Tuesday, March 02, 2010

NASA Announces Partnership with Texas Instruments

NASA and Texas Instruments (TI) announced a new partnership between TI and NASA's Human Research Program Education Outreach (HRPEO) project at the Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA) conference held in Austin, Texas, earlier this year.

The kick-off event for the partnership between HRPEO and TI was a workshop held by HRPEO personnel at Johnson Space Center (JSC). The focus of this collaboration is to develop and implement new, supplementary educational content using real-world NASA applications and the excitement of space exploration to enhance the latest technology and expertise that is uniquely TI.

After being inspired by a special tour of the Mission Control Centers for the space shuttle, ISS and Apollo programs, the T³ instructors were tasked with creating new versions of the HRPEO Exploring Space Through Math and Math and Science @ Work problems, incorporating the latest TI technology. HRPEO content from this collaboration will be posted on the TI Activities Exchange, a popular feature of the TI website where teachers can find activities posted by subject for their classrooms.

TI Education Manager and Master Instructors pose for a picture before touring the mission control centers at NASA Johnson Space Center.

The T³ instructors and HRPEO project leads will make presentations at the T³ International Conference in Atlanta in March. While attending they will continue collaborating on new problems and planning a week-long summer content development effort at JSC this June.

The professional development division of TI, called "Teachers Teaching with Technology™" or T³ for short, has a rich history of providing high-quality professional development for teachers who want to integrate educational technology into their curricula. These instructors give presentations to math and science teachers nationwide using the TI technology. This national exposure will help HRPEO broaden the reach of the projects as well as effect students through T³ Instructors.

The Group receives instruction on Apollo Mission Control Center from Flight Controller.

The HRPEO project, Exploring Space Through Math, focuses on Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II and Precalculus, while the Math and Science @ Work project focuses on AP courses in Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Calculus and Statistics. These projects provide supplemental educational materials designed to help students understand real-world applications of these courses. This type of education is referred to as Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, or STEM.

The Group receives instruction on Apollo Mission Control Center from Flight Controller.

Also of note, TI has a new handheld technology called the TI-Nspire. The T³ Instructors are creating Nspire versions of the existing problems. Since many schools have graphing calculators (TI-84’s or older versions) in their classrooms and some schools have the newer Nspire handhelds, both versions will be implemented. This will provide a wider audience for these high school STEM materials.

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