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NSBE Houston Floating Laboratory Program Details


Students and Teachers will participate in training workshops that explain the basics of reduced gravity flight, experiment design and analysis, human spaceflight, and engineering principles.Teachers will be provided with an engineering, physics, and mathematics educational curriculum that incorporates current space research problems and aligns to Texas state standards.Online technical support will be available to teachers via the Zero Gravity Corporationís Hawking Center.


View media coverage of Zero Gavity Corporation's Teacher Education Flights here: Today Show







Research Experience

Image:Zero Gravity Corporation 1.jpgThe NSBE Houston Floating Laboratory will leverage the NSBE Houston Space Chapterís membership base of NASA civil servant and contractor employees to develop reduced gravity experiments relevant to the NASA Constellation lunar program.Students will have an opportunity to conduct real research that will aid in NASAís return to the Moon.


Each of the eight flight teams will be responsible for a zero gravity or lunar gravity experiment relevant to some aspect of the lunar mission and in support of design activity for the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle, Altair Lunar Lander, Small Pressurized Rover, or Lunar Outpost.




Outreach and Sustainability

The goal of the program is to inspire students to pursue careers in science and engineering and we are concerned with not only those who participate in the flights, but all students we can inspire.The structure of this program and the organizational model of the National Society of Black Engineers lends itself to maximize impact.


Following the flights, each team will make classroom presentations about their experience, based on specific assignments coordinated prior to the flights.A total of 120 classrooms across the Houston metro area will be visited by members of the eight teams.Assuming an average class size of 30 students, this will result in a total impact of 3600 students, in addition to the 32 participating students.Additionally, each teacher will be able to impact all of their classes as a result of the flight experience and teaching materials included in the program.Assuming an average of five class periods per teacher with 30 students per class, this results in an additional 2400 students impacted.


The team structure will provide a high-powered education and career mentoring environment for the participating students and teachers.Each middle or high school student will be assigned a mentor on their team who is a current college student.Both the middle/high school and college student will also be assigned a mentor on their team who is an engineer.This mentoring group will meet no less than twice annually to discuss education and career options in science and engineering.Additionally, with email, the students will be able to contact their mentors at any time.The engineer will also form a professional networking relationship with the two teachers on his/her team.After the flight, these teachers will have direct access to the space program via ongoing communication and interaction with their teamís engineer.


NSBE also conducts annual regional and national conferences, many of which contain technical competitions and technical presentation opportunities.The participating students will be encouraged to enter their flight experiments in these competitions and in select cases will wear their flight suits and staff exhibits at the conference.Through the networking opportunities at these conference, students will also maintain connection with team engineers and other team students.


In short, The NSBE Houston Floating Laboratory will annually impact 6000 elementary, middle school, high school, and college students; provide long-term mentoring relationships with 32 students; and permanently connect 16 teachers with the resources of NASA engineers.








Chapter Homepage†† *†† Program Overview†† *†† Sponsorship†† *†† Program Sponsors


For Additional Information please contact either:

Dr. Robert Howard, Jr. / President, NSBE Houston Space Chapter /

Elizabeth Underwood / Director, Education & Charter Development /