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Paper: STEM Satellites: Bringing NASA Missions to Hospitals
Volume: 533, ASP 2021: Sharing Best Practices – AstronomyTeaching and Public Engagement
Page: 52
Authors: Kmietowicz, M.
Abstract: Orlando Science Center, in partnership with the University of Central Florida, has created STEM-based educational experiences for youth in late elementary, middle and high school in an effort to increase science and math comprehension for those in long-term hospital care. The project consists of two main missions. Mission: Mars takes participants from the VAB all the way to the Red Planet as they design robots, model orbits, and survey the Martian surface to find a suitable landing site. Mission: Stars focuses on the James Webb Space Telescope and how it will study infrared light from distant stars, told through the lens of a tabletop laser game, a LEGO orrery, and an augmented reality app. Each of three major children's hospitals in Central Florida — AdventHealth for Children, Nemours Children's Hospital, and Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children — have received mobile carts that contain all the equipment necessary for children ages 9–19 to engage with these activities during their hospital stays. OSC has created virtual training modules for hospital volunteers and staff to familiarize themselves with this content prior to delivering it to children. In this session we will discuss the missions we have created as well as lessons learned about engaging learners with STEM content in this environment. This project is funded by a NASA grant under cooperative agreement award number NNX16AM34G.
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