AREN Conducts Summer Bridge Program for Rising High School Students
The AEROKATS and ROVER Education Network (AREN) introduces remote sensing to students and educators through hands-on experiential learning using novel NASA kite-borne technologies called Aeropods. Students learn the importance of mission operations and safety while exploring the world of local scale remote sensing.
From July 11-27, Sallie Smith (NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) conducted an AREN training event for the Aerospace Engineering Aviation Technology – Summer Bridge (AEAT) Program in support of Maryland’s Prince George’s County Public Schools.
Approximately 75 rising high school students and several educators were engaged in AREN kite flying, with an emphasis on remote sensing via aerial imaging with instrumented Aeropods. Curriculum elements also included hands-on exposure to the Forces of Flight during the events at Park Dale High School (Riverdale MD). Preparations made in advance included training for educators. The progression of activities with students included learning about mission operations (teamwork, communications, procedures, hazard awareness, and safety practices) using simple training kites prior to conducting full remote sensing missions using instrumented aeropods and large 7-10 ft (2-3 m) wingspan kites.
The program was enthusiastically received by students and educators, and discussions are underway to continue AREN infusion into the “Aerospace Engineering & Aviation Technology” program at DuVal High School (Lanham MD) in the fall.
"The aerokats should be a part of our program because it is very hands on and can be fun to work with. Flying kites is a good way to help the students understand the fundamentals of flight and how to manipulate them to gain lift. This exercise requires critical thinking, strong reflexes, good communication, being able to follow directions, and good team working skills."
Manav Parashar (HS Senior - student helper)
AREN is supported by NASA under cooperative agreement award number NNX16AB95A and is part of NASA's Science Activation Portfolio. Learn more about how Science Activation connects NASA science experts, real content, and experiences with community leaders to do science in ways that activate minds and promote deeper understanding of our world and beyond: https://science.nasa.gov/learners