NASA’s Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel, or HS3, mission studied hurricanes and tropical storms during the 2012-2014 Atlantic hurricane seasons. Educators brought the science of HS3 to students in workshops during the all three years of the mission.
The HS3 mission used the NASA Global Hawk remotely piloted aircraft. NASA’s Global Hawks, normally located at the Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California, were temporarily flown to the east coast and were stationed at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia in August and September 2012-2014, providing scientists with closer access to Atlantic hurricanes and tropical storms.
In 2014, NASA’s WB-57 aircraft also joined the campaign. The WB-57 is normally housed at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, home of the NASA WB-57 High Altitude Research Program.
In addition to completing cutting-edge atmospheric science, the HS3 team shared the excitement of their scientific mission with K-12 students and teachers across the United States through summer teacher workshops, educator days at NASA Wallops, in-person classroom visits by mission personnel and live remote classroom chats and flight/hurricane tracking.
During each of the three summers before the mission, a total of 95 K-12 teachers attended week-long workshops at NASA Wallops and NASA Armstrong to familiarize themselves with aspects of the mission and its educational component.
The NASA Armstrong “Airborne Research Experience for Educators” workshop brought teachers from across the U.S. to the AERO Institute in Palmdale, California, for an intensive workshop to learn about computer programming, grant writing, engineering design and NASA Airborne Science Program missions.
The NASA Wallops HS3/GPM/SMAP workshop brought teachers from across the U.S. for an intensive workshop to learn about the HS3, Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) and Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) missions, airborne science and NASA educator resources.
As part of each workshop, teachers learned how to connect their classrooms to the upcoming Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel mission and other NASA Airborne Science Program missions throughout the school year.
Educator Day at NASA Wallops
During each year of the HS3 campaign, NASA Wallops hosted “HS3 Educator Days.” During these day-long tours, groups of educators visited Wallops where they learned about the HS3 mission, saw the Global Hawk and operations center and met with HS3 personnel. In total, 57 local educators had the opportunity to participate in these events.
The HS3 team reached out to students and teachers by giving in-person presentations to local middle and high schools in the Wallops area. In 2014, these presentations reached over 350 students in grades 5-12. During many of these educational events, classrooms directly connected to the HS3 mission through the NASA Mission Tools Suite for Education (MTSE) website.
Remote Flight/Hurricane Tracking and Live Chats with Mission Personnel
The NASA Airborne Science Program’s Mission Tools Suite for Education (MTSE) website allows K-12 classrooms across the U.S. and around the world to track the locations of NASA aircraft in real-time and participate in live text-chats with mission scientists, engineers, pilots and others.
MTSE was developed in 2012 as a result of the HS3 personnel’s desire to directly connect K-12 classrooms to their mission. The tool has subsequently been used by many other NASA Airborne Science Program missions.
Using the MTSE website, the HS3 mission directly connected with more than 3,000 K-12 students and their teachers (2012-2014) in over 130 classrooms.
For the MTSE website, visit www.nserc.und.edu/outreach/k-12/hs3-mtse.flv.
For more information about NASA’s HS3 Hurricane mission, visit www.nasa.gov/hs3.
Filed Under: Aerospace + defense