Space Shuttle Discovery Lands This Morning – Make it a Teachable Moment

 Posted by DrJeff on April 20th, 2010

 Copyright 2010  |  About this blog


Photo Caption: Space Shuttle Discovery docked at the International Space Station on April 16,2010. The Leonardo Multi-Purpose Logistics Module is visible in Discovery’s payload bay. More at the NASA image library for STS-131.


This is a Teachable Moments in the News QuickLinks Post. It connects a news story with this Blog’s existing powerful library of Posts and Resource Pages. The cited Posts and Pages provide a deep understanding of concepts in the earth and space sciences relevant to the news story. Teachers—the Posts and Pages are also designed for use as lessons, allowing you to easily bring current science into the classroom as a teachable moment. Each cited Post is outlined in the Teachers Lesson Planner, which includes the Post’s essential questions, concepts, objectives, and math skills.


Space Shuttle Discovery (STS-131) is landing today. There are only 3 more flights of the Shuttle through September 2010 before retirement of the fleet. Watch Discovery’s landing on NASA TV with your class this morning.


Make this a teachable moment! Below are previous posts at Blog on the Universe that powerfully address the science, history, and politics of human spaceflight—and all of them embrace the notion that science education is about conceptual understanding at an emotional level.


I suggest you start with my February 6, 2010 post Shuttle Endeavour About to Blast Off on its Second to Last Mission, where I talk about what it will be like for all of us when the Space Shuttle stops flying, and the era of this remarkable machine fades into history. This is a very powerful lesson for students that may not realize they are living through a moment in history.


Finally, if you have memories of the Space Shuttle you’d like to share with other readers of this Blog, you’re invited to leave a comment below.



Posts to explore in class and at home—


The Business Trip

Essential questions: How far is ‘Outer Space’? What does this imply for the thickness of Earth’s atmosphere?

Weekly Challenge 4: You Want Me to Do What With a Bathroom Scale?

Essential question: Why are astronauts weightless in space?


TMN QuickLinks: Shuttle Atlantis in Orbit, Make it a Teachable Moment

Essential question: When a space shuttle launches—how heavy, how fast, how far?


Commentary on Blue Ribbon Panel Exploring NASA’s Strategic Options for Human Space Flight

Essential question: What should be the goal of human space flight?


Shuttle Atlantis Home! Prompts Me to Look at America’s Future … and I’m Troubled

Essential questions: Is the end of the space shuttle era a symptom of a larger problem for America? Are we taking science and technology education seriously?


Teachers and Parents: make sure to read about The Teacher’s Toolbox which is designed to help you put this Blog to work for your class and your children. If you’re new to Blog on the Universe read About this Blog.



Photocredit: NASA


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