NASA eClips™ Resources Shared with Solar System Ambassadors
On January 25th, 2022, educators from the National Institute of Aerospace’s Center for Integrative STEM Education (NIA-CISE) recently presented “NASA eClips: Engaging Videos, Activities, and Resources for Formal and Nonformal Audiences” during a NASA Solar System Ambassadors Professional Development Training Webinar. The Solar System Ambassadors Program (SSA) is a public outreach program designed to work with motivated volunteers across the nation. These volunteers ("Ambassadors") communicate the excitement of NASA's space exploration missions and information about recent discoveries to people in their local communities – making NASA eClips an excellent resource for them to learn about.
Presenters guided participants in an exploration of the NASA eClips suite of resources, including the professionally produced "Our World, Real World" and "Ask SME: Close-up with a NASA Subject Matter Expert" videos, as well as student-produced Spotlite videos. The "Our World" videos help students in grades 3-5 understand the difference between science (the natural world) and engineering (the designed world). "Real World" segments, for students in grades 6-8, connect classroom mathematics to 21st century careers and innovations. These videos are designed for students to develop an appreciation for mathematics through real world problem solving. The "Ask SME" (Subject Matter Expert) videos showcase personal interests and career journeys of featured SMEs while expanding student awareness of STEM careers. The Ambassadors were also introduced to the NASA eClips educator guides, which include "5E" lessons (which incorporate a 5-stage teaching sequence) that provide examples of ways teachers may effectively use video segments as an instructional tool. They also learned about "Guide Lites" – individual activities from Educator Guides that are well-suited for nonformal settings. Ambassadors found the guides to be “great resources filled with terminology” that would work well for pop-up events or science/STEM nights.
Participants also had an opportunity to investigate VALUE Bundles (Varied and Accessible Learning Resources for Universal Engagement), thematic sets of curated NASA eClips, and partner resources that will meet the needs of a variety of learners. In addition, the eClips presenters introduced webinar participants to the Spotlite Design Challenge – a tool the Ambassadors could use to encourage students to be content creators. For that challenge, student teams produce 90-120 second videos that debunk a science misconception. Finally, Ambassadors were introduced to the recently revised Elementary and Secondary Engineering Design Packets. They found the Engineering Design Packets to be transferable to any engineering challenge and several participants requested that they be considered for piloting the packets. Webinar participants included Kay Ferrari, the Solar System Ambassador Coordinator, and 64 Solar System Ambassadors. (Science Activation NASA eClips Award No: NNX16AB91A)
Ambassadors shared that the Our World and Real World videos are “engaging, informative, and relatable,” while Ask SME videos are “inclusive and inspiring” and “personalize NASA” by helping audiences “see the people in science.”