Students, teachers connect live to Discovery mission
CET staff Don Watson (right) and Stacy Keller (left) use NASA's events and launches to help create web-based educational programming for students and teachers.
February 25, 2011 ·
Space Shuttle Discovery successfully launched into space late Thursday afternoon from Cape Canaveral. A Wheeling man is using the mission to help create educational programs for teachers and students.
Discovery is heading to the International Space Station with a crew of six, as well as a load of supplies and a robot astronaut.
Manager of the Broadcast Services at the Center for Educational Technologies at Wheeling Jesuit University, Don Watson is helping plan new educational programs based on the Discovery mission.
“Well the main thing that Robonaut 2 is going to be doing for this particular mission is just getting there. Getting it on board and getting installed and running through a series of tests to make sure it is operational. There are sporadic live events whether they are EVAs, or things related to the docking of the space station. There are activities planned around that,” said Watson.
The goal of the educational programs are to help spark student’s interest in science, technology, engineering and math careers. The programs also provide live opportunities for students and teachers to ask questions and interact with NASA experts, like Watson.
This is Discovery's last flight as NASA's space shuttle program winds down. Watson said that alone makes this mission one worth following.
“This is history and it is quite a major accomplishment that the shuttle program has been able to do and achieve and we have learned so many things. I mean when you look at your cell phone technology and you look at smart phones and iPhones and iPads and touch screens on computers all of things through the space program are spin-offs that have made our life better and now we are going to moving to the next stage,” he said.
For a link to more information on the Discovery mission click here.