Kindergarteners make Flinkers in the Discovery Lab

Posted by Laurie Sullivan at 1/30/2010 9:25:00 AM

DSC01921 This lesson in the Discovery Lab connected nicely with the Kindergarteners’ trip to the Air and Space Museum. While at the museum, the students viewed the International Space Station movie in 3-D. They saw how the astronauts prepare for living and working in space and how the astronuats “float” (fall) in a reduced gravity environment. In the Discovery Lab the Kindergarten students learned about two ways astronauts prepare to work in space. We watched a video clip of astronauts training in the reduced gravity jet, also known as the vomit comet http://brainbites.nasa.gov/vomitcomet (Click PLAY on the remote control). We also watched a video clip of astronauts training in a huge pool called the Neutral Buoyancy Lab. Then each student received a “spacesuit” and a tank of water. Their challenge was to make the spacesuit “flink”, neither float on the top nor sink to the bottom. How could they make the spacesuit neutrally buoyant? The students remembered that they saw weights being added to the astronaut’s spacesuit in the video clip. They discovered that they needed weights (paperclips) to be successful. Watch the embedded video above or click here to see the training pool (lab) at Johnson Space Center At the end of the lesson we reviewed two ways astronaut’s prepare for space travel and chanted “Plane and Pool, Plane and Pool”. The lesson ended with watching a video of several Barrett teachers who were selected to fly an experiment in NASA’s reduced gravity jet. Click here to see a video clip of Barrett teachers “floating”. DSC01904-1 Mrs. Sullivan’s son Jackson, who previously attended Barrett and is currently an 8th grader, assisted with the lesson. DSC01852

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