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NASA INSPIRE project July 20, 2011

Posted by stem4kidsinfo in Uncategorized.
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INSPIRE is an online learning community organized and run by NASA.  The main goal of INSPIRE, which stands for Interdisciplinary National Science Program Incorporating Research and Education, is to encourage high school students to pursue careers in STEM and NASA.  Students must fill out the application found at https://inspire.okstate.edu before participating in the OLC (Online Learning Community).  The OLC has activities, projects, and forums that students can use, as well as live chats held once a week for most of the school year.  The live chats go over topics such as space shuttle design and the Apollo missions as well as NASA’s latest projects.  They also feature guest speakers occasionally, from astronauts to researchers, and even interns who have worked at NASA.  I have been participating in the OLC for a year now, and have recently reapplied for next year.  Admission is competitive.  Students with a demonstrated interest in math and science probably stand a better chance of being accepted.
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1. Calista Frederick-Jaskiewicz - May 8, 2012

The NASA Online Learning Community is a great way to get one up on everything NASA! I am a folder and study folding/origami applications in STEM subjects, and by participating in the OLC for a few years I learned that NASA is really BIG into folding. Consider that compact payloads save precious liftoff space, and crumple folding will not do the trick. For example, the JWST is called the “Origami Telescope” because it will unfold in space; Curiosity, en route to Mars, is presicion folded inside its heat shield—we won’t see it unfold until it safely lands on the surface of the red planet. The OLC also has a compoent where participants hand fold paper models, you just print out on the appropriate weight paper at home. With the correct technique, your paper model comes out surprisingly realistic looking. Paper is stronger than most people think.
Check out my photo album of NASA OLC paper models that I folded in the 2011-12 OLC at http://www.facebook.com/origamisalami1 and let me know what you think! Meanwhile, see you all in the OLC next year!


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