Rockets Rock Module Takes Off at Greenbriar Discovery Center
The Greenbriar Discovery Center obtained a new STEM module courtesy of a NASA Out-of-School Learning Grant. The module is currently being used in Session 2 of the program.
The Rockets Rock Module was designed by NASA engineers to provide students an understanding of Newton’s Third law of motion through designing processes, forces and interactions.
“It’s exciting because we have NASA right here in our back yard,” Greenbriar Discovery Center Site Coordinator Lillian Scafidi said. “They have also made us aware of the opportunities to bring our students there. It’s one thing for them to get excited about science and to work on projects together as a team but to extend that into a field trip would be pretty wonderful for them too.”
Megan Drozda, the Discovery Center Project Manager, and Scafidi traveled to the NASA Glenn Research Center in August for a workshop and pondered on what type of modules to bring to Greenbriar – the Rockets Rock Module is one that gained their attention.
Allison Kokely, a second grade STEM teacher at Pleasant Valley Elementary School, took the reins of teaching the new module.
“I really enjoy teaching the Rockets Rock Modules that NASA has provided us with. They do a great job integrating the design process into the activities,” Kokely said. “It also made it very easy for me to step in and begin teaching the course. Additionally, NASA provides a variety of activities that cater to students at all levels, so I've been able to map out my plans for the course in an order where the projects continue to become more complex over time.”
The Rockets Rock Module involves outside of the box thinking and creativity, something Scafidi hopes impacts students to be successful.
“There’s no right or wrong answer. It’s all of their minds coming together, trouble shooting and trying to figure out the solution to whatever the teacher is posing to them,” Scafidi said. “Anything to support and encourage science, technology, engineering, and math with students is going to be life-long learning for them, or it perhaps may ignite some type of passion that they would want to pursue for their career.”