Through a variety of audiovisuals, Lower School students document their class experiences.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

World Space Week- Two "Stellar" Skype Chats: Commander Nader & Mike Lutomski!

1. Ecuadorian Cosmonaut: Commander Nader

·       We learned that he is a cosmonaut who got trained in Russia. We also learned that Ecuador’s second satellite, Krysaor, was built to capture the signal of Ecuador’s first satellite, Pegasus (R. N.).
·       We learned that when a nanosatellite is built, the pieces are very small. If a measurement is off by even a fraction of a MILLIMETER, then the whole project can be a disaster (J. D.)!
·       We learned that Sir Isaac Newton explained a law where things will move forever, unless something runs into it (G. M. S.).
·       Cartoons are super important in our lives because they inspire us, and they inspired Commander Nader, to want to learn more about space. When he was 2 ½ years old he saw a TV show where Pegasus flew a boy to the sky, and this image inspired him to think that a fantasy like that was for him. Space has “his name all over it” (E.B.)
·       When you keep dreaming, your dreams get bigger and then you can achieve them (A.V.).

2. (Retired) Risk-Manager for the International Space Station: Mike Lutomski!

·       It takes about two years to train an astronaut to work on the ISS (R. N.)

·       Astronauts on the ISS eat tortillas instead of bread, because bread can crumble and the pieces can get into the other machines (J.M. P.).

·       Mice were just sent to the ISS to learn about their muscles and bones and how they react without gravity (J.V.)

·       Mr. Lutomski told us that when the rockets took off there was about 3G’s of force, which probably made the mice get squished in their cages! (J.F.B.)

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Students Speak with Cosmonauts Aboard the International Space Station and in Person!

Universidad Tecnologica Equinoccial (UTE) in Quito.

Cosmonaut F.N. Yurchikhin.

Student reflections of the day’s events, which included speaking live with cosmonauts aboard the Russian portion of the ISS, as well as speaking with cosmonauts in person!*    
  •    (I.E.) When we went to see the conference on the cosmonauts I realized how much the political world affects all other projects. I learned that the ISS probably travels 50 times faster than a plane…I also learned that the next space cosmonaut team has a girl in it, which is super cool. GIRL POWER!!!!
  • *(A.N.) One of the things that interested me the most was the part of the history of the ISS. It was pretty amazing how it has improved since they started with that “project”. One thing I didn’t understand is how were the two first pieces of the ISS put together if it was going that fast (17,500 mph)? It was an awesome trip. 
  •     (I.M.) It was so cool to go there that there are no ways of describing the moment. I could tell you that it was cool, exiting, fun, and energetic, and it was all of those, but there are no words to actually describe how I felt exactly at the moment. The coolest and most understandable part of all the conference was probably when the cosmonauts spoke to us. The answers to the questions where kind of tricky but really intriguing. One thing I found interesting was that the Americans and the Russians built the ISS together, even if they were enemies in the 1960’s. 
  •       (J.M.) It was a pleasure to be there because it helped me see how much the world has advance in technology. I learned that even though we are all different, science gets as all together. An example is when Neil Armstrong said “A small step for a man and a big step for humanity” and he could have said a small step for a man and a “big step for America” but he was modest and he did not.  
  •     (J.F.P) It is an amazing opportunity to talk to an actual cosmonaut. I find it fascinating that I could communicate with someone so far away from myself, and the literal rest of the world, for that matter. 
  •       (I.L) I am so proud of my country, Ecuador, because the technology here is starting to advance; we are able to talk to the IUSS, make our Ecuadorian satellites and more people in this country are starting to get interested in space and technology.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Afterschool Class: Coding and Robots!

During our afterschool Coding Class in the spring, students learned how to program a rover from Smartlab Toys. Adding their own twist of an obstacle course and music, here is a short clip of their achievements:

Monday, May 26, 2014

Water Demonstration Day

Note: Students created Power Points to demonstrate their understanding of various water issues, and also created a science experiment to connect applicable water properties to the issue being discussed (such as capillary action, adhesion/cohesion, density and more).

(By A.B.) On Water Demonstration Day I watched as the parents stuffed and hustled themselves into our tiny classroom. Since none of my parents could come, I waited but, finally, someone came! I felt so nervous and shy, like I was talking to royalty. But soon I found it easy and fun, and I started talking to them like a friend, and they looked like they understood everything! Now I felt like royalty. They stayed to watch my experiment, and I explained how water traveled across a paper towel (It’s capillary action!). This made me feel very professional, and I didn’t want the hour to end.

