RoundupReads NASA and TI challenge students to step up to STEM

NASA and TI challenge students to step up to STEM

How will the next generation of scientists and engineers transform the current technology from the one-year crew mission into success for the Journey to Mars? That’s the question NASA and Texas Instruments (TI) are asking students from 6th to 12th grade.
NASA and TI created a joint project, mISSion imaginaTIon, to encourage students to explore science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and engage them in the problem solving, reasoning and modeling practices that STEM professionals use every day.  Students will work through four challenges: food and nutrition, waste management, space debris, and living and working space. Each challenge asks students to look at the solutions and systems currently used on the space station and consider how to prepare for a future journey to Mars. The goal is to teach students to put STEM to use — just like NASA engineers and scientists do in their daily jobs.
Any student in grades 6 through 12 can participate. They can form teams of up to five, and each team requires an adult sponsor (teacher, parent, etc.). To complete the project, students must submit their design-challenge notebooks (available on the website) along with a one- to three-minute video describing their design process. The deadline for submitting videos and design notebooks is May 2.
The winning team will chat with a NASA expert about their solutions, as well as win technology from TI to aid them in their future explorations in STEM fields. 
The first challenge — What’s For Dinner? — launched in January. It asked students to imagine how to supply nutritious and tasty food to astronauts on a 36-month month mission to Mars. February’s challenge, Keep it Clean, deals with waste management in space. In March, the theme is Cabin Fever, and in April the last challenge, Shields Up!, will be released. Students can work on the challenges in any order and at any time. 
On the mISSion imaginaTIon website, NASA and TI provide a video with a subject-matter expert to introduce each challenge. There is a design notebook for the students to record their process and findings and a mentor notebook to provide guidance.
To find out more, visit mISSion imaginaTIon, sign up for the newsletter or join the Twitter conversation with @NASAedu and @TICalculators.