Friday, February 28, 2014

To Keep in the Loop

Hey friends,

I haven't been posted too many things on here, but I wanted to let you I am blogging on a regular basis through my district blog. That site can be found here:!

I will try to post some crafty creative things that I have done on here in the next few days. I have a secret pal who I've been making some awesome gifts for! Keep checking up on me. But for now, here's an adorable video from Kid President that I want to dedicate to my mom!

NASA Speaker in My Classroom!

Wowzas! It has been a long time since I posted, but look what happened in my classroom in February!  This is a article release written by my school district about our NASA speaker. 


NASA Aerospace Engineer Alicia Cianciolo is visiting the elementary GATE program this week to teach a real-world lesson to the robotics class. Each class will build model Mars rovers in small groups, making decisions about what to put on the rover based on actual considerations that NASA scientists make.

Students decide which things are important to include in the rover based on the amount of time and money they have. “They get realistic engineering “trades” – to trade the requirements imposed on a specific mission,” said Cianciolo. “It’s remarkably similar to discussions real-life scientists have. The trades we do and the discussions we have are similar.”

Students must balance a cost cap, mass limit, power limit,and schedule constraints. “Some of the things that are really cool, you can’t get into the rover,” said GATE robotics teacher Ashley Jevorutsky. “Like the nuclear power source, which costs $80 million.” Students had a total budget of $90 million.

Cianciolo lets the kids play with the numbers and figures,and use hands-on materials to model their rovers. “We learn way more from the cases that fail,” she told the class Monday. “So you can’t be afraid to make a mistake. And if it doesn’t work the first time, rearrange it to make it fit.”

This is the type of lesson Jevorutsky likes to use with her kids. “We try to give them projects where there is no right answer, that there’s ten different ways to do it,” said Ashley Jevorutsky, GATE robotics teacher. “That’s what it’s like in real life.”

 For the last ten years, Cianciolo has worked with Mars rovers, putting them in orbit or landing them on Mars. She lives in Missouri and is able to work primarily by computer to telecommute with NASA Langley Research Center in Virginia.

“In Virginia,” she said, “There are lots of NASA scientists,so most kids are familiar with the program. But here, most kids don’t know anyone who works for NASA, so I think it’s important to talk to them about what I do.”