation, and includes visiting our fossa and ring-tailed mongoose exhibits.

Many thanks to Ami Dobelle, Distance Learning Coordinator for The Bronx Zoo

Bronx Zoo: Moves and Meals

Montebello grade 3 students visited us for ‘Moves and Meals’ presented by Erica Sopha at The Bronx Zoo.

Description: There seems to be no end to the ways in which animals move. Some slither, swim, hop, fly, run, crawl, and swing. In this lesson students explore the many different ways animals move about in order to find their food and to avoid becoming someone else’s food!

Bronx Zoo: Size and Shape

Two Montebello Elementary Kindergarten groups visited the Middle School today for a virtual visit to the Bronx Zoo. The lesson tied sizes and shapes to animal types. Bronx Zoo educator, Erica Sopha explained the concepts clearly and introduced the animals in a very friendly manner. We loved Marcio the Armadillo!

Program Description: “Why do giraffes have such long necks?  Students consider this and other questions about how an animal’s size and shape are related to its way of life. By observing a variety of animals, students discover some fundamental concepts about how size and shape help an animal survive. Students also draw conclusions about where an animal lives and what it eats.” http://www.bronxzoo.com/educators/distance-learning.aspx

We also met Joey the Madagascar Hissing Cockroach. We learned that he hisses to scare away predators and that the male cockroaches have horns.

Liberty Science this week

LIBERTY SCIENCE CENTER Montebello Elementary students will be visiting SMS for 3 programs this week: Shocking Static Electricity; Mixtures and Solutions; Geometry and Nature.

Tornado Alley

tornado alleyOctober 22, 2009. Marissa Cassese’s grade 6 Digital Literacy class connected with students at the John Marshall Middle SchoolWichita Public Schools in Kansas, heart of Tornado Alley. Marissa posted a collaboration request on CAPSPACE (Collaborations Around the Planet)

“Our 6th grade class has been researching catastrophic natural disasters in the United States. We would like to video conference with a class of approximately the same grade level to ask them questions about hurricanes, volcanic eruptions, hailstorms, lightning storms, etc., that they have experienced.”

David Clark, science teacher at John Marshall, responded. Suffern students created a list of questions which Mr. Clark’s students answered. The discussion between the schools provided an authentic primary resource for our students who are researching Natural Disasters. We thank Mr. Clark’s students for their time and we look forward to future communication between our schools.