Research and Application News
Astronaut photographs inspire next generation of scientists
30 December 2014
Students from Connetquot High School in Bohemia, New York, used astronaut imagery of Earth to compare impact craters on Earth with those on other planets. The images were provided through the Expedition Earth and Beyond (EEAB) program, which connects students in grades 5 and higher with pictures taken by astronauts aboard the International Space Station.
"The images provide a hook for students to formulate questions, think about how to collect and analyse data, and then draw their own conclusions," says EEAB Director Paige Graff. "The whole idea is authentic science you can do in the classroom, to give students an experience based on their interests and motivation."
Teachers have used the images to help students grasp geographical, geological, environmental and other concepts. In addition to comparing features on Earth to those on other worlds, student investigations have analysed changes in Earth's glaciers, bodies of water and shorelines using images taken of the same place over time.
Image credit: NASA - Upheaval Dome, Utah, as seen from the ISS