 (By M.P.) Knock! Knock! “Come in!” said Ms. Margot. Boom! All you could hear was children talking, practicing and getting ready. And I practiced a lot! “So let’s begin,” I said to my mom, while she sat down. Beep! I opened the box and took out my experiment (about filtering water naturally), and at the same time same time she took out the camera. My mom liked it, just like I had a good time J.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Making STEM Real: Skype Chat with NASA Robotics Engineer! (Written in Collaborative Teams)

Preface: Ms. DeLatte is an MIT graduate in aerospace engineering, and she also interned at NASA’s JPL and KSC. She is currently part of the Satellite Servicing Capabilities Office (i.e. testing) at NASA’s Goddard Center.
          What we just did was awesome!!!  It was so good we can barely describe how we felt. It all began last Friday afternoon when Ms. Margot turned on her computer, and all was silent. Everyone was eager to know what was happening. Suddenly we saw a FACE in the screen!!! It was... the engineer Danielle DeLatte…Tan, tan, tan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes! We Skype chatted with an engineer who works at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, USA!  Her name is Danielle DeLatte and she studied robotics and engineering in college, even though when she was little some people told her that she might not be able to meet her goals. But this didn’t stop her from becoming a space engineer! Actually, when she was in elementary school she loved science and math, but she didn’t even know that engineering existed (we do!). When DG asked what Ms. DeLatte did when people told her this, she said to “ignore them and prove them wrong.” How did she reach her ultimate goal of becoming an engineer?
“Passion, making goals, and taking advantage of opportunities”, said Ms. DeLatte.

 We had a lot of questions for her about engineering, and she knew everything about it. Right now she’s working on a robotic arm, like the Canada arm that is on the International Space Station (ISS). We learned that it can be dangerous to be close to a robot when it is functioning, so they put a light as a warning signal for people to not get close to it when it’s working. We got to see it in action! She also introduced us to her team of mechanical engineers, and she showed us some of the satellites that have been built at Goddard. She also told us about her favorite project, which was working on a rough terrain wheelchair project at MIT. Her ultimate goal is to have humans work with robots in space.

One of our many questions was about why the earth is hotter than outer space, and we found out that it’s because earth is surrounded by an atmosphere. Our questions were intelligent, and our answers were good too, like:

1)    Why did she create a lesson to make satellites out of candy instead of recycled items? (Because it’s more fun for kids).

2)   Who inspired her? (She got to meet Sally Ride!).

3)   What was it like to graduate from the International Space University in France? (Very special, and everything is in English). 

It was the BEST half hour ever and, sadly, we had to end the call because of time. NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! We think that Ms. Danielle is a great role model, and speaking with her was a unique experience. We were very lucky to chat with her. ☺☺

Sunday, February 2, 2014

EXA Invitation to Participate in the Inauguration of Krysaor's first Satellite Signal & Video

 Teacher note: The Ecuadorian Civilian Space Agency (EXA) invited students who had participated in one, or both, of their pilot programs regarding satellite education. The purpose of the event was to celebrate in the inauguration of the signal and live video of its second satellite, Krysaor, as well as witness the recovery of the signal of its first satellite, Pegasus; which had previously been sideswiped by space debris. The trip to Guayaquil, from Quito, Ecuador, was a memorable event for one and all; and undoubtedly, the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) event left a memorable impression for our 21st century learners!

Outward Bound Camping in Nanegal, Ecuador (Student Reflections)

Teacher note: Written by city kids who live at 9,500 keep that perspective in mind (where we rarely live with insects).

(By B. A) I woke up at six AM. I was ready to go at 7:20AM. When I got to the bus, the engine started. I was ready to go! I shouted, "Bye Mom! Bye Dad!" They shouted the same. When we got to Nanegalito, everyone was excited. That camping night I was so hyper! I giggled all night. The hardest part was to quiet up. I learned that you don't need to be afraid of bugs. I passed my most happiest day of my life.

(By A.C.G) Wow! I loved it! it was awesome! My first camping trip was the best, and all my friends were there with me. I learned lots of lessons. Being with bugs all night was challenging, BUT I'm glad I did it because now I know that bugs aren't bad and they are also scared of us. I learned that you have to know which plants you can eat, and which plants you can't eat. The farmer who worked there cut two giant pieces of sugar cane, and we ate it ALL. We were so hyper that we laughed all night. The next day, when my group was getting the tent down, we found a super, extra weird grasshopper with huge legs! We went on a 3 hour hike and pretty much the only thing we did was talk and drink water (and pee)! When I woke up the next day my hair was all puffy, and Mr. Millis (our PE teacher) loved it. It was the best trip ever!