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New York City Research Initiative

Learning Units Developed by Dr. Shermane Austin (Medgar Evers College)

All units here are intended for Grades 7-12.

1. Design a Mission to the Edge of Space

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The flight vehicle ascends to heights of over 100,000 feet where pressure is similar to the surface pressure on Mars and student projects/ideas may explore either Mars or Earth-based investigations. This is an inquiry-based project activity incorporating concepts including: scientific method; weather related topics - atmospheric layers, pressure, temperature variations, etc.; GPS and tracking; understanding balloon flight, free lift, etc. (there are simple exercises for this).

2. Introduction to Remote Sensing

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High-school based projects using CricketSATs and moored balloons to explore areas related to remote sensing including simple instrumentation using light, temperature, humidity, pressure, etc. sensors; data calibration, acquisition and retrieval; and imaging. CricketSATs fly on small party balloons, typically reach altitudes of 32,000 feet and students are engaged in building the small sensor instruments, retrieving and analyzing the resulting data. This project is suitable for high school students and although there are other CricketSAT projects, there is little curriculum-based material available.

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