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How The Professionals Test Aircrafts Safely

In Measurement, Ratios, and Graphing: Safety First, students will learn about NASA’s Aviation Safety Program and how engineers are testing aircraft at extreme angles in wind tunnels to make sure they remain a safe form of transportation for all future air travelers. They will also learn about NASA FutureFlight Central, a virtual facility that simulates our nation’s airports in real time, allowing air traffic controllers, pilots, and airport personnel to interact with each other and test new technologies. Students will observe NASA engineers using mathematics to predict airplane behavior and to analyze data. By conducting hands-on and web activities, students will make connections between NASA research and the mathematics, science, and technology they learn in their classrooms.

Cue Card Questions

Image to left: NASA CONNECTâ„¢ uses an animated co-host to pose questions throughout each of its broadcasts. Credit: NASA

Norbert, the host from NASA CONNECTâ„¢, poses questions throughout the broadcast. These questions direct the instruction and encourage students to think about the concepts being presented. When viewing a videotaped version of NASA CONNECTâ„¢, educators have the option to use Norbert’s Pause, which gives students an opportunity to reflect and record their answers on the Cue Cards. Norbert appears with a remote to indicate an appropriate time to pause the videotape and discuss the answers to the questions.

Hands-On Activity

“In the Safety Zone,” the hands-on activity, is teacher-created and is aligned with the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) standards, the National Science Education (NSE) standards, the International Technology Education Association (ITEA) standards, and the National Educational Technology (NET) standards. Students will assume the role of an air traffic controller (ATC) to safely and efficiently guide aircraft to their destinations. Through plotting, measuring, and calculating, students will experience the stressful job of an ATC.

Image to right: In the activity “In the Safety Zone” students get to assume the role of an Air Traffic Controller. Credit: NASA

Instructional Technology Activity

Gate to Gate, the instructional technology activity, is aligned with the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) standards, the National Science Education (NSE) standards, the International Technology Education Association (ITEA) standards, and the National Educational Technology (NET) standards. This multimedia CD-ROM takes students behind the scenes to meet the people who manage air traffic and highlights some of the tools they use everyday. Students will navigate through the phases of a flight from San Francisco to New York and become familiar with the air traffic management facilities that monitor their flight. Gate to Gate is available through the Central Operation of Resources for Educators.

Resources

Teacher and student resources support, enhance, and extend the NASA CONNECTâ„¢ program. Books, periodicals, pamphlets and Web sites provide teachers and students with background information and extensions. In addition to the resources listed in this lesson guide, the NASA CONNECTâ„¢ Web site, offers online resources for teachers, students and parents. Teachers who would like to get the most from the NASA CONNECTâ„¢ Web site can visit the “Lab Manager,” located in “Dan’s Domain.”


Excerpted from the Measurement, Ratios, and Graphing: Safety First Educator Guide