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NASA Goddard Trains Teachers to Use Coding Kits and Drones to Collect Atmospheric Data

In the summer of 2020 (13-17 July) Todd Toth from NASA Goddard worked with teachers in the Keystone Stem Education Alliance (POC: Dr. Dave Morgan). Each participant received a working weather station, as well as a Spike Prime or Vex IQ and the Parrot Mambo Drone. Teachers received week-long training (via scientists at NASA Goddard) to use the Spike Prime (Combining colorful LEGO building elements, easy-to-use hardware, and an intuitive drag-and-drop coding language based on Scratch) or Vex IQ (programmable, snap-together, robotics system) coding kits and a Parrot Mambo Drone where teachers learned how to code, fly and gather atmospheric data.

The second part of the training involved teachers learning to analyze their atmospheric data and send into The GLOBE Program. Participants learned about The GLOBE Program, protocols and apps. In particular, emphasis was placed on the GLOBE Cloud app and the GLOBE Middle School Weather Unit. Starting in January 2021, additional training will be provided to help participants embed the GLOBE Weather Unit into the existing curriculum. To further their knowledge about Clouds, Marilè Colón Robles (NASA Langley Research Center) was invited to do a presentation for this group. 

Participants could receive college credit if they desired. The tuition was significantly reduced from $1,500 to $600, and the participants received a stipend that more than covered the cost of tuition. The intention is to complete all of the training this summer.

News origin: United States of America