Sunday, March 12, 2017

Washington Industrial Technology Education Association

Friday the 10th found me in Wenatchee, Washington speaking to teachers about using near space to teach STEM.

The main message if my presentation was that the most interesting place on Earth is accessible from anyplace in Earth.

It's always a wonderful experience to share my passion of near space with like-minded teachers.

Teachers agreed with my comment that students learn best when they encounter a discrepant event while immersed in project-based learning.

BalloonSats are a major project-based learning activity. And most students understand that mountains are colder than the land around them because of elevation. But when a BalloonSat equiped with an external temperature sensor detects that the air warms up above 50,000 feet, most students will be surprised and puzzled.

Students can be taught that the Stratosphere gets warmer due to ozone. Most will even remember that for a test. But when discover that for themselves, they'll learn it more strongly and for longer.

So let's make near space available for more students.

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